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Old June 29th, 2008, 02:50 AM   #109
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tallahassee, Fl.
Posts: 1,918

Wendy and Regina,
Don't worry about me quiting. Today I went to Skate Mania in Ocala. It's double the distance (about 1 hour one way) than it is to Roller Barn in Inverness. I heard stories about the gang fights there and how run down it got. But I also heard it was a much bigger rink and a nice hard wood floor.
There were a lot a people there, mostly teens. I'd say they had about 300 in that building. But they were moderatly civilized. As we came in to pay, this BIG BOUNCER was at the door. His booming voice was clear: "Spit out your gum before you enter. If you get caught with gum, you are out. No warnings. No refund. Spit it out now."
About a half hour into the session, they stopped all the skaters and the big guy spent about 10 minutes on the rules. He also mentioned about the change in music. He said there will be no more gangster rap. They have been migrating to softer traditional music. (I think they have a ways to go, but they are in the right direction) He said the reason is that there was too much gang activity going on and he was going to stop it. He said: "If you don't like the music, THERE IS THE DOOR! Leave now, we don't want trouble makers. If you fight or cause trouble, you will be removed and never allowed back."
He explained how the floors have been ruined by people spilling drinks, spitting gum, throwing debris on the floor. He said that will be punished by removal of the offending person. No one is allow to block the isles, or the entry exit to and from the floor. No one is allowed to be on the floor and not moving. and so on...

Needless to say I was impressed. He then floor guarded and took care of problems as he saw them. I went up to him and thanked him for the stand they were taking. He said that he had a talk with the owner and said that he told them that they (the owner) needed to give him the right to enforce the rules or he was going to walk. It looks like we have a brave one out there.

I think I have a new skating home. Now I have to contact the coach/instructor. We have been playing phone tag for 2 days now. Maybe tomorrow will be better. I need to set up time for practice. As for the floor, it was all I hoped it could be. I had no fear of debris on the floor. Now I just have to get use to the new feeling of this floor. It shouldn't take long.

Jim (The Ancient One)
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