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SkatelandThe following are artistic skaters who have written to us and requested that they be added to our guestbook listing so they may hear from other friends in skating who have moved away or are no longer skating.
Figure Skaters from the past
On Friday, February 10, 2012 Bob Fitzpatrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Hi, this is Bob Fitzpatrick, I stumbled on this web site by accident, I started skating at the Hi Hat at 4yrs old , My aunt Ester owned the rink and My grandmother Elthel lived and worked there, and my aunt Ester also owned a rink in Alton Bay NH. ( the pavilion) , I also skated at Skateland Haverill for a couple of years, took lessons from Ray and Cindy Chaput also, and my sister Gayle skated freestyle and my brother Bruce and Pat Nolet skated dance and won nationals, I do remember Bobby Wilson , Bob Marrino, Daved Howard, Jinger Johnson, Carrot top, and Bobby Mecgreager, Janice Howard, and I also recall playing roller hockey with Mickael Jaques and He Married Pat Nollet which are now living in Calif teaching, I too live in Calif and I am 62 yrs old and still skating. In 1976 I skated with Joane Goodie for three yrs and we took from Bob Labreolia at Fountain Valley Skating Rink and did very well , I stopped for about 10 yrs and started again Nancy Manning got me back in shape to dance again. Well I would love to hear from anyone that have any more memories of the time back then.
On Friday, January 6, 2012 Bob Sanders (BobSanders5@verizon.net writes:
I skated in the 1959 reginals at Skateland in Bradford, Ma. I skated there from 1955 thru 1959. Where did all the pictures go from the walls? I do remember Harrold as Harry & Evelyn as Evelyn Decarlo. Is that correct? Didn't Harry have a sister, Ruth? I remember Clif Dolf, Jack & Chicky Capola. Tilly, Alice LaClare (Donna & Carol) & Mrs Harriman. George & Charlie. Cindy & Ray Chaput. Some skaters were Bob Wilson, Billy Madigan, Anthony (Fuzzy) Denice & Carmon, Mike, Richard & Jr. Agnelo. Bob Bixby. My family still has a trophy from Tilly for the largest family on skates at Skatland, I think 1958. I live in Florida now but still get up to Mass about twice a year. My wife & I are retired now.
On Monday, January 12, 2009 David D. Hannan (email@example.com) wrote:
I was looking at your web site and it brought back memories of the early days at skateland. I was there on the opening day and was a regular up until 1954 when I entered the service. I would help Don with the junior clubs and for all practical purposes I lived there. Reviewing the names on some of the E mails brought back some great memories. Bob Tift and I were very good friends. Barbara and Bob won Nationals at the Gardens?? in Denver I believe in 53 or 54 while George Sargent and his partner came in second. There are a multitude of names that come back as well as those mentioned in other E mails. Eleanor Hurd was an exceptional skater who I met again in the late sixties or early seventies, at skateland where else. I gave my D-Snyders away about 15 years ago but still have skating in my blood. Even at 73 I am still thinking about going back to it.
Rev. David D. Hannan Upstate NH
On Friday, December 28, 2007 Bill Ravgiala (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
Greetings with great, (fond) memories of Skateland 1950s thru the 60s skating dance and free style along with Billy Madigan and a character we called Fuzzy. Did some dancing with the older Sweeney girls and my good friend Jean Lavoie. The only interruption was my tour with the Marine Corps, 1958-62. Looking forward to skating at Skateland again come 2008. Bill Ravgiala formally from Hillcrest Ave, Haverhill. In the picture below, I am on the right at a police training session early 60s.
On Wednesday, April 18, 2007, Chester Gadsby (email@example.com) wrote:
My name is Chet Gadsby and have great memories of skating. I must congratulate George and Mary on the fantastic website I found by accident on Skateland.
I go back to 1953 skating at Revere and remember George and Peachy Walsh a gorgeous dance team. I recall John Viola and Dedee Lebrun as free stylist. I joined the Bal a roue in Medford about 1954 under Grace and Coonie. Later, they eventually went down to Revere taking most of the Senior Club with them. I stayed at Bal-a-roue and took lessons under Janet Arredondo and Bob Toye. Bennie Aucoin was the organist. It was during this time, Don Crist started skating in the Club. Eventually, we all left and went to Revere under Grace and Coonie. Sunday evenings many club members headed up to Skateland in Haverhill to skate the session. I have great memories of that rink specifically, Pricilla Dean, Ray Chaput and others. Often, we also went on Sunday evenings up to Hi Hat where I remember Arthur Garlick, the organist, Ma Whitney, the pro along with some club members such as Hugh Parkhurst, Joan Labelle, Dick Deslaurius and others. I remember the Dance of the Month contest which was just alot of fun. What another time....great fun and decent!
After a stint in the Navy, I joined Roll-land in Norwood for a few years and skated figures and dance under Don Holmans. David Tassinari and Pat Fogerty were one of our favorite dance teams. We also had little Michael Jaques and Mary Lou Johnson as free stylist. I eventually joined the Wal-lex Club and my dance partner was Kathy Warren (Burgess) and the pros were John Viola and Dedee Lebrun who had married sometime earlier. Kathy and I went often to all the Northeast Invitational Meets and did very well in Figures and Dance...however, never did well in Massachusetts so we never left our mark. I have great memories of all the Clubs I have joined and the greatest sadness was to learn of Revere Rink burning to the ground while I was in the Navy. I remember Lennie Winters the organist, and of course, Mae, the cook flipping her pepperburgers on the grill with attitude! I remember the Bensons from Walcliffe in NY. I was stationed while in the Navy at St. Albans Naval Hospital in Long Island and sought out a rink not far from the base and was surprised to meet up with this Senior Dance National team at their home rink. I remember Mary Mayhew prior to her marriage to George and I believe we both were at Bal-a-roue Dance Club at the time. What memories!!!!!!
On Sunday, August 12, 2007 Deborah Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
Hi Marc, Congratulations on bringing the rink back to life! I'll be visiting soon.
