The Return to Pattison's West

Pattison's West is much more than the Federal Way, WA, skating rink where Apolo Ohno got his start. When I attended St. Vinnie's Catholic elementary and junior high, Pattison's West was the social refuge where I donned the silk shirt, roller blades and exorbitant amounts of cologne to get my game on. Social history was made and broken at this rink, so were Scott's teeth.

During one fateful night, Scott crashed and landed on his face, knocking out his two front teeth right there on the rink. He later had them replaced with porcelain teeth, which is why we called him "potty mouth" or "toilet teeth" for a period of time.

I don't know why Kenna chose this location for her 28th birthday, and especially during spring break, but I was nostalgically excited to return onFriday night. Amanda and I walked up to the ticket booth and the old guy at the counter only said, "I hope you like teenagers."

Only one thing has changed since I last stepped foot in Pattison's West 16 years ago -- I've gotten older. NOTHING has changed inside the place: same carpet, same stained-glass decor around the signage, same all-sugar menu. The hardwood rink hasn't changed either and is probably in the best shape of the whole facility. I wish my floors looked that good at my own house. Man, I am an old dude making a statement like that.

The place stunk with hormones of the hundreds of young teenagers who flooded the rink. There were really three sets of audiences at Pattison's West: young kids aged 10-13, their parents and Kenna's birthday party of late 20-somethings. Our group put on the old school rental skates and hit the floor with some hesitation. We had the advantage of towering over most everyone else in the rink, but we were also likely to make roadkill out of the many kids in our path.

I was a little rusty on the four wheels, having preferred inlines back in my heyday. In contrast, Kenna, Beard and Tyler looked like they were out of some disco music video, swerving in between groups, crossing over skates to take turns and even showing dance moves as they were skating. It was like watching a disco music video with those three. Kenna, I'm going to have to call you "Rollergirl" from here on out. It was a great party!