Home > Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts > Wings Of Steel… Skating On Thin Ice

Wings Of Steel… Skating On Thin Ice

Thursday, March 13, 2014
Skating On Thin Ice, But Smilin’ All The While

So Izze had a skating session at the Bird Arena at OU in Athens this afternoon. Vanessa was working at the Psylodelic Gallery getting ready for Grace Slick’s art show opening next week at the Fur Peace Ranch so I offered to take our girl to the rink. Now I got to thinking… it’s been three decades since I strapped the blades on, but I figured, what the heck, I’ll rent some figure skates and we’ll go together.

When I was nine or ten, I studied figure skating with Dick Button when we lived in D.C. I loved to skate, but figure skating wasn’t really my cup of tea. The ballet requirements were just too hard. Years later when I go turned on to Speed Skating watching the ’72 Winter Games, Jack, myself and Margareta wound up taking some speed skating lessons from Red McCarthy who was teaching in a rink in Los Angeles. (check out the video)

Red... the man... the legend

Red... the man... the legend

We had been skating in San Francisco at a rink owned by Harris and Phyllis Legg… also Olympic skaters from the thirties. Harris and Red both barrel jumped and did stunts in the Ice Follies and the Ice Capades. What a treat.

Anyway, training and skating really consumed me in my ‘off’ time from 1972 to 1980. Today as I laced up my rented figure skates, I wondered how it would go. After all, it’s been a very long time and I am, by any one’s measure, an older man. That was the question.

Then answer was… it went great. Izze took it upon herself to pass her lessons on to me and I had such a great time, that I’m buying a new pair of skates, and I’m going to start skating again. Zero impact, great exercise, great fun… and… I know how to do it. Next week, I’m going up to Columbus to the rink there an order some new short track speed skates.

That's my girl

That's my girl

As always… youth leading the way… age following as best we can.

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon


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  1. Barbara Jacobs
    March 13th, 2014 at 22:48 | #1

    OOH: “Goodnight Moon”. Nice photo.

    Take to the ice and glide, Jorma, glide!

  2. March 13th, 2014 at 23:02 | #2

    THAT is a great story!

  3. Robert
    March 14th, 2014 at 00:15 | #3

    I imagine Red skated Winterland when it was an ice rink and they had the Follies there. So you gonna start training for PyeongChang South Korea 2018?

  4. Hamneggs
    March 14th, 2014 at 06:33 | #4

    Guess skating is like riding a bike. NOT a surfboard , had a friend attempt both a few summers ago in Rockaway Beach.
    Love All Ways
    thanks for your comments yesterday Barbara

    @Barbara Jacobs

  5. Steve Levenson
    March 14th, 2014 at 08:59 | #5

    I think “Hot Tuna on Ice” may be a good crossover idea. Much rather see you and Jack skate instead of Lilo & Stitch.

  6. HOGAN
    March 14th, 2014 at 09:59 | #6


    You are creating such wonderful father and daughter memories that she will cherish forever. Enjoy….
    See you in a couple of weeks.


  7. Barbara Jacobs
    March 14th, 2014 at 13:33 | #7

    You’re welcome.

    I also agree with you about surfing: I surfed a lot in my younger years.
    In my middle-age years, my center of gravity has shifted and my balance is off.
    I can paddle-board, which is a nice, calm time on the water.@Hamneggs

  8. Barbara Jacobs
    March 14th, 2014 at 13:38 | #8

    “Red” is a skating legend, but that outfit he’s wearing in the photo kinda’
    scares me.

    Jorma: Now that you’re back on the ice, is it possible that you will dress as “Red” in a 2014 version of that get-up, this Halloween?

  9. Larry Petrillo
    March 14th, 2014 at 18:45 | #9

    Here is a place upriver from me that has nordic skates. Used for ponds and rivers. Long blades but not as unforgiving as speed skates (which they also sell).

    Typically the blades they sell attach to x-c ski boots (which allows you to walk right to the skating point then clip on your blades and go.) Also available to attach in a more generic way to most every type of winter boot. Check out:


  10. Bake
    March 14th, 2014 at 19:02 | #10

    It’s never ever to late to skate! When I was kid we stayed after school on the west side rink and skated till dark or when Dad was done at the high school. There was always a pick up hockey game , but what really drew our attention was barrel jumping! Does anyone remember this craziness? We couldn’t get enough of it. The first pair of racers I got were second hand and they fit like a glove, man those were good days! We used to go up on the reservoir at night and to be out there when its so cold you can hear the ice expand, sounds like whales under water. I still skate and find it very relaxing. My suggestion would be to pick up a pair of low cut long track Riedell’s. Great fit and a nice easy glide, 17 ” are perfect! Enjoy! If you can find them Zandstra blades they’re the best.