I was wondering if anyone in the old Skateland family could help me. My name is Deborah Ross and my mother Pauline Hatfield used to take me (Debbie Hatfield, 7) to the rink for lessons with Bobby Wilson around 1967. My sisters Donna (15), Cindy (5) and brother Bobby (3) used to skate occasionally as well. The rink, the skating family and the experience was just the high-point of my childhood. I still have my costumes from competitions.
I remember Cindy and Ray Chaput, Kathy and Joanie Miller (my mom used to make costumes for them), Michael (?) Soucy (he skated to the "Good-N-Plenty" song), the Nollett family, Kathy Gilbert. I remember going out onto the floor during an adult warm-up and catching Bobby Wilson's camel-spinning boot in my belly (he had long, spider legs) and the nice lady at the concession stand gave me an ice cream.
In 1968 Mom went into a coma then died two years later. I had to stop skating and the family sold my skates. I remember sleeping with them the night before they took them away. I was so devastated. My sisters/brother got separated into various homes and I've got no information about my Mom. I was putting together a project for a psychology class and found some pictures from the Skateland time. I looked up Skateland on a lark and was so suprised to see it open. What a great floor! My thighs and knees got plenty of wood burn in the old days. The older kids would tell me to go throw a triple and I'd get up some steam, hurl myself into the air and crash. Resilient!
I've attached some pictures. I think the group shot has Kathy Miller in the backrow and Ray and Cindy's grandson in the front row with my brother Bobby. Perhaps some of the old gang can identify some of the people in the pictures or tell me something about my Mom. I have a few more photos but they're not scanned into the computer. I'd be so grateful for any information.
Best regards, Deborah "Debbie Hatfield" Ross (Deborah Ross, RYT, KYTA, CPI) Phone: 603-886-6069 Website: www.luminayogawellness.com
Sent to us on January 13, 2007, "Barbara Dwyer" email@example.com, San Francisco CA, "lived" at Skateland from 1960-68....
Seeing your list posting brought back so many fond names and memories. Attilio Carbone owned the rink when I was there, Charlie was on the organ, and Ray and Cindi Chaput were the pros. Skateland was my home all weekend, from the time it opened in the morning till closing Sunday night. My parents knew I couldn't get into much trouble there, because Attilio also was a member of Sacred Hearts parish. Anything I did bounced right back to my parents.
I never skated competitively but was a member of the 5 o'clock and 6 o'clock clubs. 'No more skating for me (except a brief foray into "roller disco" when living in Boston for grad school). My sports now are scuba diving most weekends in Monterey/Carmel California (yes, it's cold)! and diving in the caves of Florida and Mexico several times per year. That and remodeling houses keeps me sane!
My Snyder skates are around somewhere! Please keep me on your list.
Barbara Dwyer, HHS Class of '69
Barbara is a very accomplished diver and wrote the following:
I grew up with a mask and fins---then in grad school took scuba certification off Boston (1978 or so). I've been diving all over the world but didn't start in caves till about 8 years ago. It's totally different and involves a lot of advanced training and practice. If something goes wrong, you need to handle it right there---you can't come up; you might be a half mile into the cave. I got interested because I also crawl around in land caves. I knew that Florida had divable caves but had only heard about the deaths there (about 600 over ten years, --mostly untrained divers venturing in "for a look" then running out of air, getting lost, etc.). When I looked into the training and saw how rigorous it was, I went for it. So now I'm hooked! Here is a photo.
I would not want an untrained diver to try this...they WILL get killed sooner or later. 'Happens at least once a year. The links are:
NSS-CDS (National Speleological Society-Cave Diving Section) www.caves.org/section/cds/
NACD (National Association for Cave Diving) www.safecavediving.com
Only about 1% of scuba divers are even marginally interested in caves, and fewer take the entire training. Most people are more claustrophobic than they know. That is probably a good thing, because sooner or later everyone encounters a problem...losing a guideline, a silt out (muddy water/no visibility). We train for this and have a set of emergency procedures to follow. Most divers want to see pretty fish, not concentrate and drill....who can blame 'em? I like nice fish and coral reefs too, but there's nothing like a cave.
Sent to us on October 7, 2006, John Magee, Cape Coral Florida, wrote to Skateland and because of the kindness and dedication of Harold Harriman, was able to discover pictures and information about his family. Story follows.
My name is John Magee and my grandfather Cliff Dolfe Sr worked at skateand in the 50's my mother Judy Dolfe took figure skating lessons for years ...I was wondering if there are any old history postings of that time period on the web site?
I was born in Haverhill back in 63 and lived in Bradford and as a child enjoyed skateland ..I was never into compition but was there as many Saturdays as possible around 1970-1974 I am sure that I was there at a much younger age as well. I knew one of the owners I think his name was tillio he also own a coin laundry close to skateland ...My mom knew of him which is the only reason I was introduced....when I was small we skated to organ music which was played live HAHA!!!! I am sure now that it's all about the boom boom music which is cool ! I have a 21 year old and a 16 year old and it grows on you after a while! My mother Judy Dolfe Houle lives in Tn now and is doing well there are 5 of us children to take care of her I am going to Mail her the guest book she isn't on the web yet I try but she still likes the typewriter! I did e-mail the Harriman's and gave out my phone number so we shall see!
Thank you for sending my email to the Harriman's I received a photo today that was just wonderful and I am attaching it to this email so that maybe down the road you may be able to get other vintage photo's and use them on your web site my grandparents Maxine and Clifford Dolfe are in the 2nd row from the front and are 4th and 5th from the left they have overalls on and no masks ...We only had one photo of my grandmother and this is exciting! you have helped bring a lot of joy to 5 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren Thank you so much!!!! The Harriman's have a photo of my mother as well and they are going to send that to me! This is truly a priceless gift to me and my family!
Sent to us on Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Hi. My name is Wendi (Bertrand) Blanco and I was an artistic skater at Skateland in the ealry '80's. I have been back to the rink once or twice since it has been redone, and it looks amazing! I findly remember the old bleachers on the far side of the rink and the office upstairs, the bumpy floor, the metal railings. I made many friends there, some that I am still in contact with to this day! I took lessons from Harry Olsen. I remember the freezing cold mornings there trying to get out and do my jumps and spins, trying to warm up! We had great times at the meets we used to hold there. Some of the skaters I remember from those days.....AnneMarie Rollo, Elaine Gerrish, Maureen malone, George Babineau (my partner), Michelle Bergeron, Jay McCarthy, Carrie Buttrucio, Melissa Greaves, Rebecca Pope. We had such a good time! I often wonder where some of them went. i just wanted to say that the rink looks great,a nd I hope the kids of today have as many wonderful memories from their skating days as I have from mine.
