Since 1964, 78-year-old Doris Jenkins has worked at the Topsail Post Office by day and then her roller rink at night. What’s unique about both is that they are housed in the same building: the post office on the first floor, the roller rink on the second. Learn about the love story that built this unique North Carolina beach tradition.
Doris Jenkins, Topsail Beach Skating Rink Co-founder
“When I’m out there skating and doing this, I don’t think of nothing else.
Doris Jenkins met her husband Joseph “Sonny” Jenkins at a skating rink, a meeting that turned out to be fortuitous in more ways than one.
Years later, the Jenkins decided to open their own skating rink. Sonny designed the building, and they opened for business in 1964. The rest is North Carolina beach history.
For years people have flocked to Topsail Beach Skating Rink, now a local main attraction, to skate to the sounds of decades past. And Doris has been there to welcome visitors since they opened.
“Sometimes they’ll come in and say, ‘Well, I haven’t skated in 40 years,'” Doris said. “And I’ll say, ‘Put on your skates and hang around a rail till you get used to it.'”
At Topsail Beach Skating Rink, guests of all ages and experience levels can skate to music from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. “I’ve got a whole stack of Elvis,” Doris said. “We don’t play acid rock and all that other stuff.”
The slow songs are Doris’s personal preference.
“When I’m out there skating and doing this, I don’t think of nothing else. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to skate,” she said.
“I wish Sonny was here and I was skating right with him, but he’s not.”
Sonny was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease four years ago. But Doris still has his skates.
“I wouldn’t do nothing with his skates—they’ll be right there,” she said.
Founded around the Jenkins’ love for skating, and each other, Topsail Beach Skating Rink is the place to bring the whole family for a retro, fun time.
“It’s one place that all the family can come and they can all do the same thing and not bring their troubles and worries and all that,” Doris said. “It’s just an old-time skating rink and people love it. I see myself skating till I’m 125.”
Joseph “Sonny” Jenkins passed away on May 7, 2017. The Jenkins family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Topsail Beach Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 3089, Topsail Beach, NC, 28445.