Monday, October 29, 2007

Glacier Falls Ice Arena

An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone else remembers "Glacier Falls Ice Arena", an ice skating rink in Anaheim...

Does anybody remember Glacier Falls Ice Arena? It was in Anaheim on Katella near Disneyland. We had lots of good fun ice skating there on Saturday mornings in the 1960's. After the Zamboni shaved the ice we sure did pay attention to the big sign hung in the arena reading: Skate At Your Own Risk!
That ice was slick.
Click on Post a Comment if you remember it too.

54 comments:

  1. I used to love going ice skating at Glacier Falls! For a while in 1968 I was probably going there just about every week, and they played the Magical Mystery Tour album as the skating music. To this day, every time I hear a song from that album, I think about ice skating.

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  2. From '63 through '66 I skated there weekly with a loosely knit skating club of Brookhurst Jr. High kids. Gettin' to be a long time ago now!

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  3. we used to take the kids there and eat the besst Bar-b- q ribs we have ever had, and watched the skaters.

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    1. Lol...that was my dads BBQ ribs.

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  4. I went to St. Barbaras school in Santa Ana in the 70's. We had a field trip to Glacier Falls up in Anaheim. I didn't even know that it was there!
    It was kind of run down, but we had a blast and returned several times. I was sad to see it go, like most of my PC memories.

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  5. my friends and I took skating lessons for many years at glacier falls. i remember having a huge crush on my skating teacher, Evy Scotvold, who left Glacier Falls around 1970. he went on to become Nancy Kerrigan's skating coach. I remember the big fireplace by the snackbar, and that alpine mural on the south wall near the zamboni garage. good times.

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    1. I trained with Evy too and skated there from 1964 until Evy left for Illinois at The Wagon Wheel....

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  6. Wasn't it right off Katella actually on another street? There is now Glacier Gardens in that same area and we used to play broom ball there at 1am in the middle of the night with my church group in the mid 90's. Super fun. I have never seen a preist have so much fun running across the ice!

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  7. I and some friends took some figure skating lessons at Glacier Falls around age 12. We were pretty awful, but thought we really had it goin' on. One time we dressed up in leotards to try to impress boys. This was in the early 70's. I remember that huge fireplace we'd all sit around to warm up. I also remember there was a guy named Kelly... I think he worked there... all the girls had major crushes on him.

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  8. My first chance at ice skating was in the early 1980's at this rink, and even with the horrendously awful rental skates (boots with zero ankle support, and dull as butter knives blades), I fell in love with the ice. Having grown up on roller skates and Saturdays at the beloved Skate Ranch, this was a shock to me, to find something that was even better/easier for me. I was so taken with it that I soon had better skates, and was riding the bus from Prospect and Fairhaven all the way up to the Ice Capades Chalet in the Brea Mall- a ride of something like an hour and a half on a good day...one way! Eventually, I was taking private and group lessons, becoming what was known there as a 'test skater': someone who didn't go to competitions, but 'competed' against the ISIA ice skating test standards of excellence. I never got farther than Delta level, having started so late (in my early 20s) and already feeling the early effects of Meniere's Disease, but I didn't care. On the ice, I felt more free, graceful and happy than I ever felt away from it. I know that I was no Dorothy Hamill, having seen tapes that my pro, Harland Parker, took of me for performance critique, but the huge outlay of time and money on this is something I will never regret. My only wish is that there would be Chalets in every mall in the country, allowing others to share in this beauty. Through the glass walls of the Brea rink, there were always many watching, with wistful expressions, and children who often wound up inside, being shepherded around the ice by some of the rink's regulars. Who knows how many of those have gone on to become Olympic athletes? I well remember the whispers of skaters who spoke with dread of being 'sent to the Freezatorium'-the other OC Ice Capades Chalet- to be subjected to remedial tutoring by John Nicks. It has been interesting to see coverage of him and his various students over the years.

    Though I only went to GF two or three times, I am always going to have fond memories of the wonderful sport and art of ice skating it led me to.

