Evanston’s iceman keeps rink in sync
Updated: December 31, 2012 5:16PM
Robert Lloyd of Buffalo Grove finds no cold shoulder among friends and colleagues at the Robert Crown Center ice rink where he is manager (worked here since 2000). Lloyd, originally from Chicago and his wife, Crystal, have three children, Michael, 20 (of Cleveland, Ohio), Tramelle, (of Houston, Texas), Michelle, 23, of Evanston. We caught up with Lloyd while “The Nutracker,” an annual tradition, was taking place.
Q. Why is Evanston a great place to raise a family?
A. Because it’s a real melting pot, you have people of all backgrounds that live here. And it’s just a real great place to live. Really community oriented.
Q. Why is the Robert Crown Center such a special place?
A. We’re one of the few rinks in the area that stays open year round because most rinks shut down during the summer period, they shut their ice down and use it for other things. We skate all year round.
Q. How does the message of “The Nutcracker” have year-round appeal?
A. Well, because it’s a tradition. It never changes. It remains the same. It remains steadfast. People have been attending it for 38 years. The Nutcracker is a family-oriented program, we have families, that the parents that have been skating in The Nutcracker and their children (are now) in The Nutcracker. I’ve heard conversations where the dad has told the children, ‘Well, I’ve skated in this,’ or the mom has said, ‘Well, I’ve skated in this and now I am watching you skate in this, so I am very proud of you.’ I mean, it’s a great feeling to know that it’s a tradition that has carried on through all of the different families that have been here. I’ve seen some of the same people skate in The Nutcracker over and over and over again and they’re having as much fun as they did from the day that I have been here when I started back in 2000. I wouldn’t want to work anyplace else but here.
Q. How does ice skating speak to your soul?
A. Ice skating is a sport that you don’t have to be athletically inclined to do. People of all ages, all shapes, all forms, can ice skate. You don’t have to be really, really good at it to do it.
Q. Are you really, really good at it (ice skating)?
A. Uh, no I’m not (laughs here), unfortunately!
Q. Do you ice skate?
A. Every now and then when I have time.
Q. It seems like you’re kind of a busy guy here, don’t you think?
A. Yes, this rink is busy all of the time so there are things to do here all of the time.
Q. What’s your wish for the New Year?
A. My wish for the New Year is for people to continue to recreate here at Robert Crown and continue to participate in our ice shows.
Q. What’s your New Year’s resolution?
A. Uh, to not make New Year’s resolutions!