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How Mantecas youth kill time during school holiday
Chris Potter, Dylan Mahan and Manuel Martinez kill time Monday at the Manteca Skate Park. All three spent their Presidents Day enjoying time outdoors. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

Andrew Wood’s dream hangout seems crazy.

An indoor skate park with all of the bells-and-whistles that the current Manteca course is lacking, accented by a bowling alley and an arcade and a fast-food place.

Essentially it’s an overhaul and a combination of all of the places that Manteca’s youth currently spend their time when they’re not in school – like on Monday afternoon.

But a kid can dream can’t he?

“It’d be a place where you could bowl and play basketball – and there would be an arcade,” he said. “And there would be a skate park where you could skate for free, but you’d have to pay for the fast food. It would all be in one place so you didn’t have to go all over.

“That would be perfect.”

Chris Potter said that he enjoys night rides at the skate park when he doesn’t have to go to school the next day, and wouldn’t mind seeing lights that would extend the hours during the winter – similar to what’s offered in places like Dublin and Patterson.

But when he’s not on his scooter, Potter said that his option are pretty limited – resigned to spending time with his friends in just a handful of places in town.

“I just chill with my friends at McDonalds,” he said. “It would be nice to have something else that we could do, but I don’t know if there’s anything else coming.

“The movie theater is a popular place, but you can’t always make it over there.”

Manuel Martinez says he doesn’t mind hanging out at the skate park with his friends because it’s a chance to get outside. Even “chilling” at a friend’s house is something that he’s willing to do if there’s nothing else on the horizon.

There’s one thing, however, that he says would break up all of the monotony and instantly provide entertainment.

“A mall,” he said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get one, but that would be cool.”