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    1. I skated at Glacier Falls with Evy Scotvold and went on to coach there and was the figure skating director at the Brea Ice Chalet for several years...I'm sure our paths must have crossed!

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  9. I remember going to Glacier Falls around the age of 7. I had never been on ice skates before, and it would be 35 years before I would again (for the last time!) I remember being one of the "bad" kids who preferred to try to chop up the ice with the blade of my skate, rather than actually trying to skate for any length of time. I discovered Flicka chocolates in the foil tubes at GF, so it wasn't a total loss!

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  10. ANYBODY OUT THERE THAT WAS A POLAR PALACE IN LAHABRA SKATER,TRYING TO FIND A LOST LOVE THAT WAS TAUGHT BY HARLAND,HER NAME WAS DEBBIE WILLIAMS NOT SURE NOW IF SHE MARRIED AND HAS A DIFFERENT LAST NAME,IF SO REPLY TO rgoodwin61@yahoo.com.

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  11. I totaly remember that place!! My mom would drop me and some friends off there to skate when we were about 7 years old. (so young!) There was this announcer or d.j. who would say, "couples only", or "backward skating only", and they would play the hokey pokey and everyone would get in the middle in a big circle and do it together. That place was full of people. I absolutely loved going there. I wish it was still around.

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  12. Me and my two older brothers belonged to the Glacier Falls Speed Skating Club back around the early to mid 1960s. Skating our training sessions as well as the 'regular' sessions which were broke up into 'all skate', 'couples only skate' (remembers Moon River always played during couples only), speed skaters only, and 'reverse skate'. I was a real sound booth hound as well and was well liked by the guys who ran it and skated as 'monitors' so I got to hang out with them when they were 'in the booth'. All in all some of the best times of my youth were spent there. My oldest brother always had these cute girl friends who loved to let me skate with them on couples only. I remeber this one man who wore speed skates but had the unique ability to do figure skating routines. He was pretty amazing.

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  13. I remember that place! I had ice-skating lessons there when I was about 10 -- around 1965 --likely inspired by the 1964 winter Olympics.
    It was on the N side of Katella Ave., a few blocks east of Harbor Blvd.
    Did it have the ONLY Zamboni machine in OC ?
    The large fireplace and snack bar! Where I first had Flicks chocolate candies -- they just brought them back at my local Ralphs market - different color foil wrappers, like before -but now they cost $1. each.

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  14. Wow, what memories. I used to skate at Glacier Falls from about '72-'76. Took my first figure skating lessons there. Remember another skater named Karla. Used to skate our buns off to Elton John's "Pinball Wizard." My dad ended up getting angry with my coach, so I started skating in Paramount instead. Good memories.

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  15. Glacier Falls was @ 211 W. Katella. I worked there when I was a kid as did my older brother. Most of my important memories & experiences were there, a lot of 'firsts'. I was one of the guards & of course, played the music & made announcements (speed & hockey skaters only, etc...). There are still reunions held in Fountain Valley (Mile Sq. Pk.)...you can look it up.

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  16. Clarke, that guy on the speed skates was Buddy (LaLonde, I think). He & his family ended up doing Vegas shows on ice (more his daughter...Robbi?). I knew them well & he taught me how to figure skate on offset speedskates also. It was hard to learn, but man o'man, I've still got the strongest ankles around. I also worked there for years. It was nice to see Buddy remembered. As for Evy & Harland, 2 of my dad's best friends. Evy was also the first to do a back flip on ice, he got a steel plate in his head for the effort, but hey, he did it! Anyway...

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  17. Sure, I remember. Has it really been that long? I went there a few times and loved ice skating. Much more fun than roller skates. One night I slipped and hit my head on the oak railing. It knocked me out cold. I got up a few seconds later. I didn't want to make a scene. As I started to skate around to the area off rink I could feel my head starting to swell up. It was bleeding a little. I sat down and saw girl friends saw the blood and said,"are you all right?" Just then I realized I had amnesia! I couldn't remember driving there that night. I was scared as heck. I told a worker there and they had me lie down in a back room, and cleaned the blood of my head. After a few minutes My senses started comming back. They told me to have someone wake me up every 30 minutes because of coma danger. I went home and slept normally. The next day I felt like I was in a fog. I didn't skate there after that!

