The Burton Potter American Legion Post 185 reopened for its first public skating session in more than a decade in March. Nearly 150 community members returned to the Third Street building for its opening day.
In 2011, restoration efforts began again, thanks in large part to the late George Costello, a Vietnam veteran and longtime member of the post. The renovations hit a snag after the building suffered damage from Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
In an interview earlier that year, Mr. Costello told The Suffolk Times he was “looking forward to seeing hundreds of little kids roller skating, just as I did.”
For longtime rink staffers like Chatty Allen, those “kids” were the sons and daughters — and in some cases, grandchildren — of past skaters.
“Some of them were coming up to me saying ‘I don’t know if I remember how [to skate],” Allen said. “I told them ‘It will come right back to you.’ ”
The American Legion now regularly hosts all-ages skate nights in addition to adult skate nights and private skate parties.