Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…
One of my greatest pleasures of my childhood was roller skating every Friday and Saturday night at the Dongola Roller Rink.
Me and the King… the Pass It On for August 26th, 2019… brought to you by Pass One Hour Heating & Air… here’s Francis Pass…
The roller rink had various games we played to win tickets. Y’know, skate without knocking over bottles… racing on the open floor… Limbo. And I was a winner pert near every time.
Yeah… I used to be a darn good skater.
Glenn Button, the rink’s owner, would rent me some skates. Until the day I had finally saved up enough moolah to buy my own pair of roller skates. And, man, they were sweet. Thanks to those skates and my skill, I always left with a few fistfuls’ worth of tickets.
We’d leave the roller rink with tickets in hand and go up to Betty and Bobs Cafe and redeem them for a nickel Coke… or if you happened to have more tickets, you might even enjoy a CHERRY Coke. I can still taste it today. Life was good.
But then, one fateful Saturday, something happened. And, at the time, I was none too pleased about it.
That particular Saturday, a big black Mercury with fender skirts pulled into the parking lot at Osmond’s Produce. Ron Osmond and his family owned the building… and the roller rink was up above Osmond’s, on the second floor.
Now this car was long, black, and looked phenomenal. The doors opened, and some fellas with slicked back ducktailed hair and leather jackets climbed out. Then, they reached into the back, pulled out some musical instruments, and headed upstairs.
That’s when I knew something wasn’t right. No sir. Not right at all.
They were going to have a sock hop at the skating rink.
You may think that a sock hop sounds like a grand ol’ time. But to kiddies like me, it meant we wouldn’t be able to skate until 8 o’clock like we usually did. We’d have to be out by 5pm so that the teeny-boppers could use the rink as a dance floor.
Word spread quickly that these fellas had played the Cobden Gymnasium the night before. They called themselves the Blue Moon Boys. And they were the back-up band for some new singer with a funny name.
I mean, who names their kid Elvis?
Yes. That Elvis. But this was BEFORE he was “That Elvis.”
And on that Saturday night outside the Dongola Roller Rink, he wasn’t Elvis Presley. He was just some fancy-pants singer who was disrupting my Saturday routine.
I wished Elvis had never entered the building, let alone left it.
So… I went home.
That’s right. I didn’t stay to see Elvis perform that night. I didn’t care anything about it. Or him. Or that big, black Mercury.
I let a bad mood and hurt feelings keep me from seeing one of the greatest entertainers the world ever knew.
Y’know, sometimes, things happen the way they’re supposed to… and other times, they don’t. We can’t always control our circumstances, but we CAN control how we respond to them. Sometimes that means not lettin’ some punk with a pompadour get under our skin… even if it means missin’ out on a delicious Cherry Coke.
I’m Francis Pass, thanks for listening. Thank you, thank you very much.
P.S. Did you know Elvis Presley received a C in music class? I guess he and I had something in common, after all.