ADA, Okla. (KFOR) — Strap them up or pull the laces on four-wheels or inline.

Roller skating rinks like Star Skate still watch as kids find their footing and pick up speed in life.

Rinks have been around for more than a century, and Star Skate is rolling along at 40 years.

In September 1983, just as the Oil Bust was taking hold, Paul and Linda Hale were running a small skating rink in Davis, Oklahoma, and realized they needed a larger population to rent their skates.

“So we came to the big town of Ada,” chuckles Linda, “with a grand population of 16,000.”

To save money, they built a small apartment on their concrete pad.

That’s where they and their two children lived for the first few years, keeping up attendance and speed just enough to stay ahead of local creditors.

“Was there ever a time when we didn’t worry?” she continues.

Paul confirms, “There were times when we could have just thrown the keys to the bank and said, ‘hey, it’s your problem now.'”

Daughter Laura Hale, along with her brother Chris, are rolling along with the Hale hard wheel empire these days, helping operate rinks in Shawnee, Midwest City and Norman for a time.

Her memories of living here don’t include any worries at all, just pure fun.

She recalls, “Staying up late after everyone was gone, listening to whatever music we wanted to, and playing whatever games…like hide and seek. In this building, when you’re a kid, and there’s no one else here, it’s a lot of fun.”

Lower the bar in limbo, but raise the bar on fun.

As kids grow they can sometimes forget those places where they first spread their wings, where they first went fast, where they spent birthdays, after school and the beginnings of a new year.

Star Skate is one of those places you can still go back to, where you can still lace up the skates and fly.

The Hale family is planning a big birthday bash at Star Skate for Saturday, September 30, 2023.


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