  11. Greg Martelli
    March 14th, 2014 at 19:59 | #11

    Maybe we will be treated next weekend to the often
    overlooked gems from Creation & volunteers :
    In time
    If you feel
    Turn my life down,
    To quote the Beach Boys – wouldn’t it be nice.
    All perfect in harmonic scale for the intimacy of the barn at Fur peace.

  12. March 14th, 2014 at 22:54 | #12

    Jorma, thanks for acknowledging teachers. I’m in my 6th year as a high school art teacher in NYC, and it is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had…Common Core is just one more example of politicians and bureaucrats trying to solve a problem they don’t really seem to understand very well. Here in NYC, the difficulties we encounter in education are attributable to socio-economic issues more than teaching practices…but it’s far easier to point the blaming finger at teachers, rather than to restructure society at large. I do try to expose my students to a wide variety of music while they’re working on their art projects…It’s very cool when they have a positive response to “old school” stuff. I’ve even slipped Hot Tuna in there!

  13. John B
    March 15th, 2014 at 10:02 | #13

    Good stuff Jorma.

  14. Hamneggs
    March 15th, 2014 at 12:33 | #14

    I think Marty one upped the ante on Jorma singing Miracles next week.
    Last night at the Slick Benefit, Marty’s trio were joined by Slick, Hurley band , two horn players and the Rock and Roll Chorus , a group of young singers.
    Plastic Fantastic, Hearts, Count on Me, Today, Miracles, Atlanta Lady, and it was beautiful to see a large number of young people with fists in the air on stage singing “Fight Back” with Marty during Volunteers.
    Thanks to Lou Gramm and his band for their nice set.
    Enjoy next weekend. Sounds great.
    Love All Ways

  15. March 15th, 2014 at 16:12 | #15

    Keep rockin my friend…seen you a few times SF…late 60s

  16. Barbara Jacobs
    March 15th, 2014 at 17:11 | #16

    Jorma : re your photo: “Goodnight Moon”.
    It would be nice if you sent it to Peter Rowan.
    Peter’s daughter, Amanda is working on a documentary about Peter and I’m helping her.
    It would be a great addition to the content and packaging of the DVD.

  17. Barbara Jacobs
    March 15th, 2014 at 19:11 | #17

    For those here on this blog-comments site:
    If any of you have a photo(s) of Peter Rowan, please let me know.

    Amanda is a fine photographer, however, we are looking for photo images of her
    father, Peter; to be included in the documentary.

    Thanks, all!

  18. carlo pagliano
    March 16th, 2014 at 08:12 | #18

    The moon had something added on last night.
    She shone mightily heart to heart her selenic way bowing herself out where daybreak calls.
    What a splendid concert Hot Tuna performed at the Ridgefield Playhouse to cheer this great revolving year.
    Steady As She Goes Jorma!

  19. Tom in St. Louis
    March 16th, 2014 at 15:47 | #19

    “Zero impact”, my ASS.
    Have fun!

  20. cyndyconsentino
    March 17th, 2014 at 11:17 | #20

    Dear Jorma,

    So excited to hear that you are skating again!! This is wonderful news!!
    Enjoy this great sport with Izze!!

    Best to you and yours,


  21. mrlbem
    March 17th, 2014 at 18:47 | #21


    Don’t know about Miracles, but I always thought that Jorma could pull off a fine version of “Comin’ Back to Me.”

  22. Scott Meyers
    March 18th, 2014 at 17:45 | #22

    Great skating with the kids indeed. Enjoy.

  23. Timothy McIntosh
    March 19th, 2014 at 15:20 | #23

    I learned to skate at the rink on 48th ave in The Sunset. Here are some thought on Leggs from people who also skated there.

  24. steve Nerlfi
    March 24th, 2014 at 16:31 | #24

    As the Bahama Kid once told me:
    You’re skating once, you’re skating twice.
    Before you know it, you’re skating again.

  25. Barbara Rowe Carlson
    May 4th, 2015 at 19:10 | #25

    Hi Jorma, I loved reading your “blades of steel” comment and your passing it on to Izze. I too was very much in love with skating and would walk to the overflow ponds of Rock Creek and spend the day in complete contentment. When a youth, I figure skated at the DC rink on Connect Ave. the pro said you should have started years earlier.