I am completely disgusted by the Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association (LPPOA) and how it handles the issue of skating on the lake. You have these older men who seem to have nothing better to do than drive around the lake and not ask people to leave the ice, not suggest it, but in an extremely rude manner scream at you to get off the ice. Most of us on the ice are above the age of 20 and are very approachable guys and easy to talk to, so I do not worry about the effect it has on us. But it’s the kids who are under 18, as low as 6 years old, who have men well into their 60s yelling profanity at them—and these men really have no authority other than the phone they use to call the police. And we wonder why kids do not always show their elders respect.
When we are skating on the ice, we are not bothering anyone. In fact most people walking around the lake will stop and watch for a while, even take pictures. We have some younger guys on the ice with us who are outside doing things—not sitting inside playing video games filled with guns and blood and gore. Not that those games are terrible, but you have to take a break. Another thing: When these kids are on the ice with us, they aren’t doing drugs or getting involved in any kind of mischief. My family has been in this area over 80 years and have enjoyed using the lake for all the things it offers over that time. Especially skating. Most of the guys out on the lake also have families who have lived in the lake for a long time. We respect the lake.
We make sure we clean up after ourselves. We are proud of the knowledge that our fathers passed down to us about when the ice is safe, and what to do in the case you do fall in, and what precautions to take to make sure it doesn’t come to that. It puts a big smile on my face when I see my friends passing this down to their children. This area has a storied history that we are all proud of. From skating on the lake in the winter to the 4th of July fireworks at the hills every summer. We are proud of this history, so who are these people who come into this town with no knowledge of it and call the police on us for healthy activities? We are not throwing parties, just having some good, old-fashioned fun. Look at the photo: That is beautiful. How is it not promoted? How can you try to take that beauty away from people who enjoy it and respect it so much? I do not fault Parsippany Police. I fault the people who have forgotten what it is like to be a kid, what it is like to have fun.
I invite the men who call the police to come out there with us some time, even if it is just to watch and experience it. See why we love it so much. It is not something we do to bother you. It is something that is in our blood. Personally I have been skating on that lake for over 20 years and haven’t fallen in once. You think I may be safe about it? Do you think I may know a little something about it? We all do, and would be happy to fill you in on some of that knowledge if it would make you feel better. And we’ll take responsibility for what happens: Give me a waiver to sign saying I will not sue anyone if I fall in. I would even go as far as to volunteer my time and check the ice and its safety for the LPPOA. I just do not see where being outside playing a sport can be a bad thing for anyone. We even put in our own sweat to shovel out our rinks when there is snow.