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    Posted August 24, 2014 by
    BrendaOlson
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    When grandparents were cool

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    IRENE BENTLEY: FIGURE SKATING GRANDMOTHER

     
    My son’s grandmother, or “Nana”, always wanted to be a figure skater since she was a little girl. She lived in Boston as a child and skated any chance she had on local ponds. She saved her own money to take figure skating lessons at the Skating Club of Boston and realized her ability. When she was only 16 years old, she auditioned for the Ice Capades with a girlfriend and both were accepted. Unfortunately, during that era, most parents believed daughters should stay home and learn how to care for a family instead of enjoying a career so she listened to her father and decided not to tour with the skating troupe. Her father died young and she did go on to become a wife and mother and raised her family. She still skated when she had a chance, but it wasn’t until she was in her 50’s that she returned to the ice rink at a professional level. She was asked to teach figure skating at the newly formed Gloucester Skating Club when her youngest started playing hocky. Today at 91, she no longer ice skates, but she is still quite active with line dancing, singing and performing in senior shows in sunny Florida.

    The first picture shows Irene in her skating outfit posing for the camera when she was a teenager in Boston. The photographer is unknown. The second photograph was taken by Brenda Olson and shows Irene posing with her grandson, Jonathan, during his First Communion in 2002. The third photograph taken by a family friend shows Irene posing with her family recently in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She is shown with her son, Doug, her son Ron, her grandson, Jonathan and yours truly.

    Irene stopped ice-skating long before Jonathan was born, so the two never had a chance to ice skate together, but Jonathan appreciates his Nana just the way she is.
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