Wendi Blanco, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent to us on Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Hi all, My name is Ron Nicolosi, email@example.com. I used to skate there alot in the early 70's. As a matter of fact, as soon as I was done skating, I would have to take my skates off and run up the stairs to play the organ. My parents used to take me there all the time. I have fond memories of friends, skating competitively, and playing the organ for the dances and the competitions. My teacher was Toni McIsaac and a pro named "Fuzzy". Can't remember his last name. I had 2 partners, Karen Nason and Cheryl Sharpe. Wonder how they are doing. The new floor looks great. I live in CA now so next time I'm home, I will have to swing by for old times sake. My cousin Vivian Joubert was a competitive skater there in the 60's. Thanks for the memories!!! Ron
Sent September 12, 2005 from Carl Patturelli, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello,My name is Carl Patturelli and I learned to skate in the 1950's at the Bal-A-Roue in Medford. I met George and Mary Pyche there and later skated there when they owned it. I have started back skating on the south shore (Taunton & Whitman) I would like to visit/skate at the Bradford rink as I used to travel there to skate from Medford in the early sixties. From the photos now it looks like a bright shiny fun place to skate. All the best to the Pyches for doing a great job re-vitalizing a great old rink !! I will introduce myself on my visit. Mary may remember a Bernie Madden who was my skating friend among some others.
I am sorry to miss your re-union skate night; I will be in Europe for the next two weeks, actually I will be cruising the Mediterranean for 12 days/ starting next Monday. I will visit you delightful rink when I get back, I am sure it will bring back memories, I remember it being full of people and dark and faded wood panels with a dusty bleacher seating on one side for competitions that I never saw used. I do remember seeing David Tassinari skate a free-style competition there one in the early sixties. I do have some funny memories of the Bal-A-Roue, I remember your mother-in-law used to work the check room and there was a crusty older man (Al) that worked the skate shop, his son , Big Al,was a floor man there and his mother worked the cashier booth. Bennie AuCoin was the organist whose favorite color seemed to be black. The owner was Raoul Bernier who once showed me stored upstairs all the used skates he had for sale, hundreds and hundreds, that he took as partial payment for new skates buys.Many memories of Saturday mornings with Janet Arrodondo (?) giving skating instructions from the organ platform with a half dozen pros on the floor helping. Our private lesson pro was Bob Toy. Remember him ? Enough for now. Later I am sure. Carl Patturelli
Wednesday, Marcy 9th, 2005,
Kenny Nolette (email@example.com)wrote this to the national office.
Hello my name is Kenneth J. Nollet. I was an artistic skater from 1968 thru 1984 when due to injury I had to leave the sport. My family is still heavily involved in skating thru out the United States however it has been years since I stepped into a rink.
Recently I visited the Skateland in Bradford MA with my daughter and some of my soccer team ( I own a soccer league in MA). We went simply because the kids were bored with the winter blues and we had no where else to go.
See I remember the days at Roll Land and Wallex where if you were a great skater you were well liked but if not then stay away, the little circles of artistic skaters moving around the floor during session or them flying past and sneering at session skaters. Even at the USA rink in Ohio where I finished off my skating the arrogance of the artistic skater was alive and prevalent!
Well I must say that the owners and management at Skateland amazed me! What I thought would turn into a hour of skating then a quick exit turned into a three hour session of fun. Yes they had artistic skaters there, and yes the wore "good skates" but not once did I see any sign of the competitive monsters of old.
My compliments go out to the owners, manager, and staff of Skateland for doing the impossible in the Northeast, bringing FUN back to roller skating!
I myself enjoyed it and will continue to go back. It has amazed me that in a climate where indoor activity is a must that roller skating has diminished and the "old power-houses" of skating have gone away. Perhaps if more rink's followed what Skateland has done we would still have the Wallex Thursday night and Roll Land Wednesday night session and others.
Monday, March 7th, 2005, Steven MacIsaac firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, My name is Steven MacIsaac, and my parents, Toni and Allan MacIsaac owned Skateland for a while in the late 60's early 70s I believe. I moved out of the area in '77 and was unaware that Skateland was open and doing well! what a pleasant surprise!
I was doing research on the area in preparation of bringing my family back home to see where I grew up, now, instead of showing my kids where Skateland was, I can take them skating there!
I was pretty young at the time, but practically lived at the rink during that period, I had skates on more than shoes! When I wasn't skating, I spent alot of time playing in the building and on the grounds, and around the laundromat across the parking lot! I competed in Juvenile B boys Freestyle, Speedskating and pairs, making it to nationals once, where I got to see Michael Jaques perform.
I would be interested in reading more about what happened to Skateland in the years since, Did the big neon sign on the roof survive?? I look forward to skating back at Skateland this coming labor day, I guess I'll have to pull my skates out of my original blue skate bag with the "Skateland, Haverhill" logo on it and see if the still fit ! Steve
From Joanne (Dillon) Coyle email@example.com, Friday, July 23, 2004
Subject: I remember Nancy Lou Johnson and Michael Jacques at the Revere Skating Arena
Hello, Roller skating has always been my passion. I took some dance skating at the Revere Skating Arena, Revere, Massachusetts from 1959-1961. I met Nancy Lou Johnson and Michael Jacques there and they were my first models as great Roller Skating Champions! I just loved watching them skate. I was so sad when the Revere Arena closed down.
Later for awhile I skated at the Bal-A-Roue in Medford Massachusetts. I took lessons from George and Mary Pyche who were students of Coonie Umbach. Then I got married and that ended my roller skating for awhile.
I've since moved to Moline, IL and started back to skating at Skateland in East Moline, IL. in 1985. I entered dance and figure competitions and was in the first year of Junior Olympic Nationals. I also skated at Skate Ranch in Milan, IL. Mr. Lane the owner and instructor is now 96 years old! His son runs Skate Ranch.
