Patricia Gott and her son, Kevin, left, at a skate/dance party Friday night in Oxford. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

OXFORD — Patricia Gott ran her roller rink by the rules, following guidelines set by the state of Maine to keep people safe.

She says she also had a policy of her own: “No making out was my rule. I didnt think there was any need of it.”

Gott has written a book, “Roller Rink Rules,” about her 24 years of owning Motion 26 in Oxford.

She recently hosted a skate/dance party with the town of Oxford at the outdoor roller rink in the center of town to help promote her book and to get back on wheels.

Gott bought the building in Oxford that became Motion 26 in 1981. It had been a dance hall and she remodeled it into a roller rink. A single mom, she wanted something to keep her 11-year-old son, Kevin, busy. 

Kevin was thrilled to have a job at such a young age. He worked his way up through all of the positions as he worked his way through high school.

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Not many kids have a job at age 11,” Kevin says. “Skate rental, snack bar and, as I got older, (my mother) trusted me with money. I did admissions, DJ.”

Patricia Gott says she ran a tight ship.

“My rules were strict,” she said. “They paid to get in and it wasn’t cool to get tossed out.

Along with her prohibition on making out, Gott banned speed skating, tag and chase, and hats on the skate floor, because they could fall off and cause skaters to trip.

She also nixed chewing gum, alcohol, smoking and fighting. And no one was allowed to carry a child while skating.

Gott admits there was more going on than she knew at the time, especially with her rule about making out, given all the kids who were “sneaking around the corners in the hallway by the ladies room.”

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Despite Gott’s rules, Motion 26 was a place where love could flourish. Kevin Gott met the woman he would marry at the rink in the 1990s. He says they skated together for six or seven years before they started dating.

He now has his own children and still roller skates weekly in Portland.

His daughter recently confided in grandmother Patricia, saying she knows why they have all their birthday parties at the roller rink.

So my daddy can show off,” she said.

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