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  18. Talk about memories! This one sure takes me back.

    I was a member of Glacier Falls Speed Skating Club from 1962 to 1963, that was the year we sent Bill and Jack Disney to the 1964 Olympics, and the year 6 out of 14 positions on the US Olympic team went to southern Californians.

    Future Olympian Charley Gilmore was a member at that time; he was about 13 as I recall.

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  19. From 1964-67 my friends and I would ice skate at the Glacier Falls rink. I lived nearby (north of Disneyland) and went there almost every Friday night. We were young teens back then and loved the fun and excitement of the place. We also had hopes that the hunky local boys would ask us to partner them for the "couples only" dances. Unfortunately, that didn't happen as often as we'd like!

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  20. Hello does anyone know of a guy who use to work there at the rink 1967-68 By the name of Eddie.
    If you do please write back. I have heard many stories of the fun that was had at the Rink.I use to go with my mom and brother. That was were we had our 1st Hot Cocoa. It was awesome for cold hands.

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  21. We had so much fun ice skating there....remember how hard the ice was!!

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  22. I used to taking ice skating lessons there from Harland Parker in the 1960's, we skated to Moon River and had cocoa by the fireplace and they sold ice in a cup for 5 cents. I had a big crush on my teacher, Mr. Parker and tried to do my best on figure 8's. They don't have to do figure 8's anymore but now that I look back I think it made us better skaters.
    I remember a young guy and girl both named Dana that skated there. A lot of the skaters there were really good. I also remember the flicks candy yummy.

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    1. Harland was my first coach...he is still around at the ripe old age of 92!

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  23. You're right about figures making better skaters. I think the only skaters that have good edges are ice dancers, and not all of them. Figures should be brought back in my opinion.There is a skating organization ISI that has an all figures competition.

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  24. Oh Yeah, I remember skating in Anaheim, at good ole Glacier Falls as my girlfriend's Dad built the place. I lived around the corner from them, and when I would go over to her house, her Dad was working on the drafting plans of it. sometimes we would bug him, and say hurry up and finish it George, and then he was good natured and would always seem to just laugh with us, and finally one day he said, ok girls it is going to be built now, and we got real excited, and those days skating there were some of the best fun times of my life, and getting to know her, and her Mom and Dad and we would always have a blast there, and I got in free all the time, which was another real fun aspect of it:-)That ice was real slick there, and better for skating. But oh how we liked to go up to the round fireplace in the middle front area to just warm up a bit and talk,and we had our matching skating outfits on most of the time. Was neat when she let our other girlfriends in too. It Was also fun when George built the restaurant on to it, and we would go in there and have our hamburgers there, and they were so good. ( I heard Carls Burgers started one of his first restaurants iside of that restaurant) We had many a good friday and Saturday night there, and some times during the day time. I felt so lucky as my Dad worked at Disneyland, around the corner,so got to go to both, mostly when ever I wanted yet we did not go that much or would take the fun out of it, and all I remember was a great time in wonderful Anaheim, when I was growing up there. Wish it were the same now, but they took ole Glacier falls down along with other old Anaheim places somewhere along the line. You cannot beat good old memories:-)

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  25. I remember glacier falls in 1963-1965, never ice skated, we went to see all the marines

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  26. larry trevett said, i remember Glacier Falls, i skated there between 1960 and 1965 before going into the service. I belonged to the speed skating club. it was a wonderful place to hang out. I remember the great music,the moonlight sessions, friday and sat from 11 to 1am. some of my friends and fellow speed skaters, bruce vanderwilt, pat knox, joel knox, jerry search, pat johnson, and many more. They just dont make places like that anymore, and it is too bad that they tore it down. I will always have fond memories of that ice rink. I still own a pair of planert speed skates.....Larry Trevett

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  27. I remember Glacier Falls! I skated there every week in the early 70's. Met a real nice fella there too "by accident" (I ran him over!) Ed Saavedra I believe his name was. There was a restaraunt next door that got upset if you didn't order a certain dollar amount to sit in there. I took lessons and got Skates of my own! I liked the Couples session where it got dark and they had little swirling lights all around. Glacier Falls lives on in my memories.

