LANCASTER (CBS) – A bittersweet goodbye in Lancaster Monday night – Central Mass neighbors lacing up their skates for one last lap at Roll on America.
“We joke that the two best things that ever happened to our dad happened in 1979 because we were born a few weeks before this place opened,” said Brad Perkins of him and his brother, David. “As soon as we could walk they had us on skates.”READ MORE: Massachusetts Reports 1,376 New COVID Cases, 19 Additional Deaths
“I’ve worked here since I was like 14, 15 and skated here since I was 11,” said manager Jamie Cortes.
As other parts of life changed, things at the rink stayed the same. It was for friends, families, and wholesome fun.
“It’s the first place kids could be dropped off and their parents could be okay leaving them. It’s where they stayed out of trouble,” she added.
Over the years, many of the employees and customers came to feel like family. Some of them actually became each other’s.READ MORE: BMC Cancels Vaccine Appointments After Registration Link 'Inappropriately Shared On Social Media'
“Circa 1988? We were both 13. We met here and were dating as kids do,” recalled Kim and PJ Draleaus.
Life took them skating in different directions, but they found their way back – marrying in 2017.
“Just to watch these kids grow up. It’s been special for us,” said owner Don Perkins.
As the sun sets on a local landmark and piece of the past, more than 40 years of memories feel more priceless than ever.MORE NEWS: 'Suspicious Device' Found At Manchester Central High School Was A Hoax, Police Say
“I’m very proud,” Perkins said. “We burst with pride when people talk about us. We never realized we touched that many people. All those years. It was spectacular.”