Skating rink lost spin to fire: Linked in with neat York County, Pa., history stuff – Nov. 27, 2009

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A support for the dome for Roll ‘R Way East, known for years as Playland, is shown in flames as a fire destroys the longtime York roller skating rink in November 1985. Playland gained a headline this week when the York Daily/Record Sunday News wrote about skating icon Richard Lustgarden, known around town as “Cha-cha.” Rest Haven-York recognized Cha-cha with a skating party at Roll’R’Way Family Skating Center in York. The East Market Street Playland complex, neighbor to a Bury’s hamburger restaurant, included a roller skating rink, a large swimming pool and later a motel. The complex opened in the weeks before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and lost spin completely when the fire destroyed the skating rink. Other parts were razed in 1991. Today, Cloister Car Wash and Wendy’s sit on parts of Playland’s former site. The event honoring Cha-cha, the newspaper reported, occurred on the 24th anniversary of the blaze that stopped Playland’s skaters in mid-roll. Also of interest: Just try to resist this memory-tugging aerial photograph of York Whitehull Airport and York Valley Inn and Playland and … and Just try to resist studying this memory-tugging photograph and Playland plays nostalgic note for York countians.
For years, York native and four-star Gen. Jacob Loucks Devers has been underrated, overlooked or just plainly maligned.
He led two armies across the Rhine into Germany during World War II and there’s never been a full length biography on this leader, who outranked George Patton.
All that until recently. Mark Perry’s “Partners in Command” started on the course of building Devers reputation as a leader.
And now comes David Colley, with his “Decision at Strasbourg: Ike’s Strategic Mistake to Halt the Sixth Army Group at the Rhine in 1944.” …


(Some might remember he presented on this topic at a York County Heritage Trust Second Saturday program earlier this year.)
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Colley wrote in a recent New York Times op ed piece that Devers looked across the Rhine River into sparsely defended German positions. He was prepared to cross the river with his two armies – the first to do so.
Here’s an excerpt of his op ed:

Devers never crossed. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander, visited Devers’s headquarters that day and ordered him instead to stay on the Rhine’s west bank and attack enemy positions in northern Alsace. Devers was stunned. “We had a clean breakthrough,” he wrote in his diary. “By driving hard, I feel that we could have accomplished our mission.” Instead the war of attrition continued, giving the Germans a chance to counterattack three weeks later in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge, which cost 80,000 American dead and wounded.

Had Ike permitted Jake to cross, Devers would be a household name today.
Click here to read Colley’s New York Times piece.
Blog post of the day: Read Yorkblogger June Lloyd’s thorough look at folk artist Lewis Miller: York Folk Artist Lewis Miller Elusive Character.
Forum of the day, The Exchange: Whatever happened to Hungerford, Shrewsbury Township?

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Books & reading, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Linked in/neat stuff, Local landmarks, Nostalgia & memories, Unsung/obscure sites, War, World War II. Bookmark the permalink.

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