By Tim Linscott
On Friday, May 2, the Six Aces Skating Rink closed its doors with a boisterous crowd of children, teens and adults all heading out into the rainy night.
Robin Clement watched the final person go out the door and began the process of shutting off lights and preparing to head home.
Several locals shared their memories of the rink on its final night:
CJ Rezac, Grant: Rezac brought her grandsons, Brock and Rider for one more go-around of wholesome family fun.
“Where else can you go to have this much fun and get exercise as a family?” Rezac asked.
She began skating at the Crescent Ballroom, the forerunner of Six Aces, many years ago and took dance lessons there.
“My brothers told me if I stepped on the railroad tracks when I walked to dance lessons that a train would come and hit me so I’d get to the tracks and stand there and stand there and then ran over those tracks,” Rezac said.
A county-wide dance club was also housed at the Crescent.
Her parents had their 25th wedding anniversary at the rink.
“It is just a shame to see it close,” Rezac said. “Where else can you go and see young couples, little kids and adults all skating together? It is just a great community happening.”
She feels the rink is more fun now with the various games and activities held at Six Aces.
Periodically, Clement would have a theme night, including a costume party on Halloween, to keep things lively.
Trina Knispel and son Colton of Ogallala came to skate one more time.
“This is a great experience for the kids. It is like reliving my own childhood,” Knispel.
Bob Tatum also remembers the Crescent Ballroom and has memories of it being the place to be Friday and Saturday night.
“All the kids skated here as kids. Once we got older, there were some great bands here for dances,” Tatum said.
Back in the days of AM radio being a powerful medium, Tatum recalls that radio stations from Chicago and Oklahoma City would advertise the dances at the Crescent Ballroom.
“People from all over knew about this place and would pack it every weekend,” Tatum said.
Tatum will miss Six Aces and what it represents to the community.
“Not a lot of towns have this option for kids anymore,” Tatum said.
Tim Bishop grew up in Grant and remembers coming to Six Aces first with his friends and then later on dates with girlfriends.
Bishop was taking his wife and daughters to the rink for one more go-around.
“We skated every Saturday. It is just what you did back then,” Bishop said. “I hope they can keep it going for the next generation.”
Bishop has fond memories of getting filled with candy and soda and spending time with his friends.
“It is a great place for the younger generation to hang out and keep them out of trouble,” Bishop said. “It is also great to see kids from Grant and Ogallala and all over inter-mingle with other kids and parents socializing with other parents.”
Jeff Craig holds a special place in his heart for Six Aces. He has been the DJ for 15 years and started out as just another skater. He made lifetime memories on the rink floor with his son who has cerebral palsy.
“Robin let me take his wheel chair out on the floor and skate with him, so I am grateful to her for that,” Craig said. “It is such a special place.”
Craig grew up in North Platte skating regularly and said Six Aces is something unique that many places do not have and he hopes Grant can keep up the tradition.
“Time marches on,” Craig said. “I will miss this.”