Z is for Zamboni
Clean smooth ice is a thing of beauty. Nothing finer in all the world.
And there was no finer machine to properly groom a sheet of ice than a Zamboni Ice Resurfacer.
That’s what Frank knew. His daddy not only passed down the family trade of Professional Zamboni Ice Technician, he also named his only son after the man who invented the machine that bore his name—Frank J. Zamboni.
The world never knew a prouder Professional Zamboni Ice Technician than Frank Zamboni Ignazio.
Frank arrived well in advance of the day’s activities at the Smith Valley Ice Rink. There was no finer time to resurface ice than at the crack of dawn. No finer place than Smith Valley.
Well, maybe the Johnsonville Ice Arena. Calvin Bigalow did not deserve such a prestigious ice grooming position. The man didn’t understand the true beauty and importance of the job.
Frank shook off the thought. He didn’t need to get himself upset over things he couldn’t control. Today marked his 3rd year as the sole Ice Technician for Smith Valley, and he planned to celebrate with an extra lap around the rink and maybe a Slurpee later in the afternoon.
A few minutes before 5:30 AM, Frank let himself in through the back entrance of the rink. After switching on the overhead lighting he opened the storage room that held his beloved Zamboni.
After filling the ice making tank with clean water, he started the machine and headed toward the main ice.
Normally, he would have started an immediate counter-clockwise circuit of ice resurfacing. This morning, however, he found his way blocked. A small man in a red suit with a black vest and red bowler hat was standing on the ice in black and white wing-tipped shoes.
“Excuse me,” Frank said. “Sir? You can’t be in here. The rink doesn’t open until Nine. And you can’t be on the ice with street shoes. Only proper ice skates are allowed.”
“Son of fire,” the man in red intoned. “You have violated your calling.”
Frank huffed. The man wasn’t moving off his ice. “Sir? I really need you to step aside.”
The man didn’t move. “Frank Ignazio,” he said, “crystalline water maker. Your true identity lies elsewhere.”
Frank started to get irritated. Checking that his Zamboni was properly braked, he climbed down to confront the man directly. “Mr. Uh… do you have a name?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “You have to go. I have a job to do and you are in my way.”
“Frank Zamboni Ignazio.”
It finally dawned on Frank that this guy knew his name. “Do I know you?” he asked.
“You are the chosen. The son of fire.” The man’s voice seemed to resonate over the ice. “Come with me and meet your destiny.”
“My destiny? I’m living that already,” Frank said, his voice emphatic. “Since I was six-years-old I never wanted nothing but to drive this here rig and make the ice as smooth as glass. Now, step aside before I decide to call law enforcement.”
Frank swung his arm towards the man in a dismissive fashion. He was shocked and dismayed when the man in the red suit seemed to flare into flame before melting into the ice, leaving a deep, uneven hole in the rink’s otherwise uniform surface.
“Well, damn,” he said, staring at the hole. “Now I’m gonna have to patch that.” He shook his head. “You’d think those demons would learn to leave me alone by now. I can’t think of one single thing that would make me want to go somewhere as hot as they want to take me.”
Frank Zamboni Ignazio, the Son of Fire, climbed onto his Zamboni and set to grooming his ice.
Copyright Notice: Please note that I fully assert my right to be associated as the author of this story, and while it is complete, it may not be finished. This story may be subject to alteration at the author’s discretion. Please do not copy, quote, or post this story or excerpts anywhere in any format. You are, however, free to share the link with anyone who might be interested.