Sadly, Skateland in East Moline has closed down. That's the end of roller skating instructions. Now, I've gone on to a whole new phase in my life, ice skating! There is a new Quad Cities Sports Center in Davenport, IA which is just across the Mississippi River from Illinois. I'm enjoying the ice skating and taking lessons to do Moves in the field. It's such a different feeling for me from roller skating. It's a new challenge and exciting. I enjoy it so much and skating is my passion.
I did catch a glimpse of Michael Jacques at the Nationals in Nebraska one year. I'm happy to hear that he is doing well and that his son skates! I hope Nancy Lou Johnson is doing well too. I had seen Sylvia Hafke years ago doing the heel camel spin. In more recent years I saw her as a judge at Coach Lite in Roselle, IL.
It's a small world, especially in roller skating. I'm happy to have this chance to write and very excited about your web site.
Joanne (Dillon) Coyle firstname.lastname@example.org
From Kathy diMonda Erickson, January 9, 2004, email@example.com
Hi - my name is Kathy diMonda Erickson. I skated for many years at Mineola skating rink in New York. After Mineola closed we skated at Walcliffe, then Empire, both in New York, I skated competitively from '53 to '63. I remember Michael Jacques, Nancy Lou Johnson, Henri Abrami, Sylvia Haffke, and David Tassinari. My pro most of the time was Warren Collozzo. I still keep in touch with some of the skaters from the New York area. We now live in Florida and it was great to see a rink that still has a wood floor and the "old timers" like us. thanks
From Howard Rhodes, December 8, 2003, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: old time skaters
hi. My name is Howard Rhodes,I never had the opportunity to skate at skateland but i was involved in competive skating. My pantner Zel Massine and I took second place in intermediate pairs in1949 in meneola ny,and third in junior pairs 1950 in pasadina ca. My club was the Riverside figure & dance club in livonia michigan. The pros were John Daney and Bill Best. I have been out of roller skating for many years but i have many fond memories of this great sport which were some of the best years of my life. Some of people i remember from the east are Jude Cull, Marylouise Leahey, Kurt Hornline,& Diane Lonzotti. I wonder if these people are still around? I am 73 years old now & live in Rockingham NC. Please write me if you have information relating to anyone mentioned in this posting. Thanks.
Dennis Weeks, email@example.com Boca Raton, Florida
Subject: 2003 Skateland Reunion Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003
Hi Mary, Thank you for the invitation to this years' reunion. I'm sorry that I won't be able to make it this year. As you know, Skateland was an important part of my life when I was growing up in Groveland and discovered this great sport and pastime. The 2001 Skateland Reunion rekindled my love for the sport after being away from skating for 30 years. The support and personal attention that you and George give your skaters is unsurpassed. I enjoyed the few short months that I skated from your club in 2001. Although I now "skate and live" in Florida, I think often and fondly of everyone at Skateland. I wish you all a very Happy 2003 Reunion!
-------------------------------------------the rest of this list is in decending chronological order.
From: milazje@NU.COM, Friday, February 02, 2001
Subject: Former Coach: Hello, Just wanted to drop a note and let you know that my dad was a coach at your rink years ago. His name is John Milazzo. I will be sure to pass on the information about your anniversary to him. He nows owns a rink in Middletown, CT and has been there for 35 years. Both my son (John Lorette) and I coach there as well. Thanks, JoAnn Milazzo
From: WllmFllws@aol.com, Friday, February 02, 2001
HI nice job on making it to 50, there are only a small amount of us left, hope to be at the party, or at your reunion, Bill Fellows Jr., Organist and rink operator, Long Beach Skateland, 53yr in April of 2001!
From: Mike and Pat Jacques, firstname.lastname@example.org, February 12, 2001
Hi, my family (Jacques) and my wife's family (Nollets) skated there from the 50's to the 70's. Pat and I got married in 1973 and moved to California where we live, own and teach skating in Roseville. We have visited Haverhill a few years ago and were impressed with the improvements and especially the paintings. We have many fond memories of practicing and competing there. We have a 24 year old Kristina and 22 year old David who skate competitively and work in our rink for us. Wish we could make the anniversary party, but will be there in thought and our regards to old friends that may be there.
From: Dennis Weeks, August 22, 2001
I was a member of the Haverhill Skating Club Skating Club in the late 60's and early 70's. My coaches were Fred Bergeron, Irene Miller and David Howard. After leaving the Haverhill area, I skated for a club in Medford Mass for a few years. The people who I remember from Medford are my partner Anne Jones and John and Phil Mullen, the pros there. I once skated with Karen O'Malley and Karyn Foley and I knew the Chaputs and MacIssacs the previous owners of Skateland. I still skate from time to time. I plan to go to Haverhill soon to see the rink again. I live about 45 minutes north in Moody Beach, Maine (part of Wells). From the pictures on the web site the rink looks great. Dennis Weeks
From: AnnetteDeBisz@AOL.COM, August 27, 2001
Hello, My Name is Annette DeBisz (maiden name LABELLA) My family and I practically lived at Skateland back in the 70"s. My brother Stephen knew the origional owners and helped fix the sound system at the time. I have many fond memories of Skateland and I had many private and group lessons and competition. I am very happy to see about the reunion and we will all be there. I cannot wait to show my daughter who is 9 Skateland. We will be coming back to skate again. We live in Chelmsford, MA and we have always travelled from Billerica because of the floor and the "warm environment". I am very excited to try the new floor. (There is nothing better than a wood floor for true skaters).
