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Step Back In Time At The Topsail Skating Rink



The Topsail Skating Rink takes folks back to family vacations in simpler times.

The skating rink and Topsail Beach's post office have the same phone number, a throwback to the party line days when neighbors shared a phone line. It's a scene straight from the 1960s, when phones were used for talking and not tweeting or taking photos. Everything about the Topsail Skating Rink resonates with nostalgic charm. From the old-school roller skates to the box fans in the windows, it's not hard to imagine what life was like in the 1960s. Really, you don't have to imagine at all. Nothing has changed ... not even the cash register ... it has white keys with numbers from 10 to 90 and black keys with symbols from $1 to $5. Proprietor Doris Jenkins punches the $5 key whenever she collects an admission fee. She tried a more modern cash register once, but the humidity short-circuited it, she said.

Perhaps the most revered treasure in the rink is Jenkins' record player. She piles stacks of 45s and spins classic tunes, mostly from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Sometimes, she'll turn on the disco lights for a boogie song. And that's about as racy as it gets. Jenkins watches out for the kids. She won't let them leave until she knows a parent is there to pick them up. If the parents say, ‘Don't let them leave the building,' I don't let them leave the building," Jenkins said.

Jenkins took over as the town's postmaster in 1962, and her husband, Sonny, built the post office and skating rink the next year. Now, it's just Miss Doris. And if you've ever seen her carrying crates of mail for the post office, you know that she can handle a few kids on skates. Jenkins is unquestionably tough. She runs the post office during the day and the skating rink at night. So, when does she rest? "Between midnight and daybreak," she said.

At 75, she still skates with the kids. Jenkins has seen profiles in Rink magazine of skaters in their 90s. She hopes to do better than that. "I want to be skating when I'm 100," Miss Doris said.
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