If you grew up in Phoenix in the 80s, chances are we can find some shared summer memories. Over-worked, tired moms desperate for a few hours to take care of shit: go ride your bikes, be home for dinner; Fair Lanes bowling alley; the ice skating rink; Big Surf. There was also some trampoline/basketball game. I can’t remember the name or the place, but we spent a lot of hours there. That was probably peak leg muscles for me, all downhill since then.

For the life of me I can’t remember where that ice skating rink was. I’d say I’ve ice skated 6 – 10 times. I was not a confident ice skater, I was not a good ice skater. It’s a wonder I didn’t break a bone. Then again, I broke a bone running to Burger King during lunch break. I was fleet of foot and fairly dextrous. My depth perception and check to see if you’re winning timing might not be world class.

Typing was still a class back then. Rows and rows of typewriters. One kid with a cast. I had to drop that class. They put me into an art class. This should be the beginning of a Horatio Alger-like story where in interview after interview I can say that things happen for a reason in a million different inspirational ways. Nope. I sucked in art class, because I was a petulant kid who was pissed off at the cement parking block that broke my arm. Yes, I just ascribed all blame to the parking block. That’s called maturity, reflection, and awareness.

All was not lost in the art class. I think the teacher’s name was Ms. Painter (I know…). She was great, I was terrible, but I did pay attention during the perspective part. Sure, by then we’d all drawn the converging lines into the distance, but I’d never really taken a minute to think about them. Perspective is pretty cool. [Edit: I think her name was Ms. Payne. This secures my credibility, because who would correct a gem of a coincidence like that – art teacher Ms. Painter.)

If you’re one of the five people who pop into this site, you know that I’m a night owl (hoping to flip that script) who goes off on tangents. I tend to get back to the main point when I realize that I can’t remember where I was going with the tangents.

Skating rinks. Phoenix. Spent a wonderful evening tonight at a skating rink bar in Phoenix with my parents, my sister and her husband, and some of their friends. The skating rink has a bar with huge windows onto the rink. There were several hockey…hmmm…hockey games? Matches? Fights to the death? There was also live music. Jack Johnson. Not the Hawaiian Jack Johnson surfer musician, but a very good other Jack Johnson musician. The bar is a dive bar. We ordered a bunch of wings and pretzel bites. The pretzel cheese was a glorious mixture of dive bar cheese – you know the stuff.

The final hockey…dammit…the final contest of wills between the two hockey teams involved Grand Canyon University and Utah. I moved at a snail’s pace on the ice, fearing I’d break my head. These women were flying all over the place, their movements a graceful second nature.


Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.

Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.


Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.

Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.


Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.

Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.


Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.

Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.


Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.

Ice House Tavern, Phoenix, January 2020.