Growing up in the 1970s in Newburgh was pretty fun. We had no video games (although pong was introduced during my childhood), no cell phones, no Chuck E. Cheese, and no real arcades. But we stayed busy. There was the movies, bowling, and one of my favorite things: Roller skating. Particularly at The Avalon Roller Rink.

Everyone was accepted at The Avalon. The cool kids skated there, the nerdy kids, the jocks, we all were equal at The Avalon.

Saturday afternoons at The Avalon were awesome. You’d run into all your friends, skate for hours on end, and eat frozen Milkshake candy bars, which I have been searching for, by the way. Apparently, they don’t make them anymore.

But back to The Avalon. If my memory serves me correctly, there was a snack bar. I’m pretty sure we would get french fries with ketchup. I can still picture it. And when I mastered crossing one foot over the other to navigate the turn of the oval, it was a proud moment indeed. I feel as if I was racing around that oval at a pretty high speed. I’m now sure that I wasn’t, but it sure felt like it back then. There was the moonlight skate, and of course, the reverse skate. There was also the Hokey Pokey on skates. That’s what it was all about.

And then there was Tiny. I’m not sure what his role was at The Avalon, but everybody remembers him, and he was anything but tiny. Everyone was accepted at The Avalon. The cool kids skated there, the nerdy kids, the jocks, we all were equal at The Avalon. At least some of us thought so. I’m sure the cool kids still felt cooler than us. The Avalon is long gone, but the memories aren’t.

Did you grow up in the Newburgh area? Are you old enough to remember going skating at The Avalon? Got a memory you’d like to share? Because I’d love to hear about your Avalon experiences or any memories from the Newburgh/New Windsor area.

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