Harborena Roller Skating Rink Inc. is a roller skating rink that is family owned and has been around since 1953. Located at the foot of the Hoquiam River Bridge in Hoquiam, WA, it’s been there for birthday parties, private events, family fun and entertainment, business events, holiday parties, and when we were local teenagers, dances.
Unless your momma wouldn’t let you go. Listen to this show and I’ll explain why this is more important than any 2020 political events, global warming and even the coronavirus.
The previous five shows have been about my own experiences with friends I either grew up with or met along the way. And there are more of those shows to come, but for now, I’m going to share a story, a tragic story about a teenage girl that wants more than anything to slap on some makeup, a tight pair of jeans and go to the Saturday night dance at the Harborena.
My old man's drunker than a barrel full of monkeys
And my old lady she don't care
My sister looks cute in her braces and boots
A handful of grease in her hair
Those are words by Bernie Taupin in Elton John’s Saturday Night’s Alright.
Now don’t get me wrong, in no way am I comparing my song Momma Won’t Let You Go to anything Elton John. Both songs are about Saturday night madness but my song is based on not being allowed to go out on Saturday night. Momma says hell to the no.
The innocent victim gets all dressed up in her 70s bell bottoms, checks herself in the mirror as she walks by, does her best Marilyn Monroe...and her momma won’t let her go.
All dressed up and nowhere to go,
That’s life’s worst buzz kill for a teen. You know your friends are going. You know there’s loud music and everything that’s good.
[caption id="attachment_2772" align="alignleft" width="170"] Heart's bassist Steve Fossen.[/caption]
Ya know, I didn’t go there to dance. I would stand in front of the band and try to absorb everything they were doing...especially the lead guitar player.
It’s rare but sometimes I’ll run into a musician that played at the Harb. Steve Fossen, one of the cofounders of Heart played there. His recollection was “oh, that skating rink that was hard to find...kinda under a bridge.”
There were the Lemon Pipers, Fragile Lime, Merrilee Rush...pretty much anyone with a 45 (that’s a single for you non-boomers).
Throw in a teenage hormonal imbalance and yes, there were fights. So, maybe Momma had a point.
When my very dear friend told me about this inhumane treatment, yes, it happened to her...and others that are just now coming out, I quickly grabbed a guitar and envisioned what it was like to play that dance with a band of vocals, guitars, a Hammond B-3 organ with a lesle furniture setup that was one couch away from being a living room, and a drummer from the Muppet Show.
Stick them on the makeshift stage that towers about one foot above the dance floor, turn it up to eleven and there ya go, A Saturday night in teenage paradise.
Here’s my latest creation, Your Momma Won’t Let You Go.
I think everyone had a Harborena. A place to go as a teenager to find out what the older kids had been talking about for all of those years when the best you could get away with was staying up after midnight watching super low budget monster movies.
This was fun, and was in response to Alyson’s FB request to do a rock song. I just took a step into the time machine, into those 70s nostalgic Wonder Years.