The Westport PAL Rink at Longshore doesn’t get a lot of press.
But every winter for over 20 years — quietly, efficiently, and very, very joyfully — the outdoor skating center just a few feet from Long Island Sound has provided thousands of kids and adults of all abilities (and none) with hours of good fun, and a lifetime of memories.
It’s not easy keeping an ice rink going — especially one without a roof. There’s ice to groom (and remove snow from). There’s the weather — sometimes too cold, sometimes too warm.
There are schedules to make (and adhere to), lessons to give, parties to help out with, reckless teenagers and worried parents to tend to.
I can’t imagine how the PAL Rink staff does it. But they do — and they do it in a way that makes it all seem easy. They smile often, extend helping hands when needed, and create a warm environment on even the coldest nights.
So to longtime manager Tony Lantier and his loyal, hard-working and often-overlooked crew: Thank you! You are our deeply appreciated yet Unsung Heroes of the week.