Marion Palace Theatre

Happy Reminiscing – Feb/Mar 2020

Happy Reminiscing – Feb/Mar 2020

This is an exciting year for our community. It is Marion County’s bicentennial celebration. I’m honored to be included in the Marion200 Speaker Series. My topic is the history of entertainment. I’ve been doing some research; thinking back to my own childhood and what we did for entertainment.

If you grew up in Marion “back in the day,” chances are when the temperatures dropped you bundled up for some time spent outdoors. Maybe you donned a pair of ice skates and made your way to a frozen pond or icy surface at McKinley Pond, Sawyer Ludwig, or Chapel Heights. Or maybe you enjoyed trekking up and down the hill at the Harding Memorial or Lincoln Park with a sled in tow. I was never much for sledding, although we did put in our fair share of time on the hill at the Harding Memorial. But ice skating has always been a favorite childhood memory for me. I’m sure I wasn’t as good as I remember myself to be. But I loved it nonetheless, and I love to reminisce with my daughters about my prowess on the ice, even learning to skate backward and taking the corners like a pro.

Fast forward with me to Christmas 2019. Our middle daughter surprised us with an “experience” gift. You guessed it; an ice skating outing with her family at Penn State’s Pegula Ice Arena. When we opened the envelope to learn where we were headed, I was STOKED! Images of my younger self gliding gracefully across the ice filled my head only to be shattered by reality when I hit the ice and busted up my knees. I wish that was the end of the story, but sadly there’s more.

What I didn’t know is that my husband had NEVER…that’s right NEVER…been ice skating. He and my oldest granddaughter were hugging the wall of the rink and holding on for dear life. But at some point a sense of confidence began to build, and he made his way away from the wall and into the flow of skaters. I lost track of him but when I “bit it,” I headed off the ice to survey the damage to my knees only to return to the ice a short time later to see him being wheeled off the ice in a wheelchair. My youngest granddaughter reported that Papa had done “the pretzel” while trying to avoid a young skater who had fallen. Turns out that move resulted in two breaks to his right leg.

With a few weeks, a plate, some screws, a huge cast, and a scooter between him and the incident, he’s now on the mend. And while I licked my wounds for a day or two and nursed my crushed childhood memories of skating days gone by, thankfully I wasn’t badly hurt.

I learned my lesson. From now on, I’ll stick to reminiscing not reliving my memories.

Maybe you have some entertainment memories you could share to help with my 200 Series speech. I’d love to hear your stories of how your family experienced entertainment through the decades. Feel free to contact me (

In the meantime, how about making some current entertainment memories by joining us for our upcoming events? This issue is filled with great opportunities to engage in the arts with friends and family. I invite you to make plans now to take in a class or a show. Let’s continue writing Marion’s entertainment history right here at the Marion Palace Theatre.

Happy reminiscing!

Bev Ford, Executive Director