Soul on ice

Joey Golaw

Photo By David Robert

Joey Golaw is the 19-year-old attendant on duty at the Rink on the River across the street from Reno’s City Hall. It’s chilly. You wouldn’t want to be a brass monkey out here, but the dozens of children are loving it, skating in lazy circles and gathering to watch the media circus, endearing clear streams running down their upper lips. Hours are Monday/Tuesday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday/Thursday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-9 pm; Friday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Costs are $3-$5.

So, when did you start working here?Last season, when they opened up last year in this location.

Have you been an ice skater long?

I just started ice skating last year when I started to work here.

What kind of crowds are you getting down here?

We’re getting a lot of interesting crowds; it depends on what day you work. During the weekdays, since school is still in session, we get sparse crowds, but Friday and Saturday nights, we get slammed with a lot of customers.

How many people do you get on the ice?

Friday and Saturdays, we get like 150-200 people. It’s pretty hectic out here. Especially when you work in the shed, and you have to return and hand out skates at the same time, it gets really hectic inside.

Seen any accidents yet?

No, but I’ve definitely heard the stories.

OK, I want to hear a story about an accident.

Somebody had cut their finger pretty bad the other day. It was bleeding profusely. Pretty bad, I guess. Some lady had broken a bone in her leg a few weeks ago. I wasn’t here to see it, but I’ve heard the stories.


I actually was here for one where a guy had slipped when he was getting off the ice, hit his head, and there was a big slit right here.

Oh my gosh, bleeding?

So we do get a few injuries. That’ll happen in an ice rink. People don’t know how to skate, and they’re showing off for their friends.

What’s the technique for learning how to skate?

That’s what the boards are for (the walls around the rink). It really helps out to have these. People who don’t know how to skate tend to use these as guides until they actually get the hang of it.

Do you get any really good skaters coming around?

We get some really good figure skaters. They usually occupy the middle of the ring, and everybody else just kind of gawks as they do twirls and triple salchows and whatnot.

So why aren’t these kids in school?

They come every Tuesday morning. They’re off track.

What else is fun about working in an ice rink?

The atmosphere. The pay’s not that great—I mean, it’s a city job.

The pay’s not great? You’d think this would be a high-paying job.

Not me, I’m just saying. It’s my second job. It’s just for extra money. But I do enjoy the atmosphere and my fellow employees. The turnover’s not that bad. You get a lot of people who return year to year. It’s a job people like, which is great.

Thank you, that was great.