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Jacoby’s love letter to his family’s skating rink

By Jacoby Cochran | @JacobyCochran


I have loved roller skating and Chicago’s unique “JB” style for as long as I can remember. 

Okay, that is not exactly true. I can remember being a 4-year-old and my mother teaching me at The Rink in Chatham. It was a tough time — between the bad balance and all the crying. But as I grew up, roller skating and Saturday nights at Markham Roller Rink in the south burbs became the move. 

When I was in high school, my stepfather’s parents decided they wanted to fulfill a lifelong dream to own and operate a skating rink. 

So we opened Rich City Skate in late 2006. (We technically took over, renovated, and renamed Olympic Skate World in Richton Park, 20 miles south of Chicago). 

My immediate family began working at the rink and it took up all of our free time. I went to school and the rink. On any given weekend, it could be anywhere from 10–20 family members in there at one time. 

My story “Rich City Skater” explores how my love for roller skating, and the bond with my family, grew and changed over time as I left for college and returned years later. It is a story about family, culture, and the coolest skaters in the world.

We’re sharing Chicago love stories, and we want to hear yours. If you’ve fallen in love in or with our city, email, or text/call (773) 780-0246.

👉 Read Jacoby’s full story in the new “Storytellers’ True Stories about Love” anthology. Hear Jacoby do a virtual reading Sunday at 1 p.m.

💖 Need last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts? Plans? Here are a few ideas.


▪️ Two people face gambling and drug dealing charges following a raid at a West Ridge social club. Residents also suspect prostitution. The venue was ordered to be demolished. [Block Club Chicago]

▪️ Newly obtained texts show Mayor Lori Lightfoot had angry words for Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul after a lawyer from his office criticized how the city handled police reform. [Chicago Tribune]

▪️ For the first time ever, CPS parents can weigh in on the 2022-23 academic calendar. The deadline is Feb. 18. [Chalkbeat Chicago]

▪️ Need something sweet this weekend? The Original Rainbow Cone in Beverly is back open 🤤 [CBS Chicago]

▪️ See a three-foot snow sculpture of beloved Peanuts pup Snoopy on top of his dog house at Promontory Point. [Chicago Sun-Times]

▪️ This week’s must-read.

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TODAY: “The Loyola Project” screening in Rogers Park
See the documentary about the winning 1963 team that broke racial barriers in the famed “Game of Change” at the Gentile Arena at 7 p.m. Current Rambler and top defensive guard Lucas Williamson narrates the film. 

SATURDAY: Heart bomb at Altgeld Gardens
Attach homemade crafts to the public housing complex’s Shop Building and School Building C on the Far South Side Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

SATURDAY: Chinatown Lunar New Year parade
Continue celebrations at the annual parade full of marching bands, floats, and traditional dragon and lion dancing teams Saturday from 1–3 p.m.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Ballet Folklórico de México downtown 
Catch the famed dance company celebrate its 70th anniversary at the Auditorium Theatre Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Black Child Book Fair in West Loop
Pick up books with Black characters by Black authors at the traveling book fair at Malcolm X College Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ALL WEEKEND: Galentine’s films in Lincoln Park
Bring friends to watch movies like “Set it Off,” “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” and more at Facets Cinema Friday through Sunday.


Catch up on this week’s episodes!