Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ice Skating Your Way Around the Gun Turrets

No, not a new amusement for Alaskans who happen to have an old battleship lying around rusting.

This rink is located in San Pedro and the action takes place on board the retired battleship the USS Iowa, normally a museum.  Not to be outdone, albeit without any battleships, you can ice skate near the Seaside Lagoon, Redondo Beach, or The Pike in Long Beach.  Note that both are on or very near beaches.   Our winter temperature is quite a bit higher than those found in the northeast corridor states.  Nearly every year, the paper runs a photo of some comely lass speeding around the Seaside Lagoon rink clad in -- a bikini. 

Beaches are for tanning, swimming, water sports and now - seasonal ice skating via complicated pipe systems carefully curbed and filled with the appropriate coolants.

The USS Iowa has had an interesting history both as a fighting ship and as transport for Franklin Delano Roosevelt when it carried him to a 1943 conference with Prime Minister Churchill and Joseph Stalin during WW2.  To accommodate FDR, a bathtub and an elevator were installed for his ease of mobility.  Quite coincidentally, wife Eleanor was present at the launching of this very ship in the Brooklyn Naval Yards on August 27, 1942.    It was honored by Mrs. Henry Wallace, wife of the Vice President.  Pity we seem not to be making more battleships as christening one could almost make being a Vice President's wife worthwhile. 

It has known tragedy as well.  In April, 1989, the #2 gun turret suddenly exploded, killing 47 sailors.  It would not be inappropriate if the rink extends to the site of the #2 turret to pause for a moment in respect. 

The Iowa rink holds 75 skaters and closes January 8, 2017.  Admission is $15 and hockey skates are thrown in.  You can bring your own skates, but admission will still be $15.

A little worried about "breaking the ice" after Thanksgiving's lavish dinner?  Don't be - it's 6 in. thick.

For more information:  lakingsholidayice.com  or  pacificbattleship.com   or Wikipedia.

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