We all know of the urgent need for a bathroom just before our performance at Nationals or for that matter any competition. Well, I remember dashing for the restroom only to find Mr. George Apdale taking care of business at a urinal, I froze and it seemed like several minutes when it was only a matter of seconds. Why you ask? I should have been in the Ladies Room. My name is Patty VanWormer from Levittown.
I skated all Novice events (singles, pairs, dance) at the State Meet (Michigan) in 1963 with the exception of Intermediate Fours. If you'll recall, during those days, the free style singles skaters also had to skate figures first. After skating figures, I was in second. I took first in the freestyle. Of course there weren't any calculators at that time and a lot of the math was done by hand. When the Novice women's singles event was over, it was announced at the rink that Michele Legris placed first and I was second. A short time later at the rink, it was announced that an error had been made and that I took first and Michele was second. And then later at the rink, they announced that the original placement had been correct - Michele was first and I was second ! Apparently the judges were really concerned that they had done the calculations correct. They met at the hotel and redid the calculations to make sure they were right. They notified us that night, that indeed I did take first place.
We only got to keep the State trophies for a year. The trophy I was given only had places left for 3 names then it would be retired. My mother had in engraved -
1963 - Michele Legris
1963 - Janice Jackson
1963 - Michele Legris
My mother donated a new trophy for the event and my name was the first one on it. I can laugh at the whole experience now, but it wasn't very funny when it happened !
"WHEN I WENT TO THE FIRST WORLD'S MEET WITH MY HUSBAND, GEORGE, WHO WAS THE COACH, ON THE PRACTICE RIGHT BEFORE A FREESTYLE EVENT, ONE OF OUR MEN SKATERS ON HIS WARM-UP HAD A ZIPPER BREAK OPEN ON HIS PANTS AND HE WAS NEXT TO SKATE.
I, OF COURSE, HAD TO SEW THE ZIPPER ON HIM IMMEDIATELY OR HE WOULD HAVE BEEN SCRATCHED AS HE WAS FIRST TO SKATE. I HAD NEVER DONE ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN ANY COMPETITION BEFORE AND I WAS WORRIED THAT I DID A GOOD ENOUGH JOB THAT WHILE
HE SKATED HIS PROGRAM IT DID NOT OPEN UP. YOU SEE WHAT COACHES HAVE TO DO AT TIMES!
Note George is George Werner and of course his capable wife is Gladys. I'm still wondering where the zipper was and who might have been the skater.
Carolyn Christie Lyon a Twin City skater attended an Ice Skating Competition, when suddenly she was tapped on the shoulder, she turned and the gentleman asked “Do you remember me” CC said “No” , without hesitation he replied “I’m Doug, Charlotte’s husband”.
CC quickly asked “Where is Charlotte, I haven’t seen her in 50 years.”
A husbands lament, wife is more popular.
Did anyone ever ask George Schmitt how he got all the ball bearings and bobby pins in his pocket, most of us would suspect he cleaned the skating floor prior to all competitions. For the right answer you will have to ask George.
Speaking of George, we all remember he went into the service and was stationed in Indiana. George was able to get two tickets with privileges for the Indy 500, he and his Sergeant attended and had the greatest memory but now it was time to hitchhike back to camp. While walking down the road with thumb out a couple coming in the opposite direction, heading to California recognized George. They turned around and pulled up along side them, it turned out to be Harold and Tillie Klein. They took George and his Sergeant out to dinner and drove them back to camp. Moral to story – go anywhere and you will meet a roller skater.
A upcoming roller skater was ready for competition and his mentor suggested he enter Novice Men singles, the young skater was slightly humiliated and said “ I don’t want to skate Novice” His mentor George Schmitt said to Paul Zukowski, “ I’m skating Intermediate Men,” you’ll skate Novice. Good idea George, Paul might have won.
In an effort to raise money for the upcoming World Championships, Ken Kasper came up with an idea for some skaters to pump gas in New Jersey on route 17, of course Ken arranged this event with gas station owner. The idea was terrific, raised money, stopped traffic, God knows if any accidents occurred and why not the skaters were classy ladies Ruthie Brinkerhoff, Rita Smith and Susan Funch.
Forgot to mention their costumes helped a lot. Sorry, No photo !
While preparing for the 1963 NJ State Championships I decided that I needed an appropriate outfit for the occasion..I went to the wife of a fellow skater who was known for her sewing abilities and she agreed to make a new outfit for me...It was to be a tuxedo type affair with high waisted pants and short matador type jacket..A few days before I was to skate she called me and told me the outfit was ready...I went to her home and while trying on the pants found I could not get the right leg over my thigh..It seems she measured only my left leg when taking measurements..But since most of my jumps and spins were done on my right leg,my right thigh was a full four inches bigger around than the left...So I was stuck for something to wear....If you look on the Boulevard section of the web sight and scroll down to the picture of the 1955 America on Wheels Championship team from Boulevard,sitting in the top row third from the right is my friend and teacher Bob West wearing the outfit he lent me to skate my program in...He saved my life but lord how I hated that outfit.. P.S. I won anyway...Jack Burns
Virgil Dooley & Rick Wiers - 1970 Senior Men Relay Champions
I skated with the Tarry Hall Road Runners, in Grandville, MI.
Just a little story about the Senior Men 5 mile Relay. Virgil and I skated together. Virgil decided to start and I would finish. Virgil's starting placement was on the outside of the last row, so we figured we had very little chance in this race. On the start there was a pileup at the first turn. Virgil had to jump over three fallen skaters, on the third he also fell. This put us so far behind we figured we didn't have a chance. We spent the whole race trying to catch up. We couldn't keep up with how many teams we were passing. We didn't know we were leading the race until the last relay, when they signaled on us. After the race we found out that we had lapped every team except Leo and Craig and we were better than three quarters lap ahead of them.
There must be hundreds of stories out there, costume malfunctions, forgot skates, whatever, send them to me and I will post them on our Web Site.