SCS Alumni Newsletter Heading
 Volume VIII Issue I Spring - 2005 
Do You Remember the Sidney Roller Rink?
Area Resident Seeks Your Stories for Compilation.

Local resident Beatrice Shai-Ogli Bishop has embarked on an exciting new project to record residents' memories of the Sidney Roller Rink. The facility, which is the oldest roller rink in New York State, was first opened in 1929, and holds four generations of local happenings, love stories, romances and other encounters. Mrs. Bishop hopes to record these anecdotes by soliciting interviews from people who frequented the rink during their youth, and create a special compilation to preserve the local landmark's rich and heartwarming history.

"For the better part of the last century, youngsters from throughout the Tri-town region have flocked to the Sidney Roller Rink (also known as the Hillcrest Roller Rink)," said Mrs. Bishop. "Even now, with the lure of video games, movies and MTV, young people remain fans of the rink, which provides fun, healthy activity and which remains a strong part of Sidney's heritage."

"I first decided to write about the rink after meeting several people who shared their memories of the facility with me," explained Mrs. Bishop. "I was thrilled to learn that many area couples met their spouses and courted at the rink. Still others made friends there who became companions and confidantes for life. Many folks remember former owners such as Martha Dann & Family with tremendous gratitude. I've also heard wonderful tales about local characters who worked at the rink and who always made skating fun and exciting."

"Especially in times past, when recreational options were limited, the Sidney rink was "the place to go" for young people. I came to see that the roller rink has a special place in our town's history, and that those who remember the rink during the '40's, '50's and beyond should have their recollections preserved for future generations. I am hopeful that folks with stories to tell will contact me, so that we can safeguard this wonderful and heartwarming chapter of Sidney's past. In particular, I am looking forward to hearing from Sidney Alumni who may be visiting the area this July during Alumni Week - they may contact me at any time to arrange an informal meeting."

Mrs. Bishop is hopeful that current skaters will contact her as well. "So much of the Sidney's past - which many people remember with longing -- is sadly lost forever," Mrs. Bishop said. "Luckily, the roller rink, cared for so meticulously by its current owners, remains a beacon of wholesome, family-oriented entertainment. The rink, and what it means to young people, hearkens back to a safer, less frenzied time, and I invite anyone with thoughts to share to contact me at their convenience.

"As a relative newcomer to the Sidney area, I can't express how gratifying it is to have received so much initial enthusiasm for this project," Mrs. Bishop concluded. "Many local residents have told me that they'd love to see the "good old days" at Hillcrest Roller Rink memorialized. I am hopeful that with continued support from the community, I will be able to draft a compilation that reflects the unique aspects of this local treasure, as well as the lives of the people who skated there."

For more information, residents can contact Mrs. Bishop as 563-3531 or email her at Mrs. Bishop is a resident of Sidney and former political speechwriter for the City of New York with more than 10 years' experience in speechwriting and interviewing. Her husband, Charles, (class of '61) is a local native, who owns and operates a farm and orchards on County Route 23, Unadilla. He skated at the Hillcrest Roller Rink during the '50's and '60's.