Hi , My name is "Gail Polansky". I raced in the "National Amature Roller Skating Association" from 1971-1980. I was on the "Whitehouse Speed Team", in New Jersey.We were a seperate league than the "RSA". Our team won four national championships, four years in a row! I was wondering if you have any information if "N.A.R.S.A. is still in existance, or if you hear from any other old timers like myself. Those were some of the fun times! "Jim Cook" wooden wheels on wood floors, "Bostik" I had a great pair of kangaroo leather boots too! Well , Just saying "HELLO" Gail Polansky,406 Key Place, Little Egg Harbor,NJ.08087-1303
From Denise Wareham, August 28, 2001, email@example.com
I practically grew up at Skateland, during the mid to late 50's and into the mid 60's. My father, Fred Davis, was an avid skater and insisted on my learning all of the dances with him. We used to spend every Friday evening, Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon session there. Although our home was in Beverly, I felt as though Haverhill was a second home for me; having never realized that the rink was actually in Bradford! Some of my memories include ... Free-style sessions on Saturday night after the regular session was over ... there was some real talent out on that floor on those nights; Nancy Johnson pairing up with Dave Howard for the dance sets; Dave's mother working at the concession stand; races on Sunday afternoon; Singing Trios; Ladies only; Carol Champion who used to be there as often as I was; Kenny Short was another one I remember; the ladies room ... where I used to hide out to get a break from my dad! All good times and last, but not least, counting the cars on those cargo trains as we waited for the rink to open (there were many times that the doors would open before the whole train would pass, and, we assumed that there must have been hundreds of cars on those trains). Any chance of devoting Sunday evening to an old-time skate night? All of us from the fifty's and sixty's would be perfect patrons since we now have some bucks to devote to skating since the kids are now grown. I have just recently had my 30-something-year-old Snyder plates outfitted with new boots and Mercury wheels (I couldn't believe that those plates and boots still exist on the market ... just shows you how good they were!) and I'm looking for a good old-fashioned night of skating on a regular basis. I'd go on Tuesdays, but, I just can't work that into my current schedule. Denise (Davis) Wareham firstname.lastname@example.org
From Linda Doiron, September 5, 2001
My name is Linda Doiron I live in Portland, Maine and started art skating at the age of ten. I skated at a very small rink in Portland when the association was RSROA. I started taking lessons from a gentleman who came from OHIO and had skated under the association. At the time we skated we had State Meets with New Hampshire. My first competition was in 1962 at the Turnpike Rollerway in Nashua NH. I skated Junior girls freestyle event, then went on to skate Novice team, Novice back then was beginner. I skated competitively until 1965. During the period 1962 to 1964 we skated art sessions on Sunday night in Haverhill, then Carbone's. I remember the orgainist and the theater style seats and the mirors at end of the rink. I also remember Ray Chaput, in fact when we had our proficiency tests in Portland he was always asked to be one of the judges. I stopped skating in 1964 and did not return until 1989 as a result of a reunion with some of the old skaters from our Eight Wheelers Skate Club from Portland. I have since then become involved in art skating again and have been competing since 1991. I have skated Haverhill off and on but found it difficult to travel too many times a week; however, last night 9/4/01 was a dream come true. The floor is great, I felt very relaxed and all the skating friends were great....it was like old home week.....everyone really got caught up in the moment and it was nice. I look forward to making Tuesday nights a regular event again and hope that more people will also . Great job Mary, George and Marc.......you know the line from Field of Dreams "If you build it, they will come" well, I think that will be the case with Skateland.......Thank you for a lovely evening of skating. Linda.Doiron@State.Me.US
From: Elinor Saldi, September 22, 2001
Dear Mark, Mary and George. Just want to wish you the best of luck with your new skating floor and helping to carry on the wonderful sp;ort of rollerskating. I remember Skateland, when they were building it and was one of the first people to ever skate on the floor when the Carbone family owned it. I spent many wonderful hours there skating to the live organ music. I was a competitive skater from the year 1959-1976 when I retired a Nation Champion. It was because of Skateland that I got started with my skating career and was a member of their very first Skating Club there, also a member of their first Judges Panel and even got to skate Sr. Dance with your Mom, George and Mary. My daughter Debbie and Cindi, also skated there and made several friends througout the years. Now Cindi comes skating when she is not busy with her work, and brings her little daughter. Cindi also became a Nationl Skating Champion. I had the pleasure of being Robert Bixby's skating partner, who also was one of Skateland's dedicated skater and also was the one who fixed everyone's skates for them back in the 50's. He worked there for many years helping to maintain the building and I am sorry to say, that Bob passed away just a few short months ago from cancer. Also his Mom just passed away recently and always was there at every session to watch all the skaters. He was a member of the first Pairs, Fours, Singles, Artistic Dance and Sr. Mens figure Skating. If he was still living, he would have gone to the reunion. We had the pleasure of skating for Ray Chaput, Irene Miller, and with all of Skatelandd's oldest members. I hope to be able to come and visit you one of these days but in the meantime, good luck to you, your family, your skaters and your business. Keep up the good work. Sincerely Elinor Saldi Gregory. email@example.com
September 26, 2001, Sylvia Haffke, firstname.lastname@example.org
****JUST WANTED TO CONGRATULATE YOUR FAMILY ON PRESERVING A WONDERFUL RINK AND LANDMARK. ****I, MYSELF, REPRESENTED THE HAVERHILL SKATING CLUB IN 1956 WHEN MY BROTHER, HENRY HAFFKE, WAS THE COACH. HAVERHILL WAS A VERY NICE EXPERIENCE FOR ME AS, IN ADDITION TO MEETING SOME WONDERFUL PEOPLE FROM THAT AREA, I ALSO RECEIVED MY FIRST U.S. PLACEMENT. SKATING WITH MY BROTHER DANA, GWENDOLYN FITCH, FROM SPRINGFIELD, AND HAVERHILL NATIVE, MIKE AGNELLO WE PLACED 3RD IN SR FOURS AT THE NATIONALS IN RICHMOND, VA. ****I HAD A GREAT TIME THAT YEAR, LOVED THE RINK, AND HAVE MANY FOND MEMORIES OF THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE. ****I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST SUCCESS FOR THE FUTURE AND THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO CONTINUE OUR GREAT SPORT OF ROLLER SKATING. SYLVIA H. HAFFKE
September 26, 2001 from Walter Hardy. WalterH@tomey.com
