She gave him the green light.
He skated full-speed ahead to a nearby Big Boy/Big Box Toy Store.
And, quicker than Hawks announcer Pat Foley can say shot-and-goal, Patrick Ciolino turned his Romeoville back yard from ordinary into extraordinary. He built a Winter Wonderland, featuring an outdoor ice hockey rink that has become the focal point in the neighborhood.
“Coolest thing ever!” is how Karen Latuszek-Ciolino described his work and the rink in a recent Facebook post.
She and her husband, Patrick, have two children, Danielle, 7, and Alex, 4. Both are enrolled in hockey/skating lessons. Whether they stick with the game over the long haul matters not to their parents.
“As to the reason why, look at the families having fun in the pictures, that’s why,” said Patrick Ciolino of building the rink. “Thirty years from now, my kids will remember that their dad put an ice rink in the back yard for them to have fun.”
And that his wife first came up with the idea—sort of.
“Last year, within a half hour of my wife making the statement that we should do something in the back yard, I was at The Home Depot,” Patrick Ciolino said. “I had to start before she actually put any thought into it and changed her mind.
“This was all on the way home from skating for the first time as a family, having a blast at Rocket Ice in Bolingbrook. The weather did not cooperate last year, but this year has been great. We are novice skaters, but are having a great time learning.”
He skates in a green Blackhawks jersey. And he's thinking: Green Light. Go, go, go ...