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    1. Ed was the dad of one of the girls that trained there with coach Cherie and me :-)

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  28. I REMEMBER HARLAND PARKER AT POLAR PALACE IN LA HABRA !
    I LAST TALKED TO HIS EX WIFE 2 YEARS AGO AT THE NEW RINK IN ONTARIO , CA . SHE TOLD ME HE WAS STILL WITH US! AND SKATED WITH HIS DAUGHTER TRACY FROM 1974 TO 1980 WHEN THE RINK CLOSED! LOTS OF MEMORIES OF COURSE SO MANY WISH I COULD FIND SOME OLD FRIENDS ! POST IN YOU WERE THERE! THANX ! MUCH LOVE TO ALL !! VINCE MONOHAN

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  29. The first time I ever ice skated was on my 6 grade graduation class in 1960 (I think). We went to Glacier Falls ice rink located at 211 W. Katella Ave, Anaheim. the rink opened in 1959, and finally closed for good in 1983. I beleive the new location is 300 W Lincoln Ave, in Anaheim. Check http://socalspeedskating.org It has a photo collection
    Sincerely, Ruth

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  30. I skated at Glacier Falls from 1963-67 -- (aprox age 8-12). Shirley Winters was my coach. She was wonderful! In the summer she would get all of her private students together for group practice sessions early in the morning - that was fun. After our early morning practice, we'd go up to the restaurant and have a huge stack of pancakes and watch the Zamboni. When I turned 10, I had my birthday party there - remember the dance room that doubled as a birthday party room? It was above the bleachers, near the Zamboni parking place. Anyone else remember the "Grand March"? It started with march music -- people skating 2 by 2, then separating around the rink and joining up again into lines of 4, lines of 8, etc. Also remember "Couples Only" "Skate in the Opposite Direction" "reverse skating only" etc. It was a nice atmosphere, with the fireplace on top, and the restaurant next door. I believe that it was (at one time) a "Carl's" restaurant (owned by Carl Karcher, but not a Carl's Jr) and it was a Scot's Family Restaurant at another time. The rink was beautiful -- a fun place to learn to skate and meet your friends!

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    1. later called The Golden Toothpick!

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  31. I got my first pair of ice skates at Glacier Falls - Jr High - early 70's...and if you skated there you MUST remember...SITTING ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY. I seem to remember them playing that song on "couple's only" and every time I hear that song I think of Glacier Falls...I too remember Kelly. Pretty cool if you were asked to skate "couple's only" with Kelly - to Sitting on the Dock of the Bay!
    Kathy - now in Texas

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  32. UPDATE: In addition to Charley Gilmore, Pete Williamson skated at GF. He would later go on to make the Canadian Olympic Team twice.

    Two Olympic skaters from a club with how many, 50 people? What are the odds?

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  33. Absolutely! Saw Tollar Cranston there for an ice show... the whole show cost $5 and he was not the star yet he became, incredible.

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  34. Glacier Falls has a facebook page....Glacier Falls Rink Rats..come and join us!!

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  35. I loved skating there. Buddy Lalonde would yell at me to quit talking to "those marines" and get back down on the ice. We had a group that skated till closing, then went somewhere for coffee, quite often Walkers Restaurant.
    My friend, Lucy and I would rather skate than eat.
    Janet Bordonaro (Morgan) j89408@yahoo.com

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  36. Tim S. "73 to 79" I used to help on Skate Rentals and racing around the Rink to Renagade. My last night in Cali. was at the Rink. Miss all you Guys and Gals. Some of ya knew me by KAS. I moved to Tenn. but I still skate with my Kids in Huntsville Alabama. But! I miss after hours Broomball and the Fun We had.
    bikertim69@yahoo.com

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  37. I used to love to skate there at the late night sessions with Buddy Lalonde, Lucy Boyle, and me, Janet Bordonaro. Some of my fondest memories were of drinking coffee at the all night coffee shop, after the rink closed at 1 a.m. If only we could turn the clock back for a Friday Late Night Session.

