San Diego native blood runs through my heart, so each time I hear of a childhood hangout going under, my heart is torn. Next on that growing list of sob stories is Skateworld in Linda Vista.
I grew up skating here and at Aquarius in La Mesa where the large Ford dealer currently resides. Nervously asking the boy across the rink you’ve been trying to show off for to take your hand for couples skate to “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and strutting my own skating skills on my rented quads to “Jam On It” by Newcleus. Monty, the Charger loving DJ provided the soundtrack to my youth while Harry quietly fixed my skates over the counter and owner, Gary Stang taught me a thing or to about skating and his son, Brett always wowed the rink with his jam skating abilities. A strange, dysfunctional family… but a family none-the-less.
Skateworld is the last skate rink in San Diego, with earlier departures over the decades including Palisade Gardens (North Park), Aquarius (La Mesa), Roller Skateland (Santee), Ups and Downs (Escondido), among others.
The Reader shares the story of the recent vote to by the San Diego Redevelopment Agency to approve a negotiation agreement on June 15 with a development company for the agency-owned property.
From what I know, Gary did try to buy the property on several occasions. I’m not sure how much he offered or how hard he tried, but I know if the city had plans, then no amount of money could have dissuaded the decision. Please take a few moments to sign this online petition. I’m not sure if it will help, but it sure beats doing nothing.
The loss of this “community center” is truly tragic. I know that a collaboration with the city would never work with the pure business minded personality of Gary; but, since roller skating is all Gary (and his son who was supposed to take over the family business one day) knows I hope that he doesn’t give up on creating a space for people to skate. I was really hoping that one day Thomas would be cruising on quads to “More Bounce to the Ounce” by Zapp & Roger.