What Happened to Grade Card Night?

How many of you didn’t even realize there used to be such a night?  If you haven’t heard about this before, then you are a lot younger than I am.

Wednesday nights used to be Grade Card Night.  There were sessions from 6-8pm and 8-10pm.  And believe me, they were among our busiest nights of the week.  Being a floor guard at the time, I can say with authority that it was by far the most physically draining of any other night of the week.

Many times we were near maximum occupancy capacity which meant there wasn’t much room to get around either on or off of the skate floor.

Now imagine you were the floor guard.  Back then, as it is now, the floor guard also had the responsibility of running the music and skate specials.  No big deal, right….  Wrong, very big deal!  You see, back then the Sound Booth was located up next to the office, where we now sell Roller Derby items.  The floor guard, had to plan his music, any skate specials like couples, ladies only, boys only, and the limbo, etc.  Back then the music was on 45rpm records, no digital systems back then boys!  So, we would plan our music, stack it in the appropriate order, and go on about our business.

This is where it really got challenging!  Remember, we were floor guards, which implies that we are on the skating floor the majority of the time.  Then add in that we needed to get to/from the sound booth every two (2) or sometimes three (3) songs.  Oh, and I almost forgot, there were probably between 75 to 100 wonderful children between the skate floor exit and the sound booth at the front of the rink.

Get the picture?  Is it starting to develop?  Let me see if I can bring it a bit more into focus for you.  Each song back then was between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes long, and as the floor guard you needed to allow enough time to travel to/from the skate floor to the sound booth (safely I might add) every 2 or 3 songs to change the music and announce specials.  This coupled with all of those lovely children in your path created quite the challenge.  About how often would you speculate that we made it happen?  If I had to put a number to it, it would be 95% or greater of the time we succeeded.

Those were the days that it paid to be in good shape physically, along with being one of the best at maneuvering through the crowd with 8 wheels on your feet, and knowing exactly what was going on at all times.

Today, the days of Grade Card Night, Ladies Night, Adult Night, and so on are pretty much a thing of the past.  Now Monday thru Thursday night during the school year are usually set aside for School Skating Parties.  Each school having their party anywhere from 1 to 4 times a year.  With the old Grade Card Night there wasn’t much room for parents to join their kids, but now the environment is much more parent friendly, and we highly suggest you take advantage of this.  Join your children and make those wonderful family outings to Sk8away a set of memories you can always enjoy reflecting upon.

Back to my story now.  As a floor guard, busting it in all kinds of ways for the children’s benefit, wasn’t a job to me.  It was one of those things I simply just loved doing.  It I hadn’t I assure you, I would have found employment elsewhere.  For this writer, it wasn’t so much the challenge of the job, as it was, the enjoyment of seeing all of the kids have a really good time.  After all, they were what it was all about, weren’t they?

So, the moral of this story is really quite simple.  No matter how hard it may seem at times, enjoy every moment with your kids.  For one day they will grow up and you will be asking yourself when it happened, where did the time go, did I take advantage of my opportunities to bond with them, and what fun memories do I have of them from their early years?

Skating family
The Family that Skates Together