Thanks for the great time last night. My wife and I skated for Ray Chaput back in the late 60's. You could say that Skateland changed our lives forever. We skated, married, and raised four great kids. We have stayed in touch with many skaters throughout the years, Mike & Pat Jacques, Joyce Nollet, and Bruce Fitzpatrick to name a few. Last night we had a chance to talk to Syvia Hafke, Bob Morino, Kathy Miller, and Fred Bergeron. Don't rack you brain trying to remember us, we really didn't leave our mark on the sport like others. We are planning to dust off the skates, and return soon (Tuesdays). What a great job you have done with the building. Skateland has a new lease on life. Thanks again for last night, and making us feel young again. Walter & Karen (Wilson) Hardy
October 14, 2001
Congratulations on your anniversary! It's been quite a few years since I've been there, but I remember it well!! Tim Holloran Skateland Organist 1976 thru 1980
October 31, 2001, from KNailcult@aol.com
GREAT REUNION!!! THE RINK LOOKS BEAUTIFUL. My name is Karyn Foley Cormier and I started skating at Skateland in the 60's. What a fun time it was to go back into the rink. Walking into Skateland was like going home!! I was in classes and club there when Ray and Cindy owned the rink . I made many nice friends in my years of skating there as did my Mom, my Aunt , and my Nana did while sitting with mother's row!! My husband Donald (former roller hockey player from Whalom Park) and I have been back for a few Tues.evening sessions since the reunion . Dennis Weeks and I have even tried to get through the first set of dances. Who knows what's next? Congratulations to George , Mary , & Marc for bringing Skateland back. Karyn Foley Cormier
December 15, 2001, from David Tassinari
Many years have passed since last I was in Haverhill or in what is now your rink. My first time was in 1953 at the MA State Championships. I skated Junior Boys Singles (today's Freshman) at age 11 and won against Freddy Ford the favorite to win. He looked like a Novice man and I looked like a Juvenile boy. We both bombed out at regionals because of too much NY talent like Eddie Cline, Henry Abrami, and CT Edgar Watrous. But I hung in there for several years and they faded away, and the rest is roller history. Plus I chose and skated with extremely talented, gorgeous women (Diane and Patricia). Datassinari@aol.com
January 4, 2002, JHodges34@cs.com from South Florida
I have very fond memories of skateland as I use to skate there in the late 50's. Glad that you still operate.
March 19, 2002, HHarriman@aol.com
Hello, I just had to add my recollections to this wonderful collection of old time skaters from Skateland. My wife (Evelyn DeCarlo) and I were both skaters from the 50’s and 60’s at Skateland. Evelyn started skating before I did in the very early days after the opening and I soon afterwards. We met at Skateland eventually were skating partners going to nationals in Oakland California in 1957. We then got married and slowly drifted away from skating while raising our 3 Daughters. We often reminisce about the old days at Skateland in the 50’s, what a wonderful time that was. On a Friday and Saturday night the floor was completely filled during the dance sessions, not only with Haverhill skaters but many from other rinks because Skateland had the best skaters and everyone wanted to be there. The figure clubs were nearly as crowded; at times I remember the members spread out at the straightaway rail from one end to the other. There were many State, Regional and National champions from that era as well as many just plain good skaters. How many remember Dick Madigan and Joan Widder, Bob Tift and Barbara Lecolst, George Sargent and Doris Basilere, Bob Bixby and Joan Guimmond, Claire Lajoie and Ray Lussier, Jack Cahill and Fran Caltabellotta, Bob Steere and Mary Kelly, John Boland and Elaine Lajoie, Myself and Carol Ann Gallerani, Evelyn Decarlo and Ernie Basilere, Steve Sewasky, Mike Agnello, the MaGee sisters, Albert Roy, Dick Boiven, Burt Gilbert, Diane Anderson, Lorraine Comeau, Billy Madigan, Ken Fairbrother, Joyce Greico, Shirley Bourque, Walter Lagasse, Gordon Poole, Tony Danese, Barbara Middleton the Sweeny sisters, Bobby Wilson, Ginger Prescott, and so many others that I have missed. During our years there we had several professionals teaching skating Don Homans, Bill DesHarnis, Russell Arradondo, Henry Hafke, John Milazzo, Ray Chaput. The organists during that period were Bill DesHarnis, George Brackett, and later on Charlie Hillner, Jr. In the skate room might be Mr. Louie Carbone, Kenny Kochakian or Mr. Edgar Guimmond building our skates. How many people remember the shows at the rink in 1955 and 1956, they were pretty elaborate productions. Atillio or Aldo Carbone, or maybe Bob Carbone would be at the door to collect your admission. Mrs. Carbone might be at the snack bar with Mrs. Ann Murphy or Mrs. LeClaire, or perhaps my Mother, or Mrs. LeColst. At the coat room on the weekends would always be Mrs. Mae Keif. Our families were apt to be at the rink almost every night of the rink. My Mother-in-law Laura met her second husband George Durling at the rink, my mother Eva worked in the coat room and later the snack bar, my father helped out with many items for the rink and both my brother Leslie and my sister Ruth were competitive skaters, both skating dance competitively with Ruthie going to nationals twice in fours competition. Evelyn and I moved to Cape Cod in 1967 and never expected to be in skating again as there were no rinks nearby. Then came the boom in skating in the late 70’s and two rinks were built in Hyannis near our home. We started skating again and before we knew it we were taking lessons from Don Homans in Norwood and David Tassinari in Marshfield in preparation to teach in one of the rinks in Hyannis, Pro Skate. We had a fantastic two and one half years there then when financial problems occurred in the rink we moved with our students to Marshfield and then Lincoln Park and finally Seekonk, Mass., where after eight years teaching and on the road we retired from teaching. Ah, here we were living in Southwestern Florida, with no idea of ever seeing a rink again, when I went to a birthday party with my granddaughter at a rink in Ft. Myers. Come to find out the rink, called Generations Skating Center, has 3 all adult all organ sessions a week. Hooked again, skating 3 times a week, and giving an adult class once a week. Many skaters have visited us from the northeast, among them our old friend David Tassinari, if you are in the area stop in and see us. We will plan on visiting Skateland on our next trip north, in the summer preferably. Harold &Evelyn Harriman
Harrimans now and then (with John Milazzo).
