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R.I.P. Valle Vista

r28skat2.jpgAs many of you know by now, Valle Vista Skating Center burned down yesterday.

The Mission Boulevard establishment has sat vacant for as long as I can remember, but when some of us from Hayward were growing up here, that used to be the spot.

The memories weren’t that great, but it was one of the last places in town where young people could hang out on a Friday or Saturday night.

For instance, remember the wooden boards on the skating rink floor that were so uneven that if you were skating a little too fast around the place, you might have tripped going over one?

Those are the kind of memories that will be missed at that old place.

So, if you’re driving down Mission and you see what’s left of Valle Vista, give it a little salute. Because it’s one of those things that sticks in your childhood memories.

And if you’re reading this post, share with us your memories. Because, in a small way, we know you will miss it too.

mricard

  • Kris Noceda

    Although a part of me didn’t die when I saw the remains of Valle Vista on Monday, I did shed a micro tear if there is such a thing.

    I remember trying to roller skate for the first time at the spot back in my Ochoa years. It had to have been more than a decade ago, but that experience gave me some good bruises.

    I haven’t tried skating since. Thanks for everything Valle Vista, I hardly even knew you.

  • monica ruiz

    I was surprised to read about valle vista’s demise but then again I wasn’t considering the times we live in. You know all that riff raff….

    We use to take our sons skating with their school mates. It was a great fundraiser for the classrooms. Fun for all. So sad……

  • qodrn

    I have missed the skating rink and the bowling alley. I learned to skate there as did my kids. Mission Blvd is looking more and more like a demilitarized zone. No wonder Hayward Ford moved.

  • Millie

    Random memories of the Valle Vista:

    -disco skating in the 70s

    -”I Want A New Drug” by Huey Lewis & the News being THE rocker song to skate to

    -Birthday parties (all the “cool kids” had theirs at the rink)

    -Dressing up like Valley Girls in the 80s and falling over laughing when my friend’s legwarmer got caught in her skate

    -Couples skates in middle school; the best way to announce you had a boyfriend.

    -A simpler time when people gathered at a location for the sole purpose of having fun and skating…and nobody was looking to have fun by wrecking the fun of other people

  • Diane (Berry) Scrivener

    Journey.. REO Speedwagon… Tom Petty and Styx. Couple’s skating… hokey pokey and winning free cokes. Jumbo pickles and nachos… flirting with the DJ =) Gossip and crushes… lip glossing in the bathroom. GOOD TIMES! Valle Vista was awesome!

  • Monica Ruiz

    Light Up the Season was all about the children. They were having a blast at the faux ice skating rink and the countdown to the tree lighting was fun. The tea cups and the train were super popular also.

  • Bobby Rouse

    Hey All The names I have seen on this list I don’t recognize. I was hoping I would see some names from the old school of skaters. My name is Bobby Rouse. I am called Robby today. I certainly have memories of Valle Vista Skating Rink. I also knew the owners as a kid. The owners were Ed and Barbara Bolton. I had been skating there since I was about 4 or 5 years old.

    The person who wrote this article happens to not mention that Valle Vista also had a dance skating club on Wednesday nights and Sunday nights including lessons on Sunday mornings.

    For those who were there back then know that my Grampa George Lessa played music there for several years.

    I am 39 years old now and Grampa George Lessa is now 85 years old. Please don’t think George Lessa played some old roaring 20’s music to bore everyone. It is a fact that Grampa had a very large collection of records over the decades. Grampa has a large collection of Rock, pop and Rap music those hits of the 80s’. Most people called him George but some called him Grampa because He was kind of a Grampa to everyone.
    George Lessa also played for the dance skating on Wednesday nights and Sunday nights. I know this because I used to carry in the woofers he had. He brought in his own speakers because the speakers at the rink kind of were out of date.

    I was kind of a wild skater. I most of the time was skating fast even though I was not supposed to. Sometimes I got busted and had to sit down fort skating too fast. At the time I was skating there I don’t think I was tripping over any of the boards. But the wood was getting kind of warped over the years. I don’t really remember many of those skating on Friday night or Saturday nights. That’s because I skated at Newark skating in Newark Calif on those nights. Newark skating rink closed up in the late 80s. George Lessa also played must there on Friday and Saturday nights. He brought in some very great crowds of people of most ages from toddlers to about age 30 something. He also played for their dance club also. George Lessa did not do any mixing or scratching on the turn tables as you might imagine a DJ to do. But George Lessa could pull out any record of any song you may want to hear.

