JERSEY SHORE - There was a time when kids who wanted to go ice skating in the borough headed to the tennis courts.
The courts would be flooded with water, which then turned to ice to allow for skating.
Other kids headed to ponds or other low-lying areas where water collected and froze to solid, slick surfaces.
Jersey Shore Borough officials and representatives from CGG Veritas gather recently in front of the new ice skating rink at the Thompson Street recreation area in the borough. Veritas donated the rink to Jersey Shore. The rink was expected to open for skating this weekend, weather permitting. From left: Jersey Shore Borough Councilman Sean Simcox, Mayor Dennis Buttorff, Councilwoman Janet Barnhart, Councilman Wade Snyder, Councilwoman Mary Greene, Council President Marguerite Dyroff, Councilwoman Deborah Colocino, and Veritas project managers Mike Kelley, Scott Thompkins, and Joey Guerrero.
"And the old brick pond over there," said borough Councilwoman Janet Barnhart, as she stood on Thompson Street pointing south, "I would come home all black. (Because) they use to burn tires over there."
For Councilwoman Mary Greene, who as a child lived in Rauchtown, many winter days meant ice skating on a pond.
Barnhart and Greene recently gathered with other borough officials to officially dedicate the new skating rink given to the community.
"We bought the rink and donated it," said CGG Veritas Inc. project manager Scott Thompkins. "We wanted to do something nice."
Veritas officials have gotten to know borough officials in recent years, having done seismic testing for gas drilling in the community.
It was hoped to open the rink located at the Thompson Street recreation area by the first week of January, but a long spell of warmer than normal winter weather has prevented that from happening - at least in the first half of January.
"It's going to be great for the community," Councilman Wade Snyder said. "We were grateful for this."
Snyder said there had been talk for a number of years of providing ice skating to the public.
"I think it's a good thing for the children," Councilwoman Deborah Colocino said. "It's a good thing for the town. Now, if it just gets cold enough to freeze it."
Councilman Sean Simcox recalled skating on ponds as a kid growing up in the borough.
The rink will provide an outlet for kids who might otherwise spend winter days on computers.
"Hopefully, it gets used," he said.
Simcox said he realizes realizes the times have changed.
Unlike today's kids, children of previous generations didn't have access to texting, electronic games, and other technology and ventured outside more frequently to play.
"They used to close off this (Thompson) street and kids would sled ride," he recalled.