September 7, 2010

IceStage Archive

With summer officially over, I thought it would be fitting to give you one last post on "What I Did For My Summer Vacation," as the kids trudge back to school.

One of the best things I did this summer was visit the IceStage Archive in Minneapolis and meet the man behind this massive collection, Roy Blakey.

Here's a picture of Roy, back in his performing days and here's the place to catch his bio.

photo by the Proskating Historical Foundation

I first blogged about his theatrical skating wonderland back in January in case you needed to write a term paper on Sonja Henie. Hey, I was only half-joking. This place is a treasure trove of skating memorabilia. Besides thousands of show pictures, posters, and programs, there are costumes, dolls, lunchboxes, skates, blades and a real pinball machine. My daughter liked that the best!

In the basement of his apartment Roy is preservating the other side of skating - ice shows. He should be inducted into the Figure Skating Hall of Fame as an archivist. But before the collection can truly be displayed, he needs a bigger space.

He has a primo spot in Minneapolis's trendy East Hennepin Ave, home to the mammoth Aveda School, the gorgeous Nicolett Island Inn and the uber-hip Nye's Polonaise, home to the world's most dangerous polka band and voted the best bar in America by Esquire magazine ... excuse me, Ice Charades, but weren't you talking about that ice show place?

Why, yes. Thanks for asking. Yes, the home to IceStage Archive is busting at the seems. If you laid out all of the items nestled in the basement of his apartment, first of all you would be very tired and second, you would count perhaps ten thousand items.

I wonder if there is a favor wealthy A-list skater or perhaps an even richer skating fan that has a permanent building to showcase all of this. Anyone know anyone? Any space next to the FSHOF right now? That would be the ideal location. There are a lot of skaters who made the FSHOF, that would show up in Roy's museum as well.

And I promised Roy, that if that day comes, where there is a permanent home, I'll volunteer to catalogue some items.

For any fan of ice shows, or even skating in general, this place has to be on your to-do list. Roy's energy and commitment to the collection are infectous. If you ever get to the Twin Cities, you need to carve out a few hours to see this place. You also need to email or call ahead of time and bring some quarters for parking.

Here's his website: IceStage Archive and here he is showing off the place.

Thanks again, Roy for a great tour. Have a lot of fun (and some wine) for me in Nice, France okay?

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