A shot of Skateland Arena in Genesee Township, which is still going strong, captures the feel of the late, great Rollerworld in Flint. (Photo by Scott Brauer/The Flint Journal)
UPDATE: I'm reposting this from Sept. 20, 2008 because a few readers have revived the Rollerworld discussion.
Here's the original post:
A reader mentioned Rollerworld in a comment recently, a Flint icon that I haven't thought of in years.
It was a skate rink located on Ballenger near Miller Road in a former Yankee's/Zody's store. My friend Jerry Gawne, who was always ahead of the curve on cool trends, introduced me to the place. (Jerry was pretty much the pop-culture arbiter among my circle of friends living on Bassett, Humbolt and Delmar in Civic Park. He established that Jaws was the greatest movie ever made; that DC Comics were an abomination compared to Marvel; that the Planet of the Apes movies were second only to Jaws; that the unlikely combination of Parliament and KISS was the epitome of musical taste; and, eventually, that girls were highly desirable.)
Jerry was friends with Justin Bates, a skater extraordinaire whose family owned Rollerworld and, I think, actually lived above it, which I thought was an amazing concept at the time. (This was a few decades ago, so don't quote me on any of this.)
I remember talking my older sister, Katie, into taking me to Rollerworld one night. She wasn't too thrilled but she relented because she was always kind-hearted. I promised we wouldn't stay long. I eventually lost track of her in the splashy lights of the disco ball. I discovered her a little later, executing a hilarious figure-skating move with a guy on each arm while she laughed hysterically. I was shocked!
Anyone else out there with Rollerworld stories?