    Both Valle Vista skating dance club and Newark skating club all knew me as I was a little kid hanging around there playing video games a lot and skating on return session nights. I tried dance skating but I was no good at it.
    Hey All The names I have seen on this list I don’t recognize. I was hoping I would see some names from the old school of skaters. My name is Bobby Rouse. I am called Robby today. I certainly have memories of Valle Vista Skating Rink. I also knew the owners as a kid. The owners were Ed and Barbara Bolton. I had been skating there since I was about 4 or 5 years old.

    The person who wrote this article happens to not mention that Valle Vista also had a dance skating club on Wednesday nights and Sunday nights including lessons on Sunday mornings.

    For those who were there back then know that my Grampa George Lessa played music there for several years.

    I am 39 years old now and Grampa George Lessa is now 85 years old. Please don’t think George Lessa played some old roaring 20’s music to bore everyone. It is a fact that Grampa had a very large collection of records over the decades. Grampa has a large collection of Rock, pop and Rap music those hits of the 80s’. Most people called him George but some called him Grampa because He was kind of a Grampa to everyone.
    George Lessa also played for the dance skating on Wednesday nights and Sunday nights. I know this because I used to carry in the woofers he had. He brought in his own speakers because the speakers at the rink kind of were out of date.

    I was kind of a wild skater. I most of the time was skating fast even though I was not supposed to. Sometimes I got busted and had to sit down fort skating too fast. At the time I was skating there I don’t think I was tripping over any of the boards. But the wood was getting kind of warped over the years. I don’t really remember many of those skating on Friday night or Saturday nights. That’s because I skated at Newark skating in Newark Calif on those nights. Newark skating rink closed up in the late 80s. George Lessa also played must there on Friday and Saturday nights. He brought in some very great crowds of people of most ages from toddlers to about age 30 something. He also played for their dance club also. George Lessa did not do any mixing or scratching on the turn tables as you might imagine a DJ to do. But George Lessa could pull out any record of any song you may want to hear.

    Both Valle Vista skating dance club and Newark skating club all knew me as I was a little kid hanging around there playing video games a lot and skating on return session nights. I tried dance skating but I was no good at it.

    Your friend Bobby Rouse now known as Robby

  • BRIAN CLARKE

    Robby I remember your grandpa !! both at Valle Vista and at Newark I also remember George playing music for our compititions he kept up with the times and played the very best stuff as for the person who wrote the artical Im not sure if he/she ever skated there the floor was one of the best Ive ever skated on and the people who skated there are some of the best people and friends I ever met I still maintain contact with some of these people both Valle Vista and Newark were and are still a big part of me they’re sorrily missed

  • Annette (Smith) Freel

    I remember you Robby with your grandpa. Your sister would come too. I started skating at Valle Vista when I was six-years-old with my twin sister, Colleen. Parents would ask, “Which one is the mean one today?” We’d practice about 40 hours a week, including Wed. And Sun nights. I remember the hours practicing and I still have dreams of me doing freestyle, but I can’t now. Valle Vista at one time had over 100 artistic skaters on Sunday nights. There were distinguished skaters and coaches known throughout the Southwest region and United States, in the world of skating, in its heyday. It had a wall of plaques, trophies, and pictures dedicated to those memories and achievements. We practiced a lot and the club had a grand time at the competitions, winning, hanging out, and only swimming at Regionals AFTER you were done with your event because it used different muscles, I was told. I still don’t know if that is true, but that’s what we did.

  • Mike McGee

    I skated at Valley Vista through most of the 80′s when I was a teenager. When I had kids of my own I took them there, its sad to think its gone. When I think Valley Vista, I think good times! If you were a teenager during the 80′s, that was the cool place to be.The all night skate-couples skate- fast skate, I had a blast. A lot of good people hungout there,Bob-Kristi-Johnny-Dawn-Troy-Sandy-Paula- Julie,thanks for the free cokes! -Lora-Shane-Kathy-Valeri-Glenda-Bobby-Kiki-Lisa-Tina the list goes on…. Someone ealse wrote that Valley Vista was the last good place for kids to hangout at on friday & saturday nights, they were right. When ever I drive by the empty lot of the rink,the memories bring a smile to my face!

  • Jerry Kocher

    I was also part of the Valley Vista Skating club in the early 80′s. I use to commute from San Jose 3 to 4 times a week to take lesson from Barbara Bolton. I remember practicing with the “twins” Colleen and Annette Smith, Marty Mitchell, Tyco O’Hara, Drewann Perry, Chris and Lori Porter. Boy the memories are rushing back right now. What is ironic is I now work right down the block from where the rink use to be. Every time I drive by and see that empty lot, my heart sinks a bit. Those were the good old days…..