Ron Santosucci, RFordidiot@aol.com, March 19, 2002
My name is Ron Santosucci. I started skating about 1955 at Sam Sholes' "Sholes Riverview in Dorchester. This sport turned out to be my first love (back when you could have fun without getting into trouble). I have lost track of almost all my skating friends. Even with computers now, it's difficult to trace people especially the girls as they change their names when they marry. Have a lot of good memories of these people. From Sholes Riverview I went to Co-Ed in Allston,Ma.(William T. Dimarzio skating club) and also Chez-Vous in Dorchester,Ma.. Also Lakeview Gardens in Weymouth,Ma. and Hough's Neck (Quincy,Ma.). I have played organ a little . Mostly when my friend would take a 20 minute break when he was playing at Bal-a-rou in Medford,Ma..His name was Harry Garafola from Nantasket. Sorry to say, he passed away a year ago January. Sorry to see the demise that most rinks have met and wish you the best of luck. Hard to find a rink that still plays organ music.Do you?...........Ron
ESTERO, FLORIDA Friday, April 05, 2002 from Harold and Evelyn Harriman In our last memoir about Skateland we left out a very important group of people, the floor guards. There were always one or two floor guards for a session, for the large Friday and Saturday night sessions there might be six or eight. They were impressive when they skated out of the office with their blue double-breasted coats with gold buttons maroon pants with a stripe down the leg and a military cap with a visor on it and of course white shirts and bow ties. Some of them were big and rugged and they kept us teenagers under control for the whole session. When they blew their whistles you knew either you or someone else was in trouble. I remember Arthur Morris, Norm Creapeau, Cliff Dolfe, Sr., Jack Tinker, Mr. Deveau, and always Jack Amadeo as a few of them, who remembers any more of their names? We always had a gallery of parents and onlookers watching the session. Mrs. Collins, (Bob Bixby’s Grandmother), Mrs. Emily Bixby, Mr. & Mrs. Boiven, Dick and Orrie Fenlon, Mr. & Mrs. Goff, George and Laura Durling, Norie Anderson are a few we remember. Many couples met and married while at Skateland or afterwards, that would make an interesting list. Many complete families, children and parents, were at the rink together, while I can only mention some of those from the 50’s I am sure this has been true for the whole 50 years of Skateland’s history. Some of the families that were involved were the Drummonds; Tim and Richard, Colontonis; Paul, Tom and Sandra Lee, Deveaus; Ronnie and Jackie, Moreys; Diane and John, Dolfes; Judy and Cliff, Torissis; Charlene, Joan and Barbara, DeFlores, Diregos; George, RoseMary, and Theresa, Harrimans; Harold, Leslie and Ruth, Widders; Joan and Dianne, Kellys; Mary and Kathy, Wilsons; Bob and Nancy, Howards; David and Janice, Fingletons; Dick and Elaine, Agnellos; Mike and Richie, Suleskis; Charlene & John and many more. Many of the parents of the skaters in the next list were there with their children also. Some additions to the skaters in the last list would be Eleanor Saldi, Bob Oulette, Paula Vasta, Joyce Garbaczeski, Cindy Chaput, Judy Gaven, Sandra Malo, Judy Detollenaere, Patti Murphy, Sharon Sweeney, Paul Boyle, Pat Cheney, Kay Murphy, Bob Giampa, Nancy Snow, Billie Porter, Tuckie Hudson, Pat Duhamel, Mary Drapeau, Claire Roberts, Jack Tinker, Bea Sweet, Dick Chagnon, Walley Small, Agnes Curtis, Clyde Lieber, Heather Bilodeau, Billy Vienes, Carmen Danese, Janet Tibbets, Don Gavin, Arthur Evans, Paul Getchell, Barbara Pannerton, Connie Strangman, Maureen Gavin, Jo-Ann Goodrich, John Nicol, Don Clark, Jack DeFeo, Jim Scott, Carol Leclair, Gary Chartier, Luceille Lowes, Jackie Sullivan, Corina Fiorenza, Judy Cortell, Pat Weymouth, Jackie Ladd, Alice Kelly, Ray Viletta, Norman Seymour, Donna Guckert, Ray Blake, Cecilia Richie, Pat Bartlett, Denise Gilmore, the Cascone sisters, Noreen Kelly, Chuck Griggs, Carol Anderson, Thea Anderson, Maureen Martel, Peggy and Pat Rice, Cecile Dion. The 1956 season when Henry Hafke was the pro also brought Lee, Sylvia and Dana Hafke and Gwen and Darlene Fitch to skate with us. We are sorry for those that we have missed, (after all it has been over 40 years since we have seen most of these people), and many thanks to the Carbone family for all the wonderful memories and the Pysche family for carrying on the tradition and this great web site to help keep in touch we hope these articles bring back memories to some of you, and lets hear from more old timers. Harold Harriman and Evelyn DeCarlo Harriman
April 3, 2002, from email@example.com
My name is Jennifer Williams. I was 1999 National Pairs and Dance Junior World Class Champion along with Kevin Kneeland. I just wanted to say hi to all skaters because it takes alot of heart to be a skater and I commend all skaters. Good luck with all your competitions.
