The following is an excerpt from my subscription service Whispers from the Cave. Learn more HERE.
Between a risk of liability exposure, the increasing costs to maintain and staff outdoor rinks, and the climate change that has given us warmer and less predictable winters, the tradition of neighborhood skating rinks died. The joy of this tradition is still carried in the hearts of all who once enjoyed the Dale School rink, and the rink is perhaps what Dale School is most known for.
The rink and the ghosts. As it relates to the rink, there is a long time Oshkosh legend of a young boy who died on that rink. The story is that he fell and hit his head on the ice, suffering a serious concussion that resulted in a brain bleed. Today we understand that head injuries are sneaky and can lead to serious, often undetected complications. The boy’s injury took place long before MRI’s, but regardless, the legend is that he died on the spot.
I call this boy Billy and he lives as a spirit in the basement of Dale School (aka The Cave). I see him as a boy of nine or ten years old….the age when boys are just starting to experience the early symptoms of puberty….in emotions and actions if not physically. Billy presents to me as a good kid, mischievous and playful as are all boys of that age. The teachers of Dale School had a special place in their hearts for Billy as his home life wasn’t especially good. His father was “a drunk” and was rough with his wife and children. Billy, being the most energetic, often became the brunt of his father’s drunken tirades. Billy often came to school with the signs of having been hit, but in those days, there were no resources to advocate for a child. Billy found refuge at the school. The teachers were kind and understanding and let him stay as long as they were able after the school day was complete. Billy was often lingered on the playground until the last employee went home.
The last to go home was Clarence. Clarence was the school’s custodian, groundkeeper, electrician, plumber, and repairman. Clarence is also the one who tended the boiler and made sure the school was well heated during the long and cold winter months. In the winter, Clarence tended the skating rink, adding water to the base when needed, and shoveling it clean from fresh snowfall. Clarence was a single man who took pride in the school and until all the work was done, called it his home.
NOTE: This narrative was created through the creative imagination and channeling and based on what I have observed as ghosts in the place I live. Without verifiable evidence I cannot claim this narrative to represent facts.
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