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  38. Took lessons from Harland Parker at GF. Took some lessons from Buddy LaLonde at Paramount too. Had a pair of SP Terry boots with semi-pro blades, love those skates. Moved the blades to Harlick boots and didn't skate as much. I remember all the rinks and have many fond memories of Evy Scotvold as a young GF instructor. I was skating there in the mid 60's to early 70's. Great times.

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    1. I trained with Evy from '68 to '72!

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  39. I skated at Glacier Falls from 1962- 1968 or so and took semi-private lessons from Evy Scotvold. I think semi- private lessons were around $4 an hour and private were $6 an hour.
    Early mornings the skating club kids went tp "patch" session to practice figures. of you got there late, you got stuck with one of the curved end patches of I've that always had rough edges from the zambonni machine. ha ha.
    I remember a yearly skating performance that had a program brochure with photos of all the skaters participating. There was a picture of Peggy Fleming as a visiting CA Jr. Champion. Wish I still had one of the programs.

    I remember the flicks in the colored foil tubes, the skate shop with all the fancy skating costumes, and Harlick skates. And that great familiar smell of the rink that always welcomed you when you walked in the door.

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  40. My Dad worked there late 50's to Mid 60's at the door. He came back in 1970 after a lay off in the aerospace industry and worked a few more years. I worked there as a floor guard/skate rentals/ Skate service 1975. grew up at that rink, not happy when they torn it down.

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  41. Note: What follows is an excerpt from something I wrote a few years back and it centered around Glacier Falls.

    Time stood still for me when I was 17. It was a magical time. But when it changed, the magic dropped faster than a twenty-nine cents pair of socks. And before it became a heartbreak, it became love. It started at an ice skating rink in Anaheim, California where I grew up. The rink was called Glacier Falls.I suppose Glacier Falls had been around long enough for several generations of teenagers to find the same things I found there one day. Little did I know what that day would ignite. I was just chugging along in life and never saw love coming.

    I met her in one of the booths where food was served and suddenly life had new meaning. I wound up spending a few months with her and even at my age now, and all of the good life that I have lived, she remains one of the best influences on my life.

    But I didn’t see the value of love back then. I was young and had not see what else life had to offer so I moved on eventually. Still, I have kept those memories of her all these years and the love I found that evening.

    Life goes on as they say. I’ll bet Glacier Falls isn’t even there anymore. In my mind it remains very clear to me. I see a 17 year-old kid falling in love and spending a magical time with the girl he’ll never forget. And for a while…time stood still.

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  42. Very fond memories of Glacier Falls. My sister and I were fortunate to have private lessons from Ivy Scotvold in the early 1960's. The best and most encouraging teacher I ever experienced. Sure do hurt today from all the falls, but wouldn't trade the opportunity to be taught from the very best!! We were all blessed to have grown up during this period of time. Thanks for such enduring memories.

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  43. Hi i remember glacier falls it was a great place, i had my own ice skates, I also took lessons there at age 12 with evy scotvold for beginners, He taught scott hamelton to skate. I had a skating outfit, it was nice. there was a fire place there, i wore gloves in case i fell down i wouldn't hurt my hands. yes it was in anaheim on katella ave. i went once a week to skate. it was in 1969 to 1972. they had those flicks chocolates with colored rapers. they tore the place down after a few yrs that was a shame, i guess they rebuilt after a couple yrs later. oh for the good old days.

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  44. I remember skating there all the time! My sister took ice skating lessons there; I took ballet. So I showed her my ballet moves (which she needed anyway!) and she taught me how to skate. I switched over to speed skating, but with hockey skates, cuz all the boys did speed skating and very few girls where out when they were so figured my chances were better! I don't remember what years we skated there but it had to be in the late 60s early 70s. We always had a good time! I'll never forget the way it smelled.

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