July 1, 2002, from Beth Adamy-Maschok, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Mary, George and Marc! Wow, I was thrilled to see the pictures of Skateland! Boy did it bring back lots of memories! Congrats on doing such a great job! Well, a little about myself... I am happily married and living in Chesapeake, Virginia. I have a wonderful family and I am still involved in skating as a coach, in fact, my stepson even competed on my precision team last year that I did with Gail Easton. Kayla, my daughter is 2 1/2 and skates a bit. I stopped competing about 6 years ago after winning several Classic Dance titles at Nationals with Anthony DaPonte. I'm attaching some pictures of Kayla, she's my pride and joy! My mom, Carol, is also living down here and still gets lots of enjoyment coming to the rink to watch practice. Keep up the great work! Love, Beth Adamy-Maschok
September 29, 2002, from Jack Cahill, email@example.com
Hi Mary, My name is Jack Cahill and my wife"s maiden name was Frances Caltabellotta. We were avid competitive skaters @ Skateland from about 53 thru 56 along with Harold Harriman and Evelyn DeCarlo-Harriman and many others. I also skated frequentlly with Barbara LeColst @ various competive event events, held a judges comission and in'56 was VP of the Skating Club along with Pres. Dick Bouvin, I left the skating scene in late '56 via the USAF and Fran continued skating for another year. In '57 we married and left the scene forever......we thought! In '79, after many years of work and travel for GE we found ourselves in Ft Wayne, IN. We became avid Golfers in the Auburn, IN area and found a "new" rink under construction called "The Skatin Station" ....need I say more?? We had to give it a try... wow after soo many years, what an experience.. and short boots?! !?!? It was a struggle but very quickly we got our skating legs going again, coupled with new "short" boots & of course "Snyder Plates"!!! We loved it! Eventually, we were approached by the owners to teach! Wow, at our age?? What an ego booster. We contacted the RSROA, got our Pro Certs and off we went...had a great time, lot's of fun with Kids and Adults alike. Alas, all good things must come to an end and in '84 I was transferred to GE in Lynn where I retired in '92 @ age 55.... Wow, looking back at our skating experiences, what great memories we have and great friends /people we have met. How fortunate we have been. Let's change the subject. I do not recognize your name? Were you skating in our time? Are you a POC for Skatelands Re-unions etc?? Do you have a mail list of former skaters? A schedule for upcoming events/re-unions? We now live in s! outhern Maine and would like to attend any upcoming events, even if our skates no longer fit!!! Would very much like to hear from you. Thanks for listening and have a Good Day!! Regards, Jack & Fran Cahill, West Newfield, ME
November 17, 2002, from Jerry Davichik, Jerry.Davichik@dnacompanies.com
Dear Marc, Mary and George, First I want to congratulate you on a terrific job of bringing “The Rink” back from out of the past. I’m sure that the youngsters today (and those young at heart) get as much, if not more, enjoyment from your efforts as we did in our time. (I skated from the mid 50’s to the mid 60’s with a significant part of that time in the competitive arena.) And although the music and the decorations have changed some, the benefits, both physical and social, derived from the participation in a sport such as skating are still immeasurable. You are providing a very valuable environment to our youth of today!
But one thing I would like to bring to your attention is a group of dedicated skaters that appear to have been left out, or forgotten, (I’m sure not intentionally) in your efforts to reunite the avid skaters of the past.
This is the group of skaters, that for whatever the reasons, couldn’t quite make it to the competitive level, or maybe skated competitive but were unable to gain recognition by “placing” in sanctioned events. But, were far more dedicated and involved than just the so-called “session skaters”. This group of skaters worked very hard to achieve proficiency medals and to be “promoted” from one club level to another. And although not being able to travel or compete in meets, competed against their peers for accomplishment and recognition in proficiency.
This group of skaters, was, and probably still is, the “Club Members”. Whether they were in the 5 o’clock club, the 6 o’clock, or maybe they even earned their way to the Bronze, Silver, Gold or Senior clubs. Perhaps you may want to think about a category for them on your guest book page. They contributed a lot to making “the Rink” what it was, and what it is.
Keep up the good work!! Sincerely, Jerry Davichik
P.S. My Company and I are IWA and IAWMD certified in web design and Internet technology. You can visit us at http://www.dnacompanies.com.
February 17, 2002, from Eva
Hi: My name is Eva Shea (Pelland) firstname.lastname@example.org, my home rink was the Hi Hat in Lowell, MA, but also did some session skating in 1950 - 60's at Skateland. I remember we put on a show for charity that was held at the Boston Arena (combining club members from other rinks) and our practice sessions for the show were held at Skateland. I was thrilled to hear that Skateland has reopened and plan to inform some of the skating friends that I have contact with on Classmates.com. I plan to go some Tuesday night and enjoy the fun. Thanks for a wonderful site. Eva Shea (Pelland) Hi Mary: Nice to hear from you. I was in the Boston Arena show (Autumn Leaves), I think that was for Jimmy Fund (?) and Billy Madigan introduced me to my first love when we were practing for the show (not the man I married). I am 57 yrs old...started skating at the Hi Hat when I was 4 1/2..took lessons from Doris Bizer..placed 3rd in Tiny Tot free style @ States in Revere when I was 6 yrs..and then enjoyed dance better then free style, skated in a number of dance competion, but was an average skater. My Mom was very strict so I wasn't allowed to travel to all the competions and didn't take private lesson for dance. I still have my last pair of skates (purchased when I was 16 yrs) and did have the wheels changed for outdoors about 15 yrs ago, but really haven't even done that for about 8 yrs, do to back issues which have healed themselves. My family and the Whitneys were very good friends, we vacation at Alton Bay and skated there also. Ma Whitney and Ettie were wonderful. I was married in June 1963 at the ripe old age of 18 (to another skater) and we lived near Boston...I became pregnant 3 months later, so we stopped skating then, those were the old days when you stopped about everything! haha I'm sure, I probably met your husband when we stopped by the rink to say hi to everyone. Before I was married I lived within walking distance to the rink. I am still working and do get up at 5:30 every morning, but some Tuesday night I will show-up and introduce myself. I live in Malden, MA so I am not that far away. Well I didn't mean to bore you with my life history, still have more, but the bottom line is skating was a wonderful part of my life, like I'm sure many others...many wonderful memories. How did you skaters do at Beverly? Sincerely, Eva M Shea
On May 5, 2003, Jim Kohl--- Kohlskaters@aol.com wrote:
Subject: America on Wheels.... My name is Jim Kohl and my dance partner was Gail Sprong, we skated at the skating lub of Boulevard, Bayonne, NJ. Our pros were Jude and Audry Cull.We skated National Championships in Indiana, The big ARSA organization with international style of dancing. Forgot to mention it was in 1959. You seem to have sparked up interest in your rink as well as the web site. If we should ever be in the area, we will be sure to stop. I hope anybody from the AOW rinks signs in and let us know where you are. I am now in Burlington County in southwest NJ. Looking for Richie Gatty, Betty Cunningham, Mary Ryan, Alice Betzler, Michele Gaudenzi, Ray Musser, Richie Reese, Paul Sullivan, Diane Meegan, Eddie Moody. Thank you & Good Luck