Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — A Night on Ice


Lake Glacier and Boat House in Winter, photo courtesy of Reva Evans Foy, used with permission.

The cold weather and forming ice on ponds near us have reminded me of the magical nights growing up in Youngstown where we laced on some skates, whether on a tennis court, a pond, Lake Glacier or Newport, or at the old James L. Wick rink. Here are some of those memories, particularly of a night on Lake Glacier…

Days below freezing, nights even colder

First ice forms on the lake, hardens, thickens

Waiting is hard, tennis courts confining

Lakes are safe; ice is thick

Clear, cold winter night,

Long johns, layers, and scarves.

Cold bites our cheeks

Wide expanse of lake

Path shoveled across

Standing in the middle arm in arm

Under the winter stars

Trees like silent sentinels all around us

And the wide expanse of lake

Now turned to smooth, sheer ice

We skim almost effortlessly

The only sound our skates

As we skate toward the fire on shore

The promise of hot chocolate

The warmth of the fire

The meeting of friends

On a clear, cold winter night.



14 thoughts on “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — A Night on Ice

  1. Bob
    Thanks for the lovely words. My brother and I spent many fun times skating at Lake Glacier. It was close enough to walk as we lived on Lakeview. Remember the giant bonfires and getting some hot chocolate.
    Stay warm–freezing cold in Cincinnati!
    Michelle Humans White

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this. One of my favorite memories. My Dad lived to skate, and passed that on to us. After dinner, we’d head over to Mill Creek. I loved that they shoveled huge figure eights way past the lights.
    As a kid, skating into the dark like that was a huge adventure. Thanks for stirring up those memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the trips down memory lane. Born and raised in Youngstown. I take much pride in our city and in it’s history, you capture ones imaginations with you words.


  4. I often think about the nights of skating on lake glacier. The smell of the bonfire,the cracking of the ice if you skated near the islands close to the bridge.thank you for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved skating at Lake Glacier! The park ranger always kept a fire going for us to warm numb fingers and toes. I can’t believe how thick the ice got on the lake and how far out we were able to skate safely .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh yes. The greatest magic I recall on Lake Newport happened when it was freezing cold without snow. I remember letting the night breeze push me across that glassy ice. The night was sharp and clear, and you could hear the ice’s ominous booms.

    Liked by 1 person

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