Clatsop County Roller Derby? are you kidding me?


(1) Tara Hopman Dyrset.

Pictured in the link above is Shanghaied Roller Dolls, out of Astoria, Oregon……see if you can pick out my friend, Tara Hopman Dyrset…..of course you can, immediately.

So much of my family history is in Clatsop County. Every summer for as long as I can remember we were in Seaside and eventually had a home there. Seaside is on the Pacific Ocean, just 16 miles from Astoria, which sits at the mouth of the Columbia river on the ocean. I fished in the Columbia and actually caught a 38-pound Chinook….not sure you can still catch any in the River.

Tara’s day job is at the Columbia Hospital, an excellent medical facility serving the county……Her fun job is Roller Derby.

She does the merch and tickets for Shanghaied Roller Derby….I can only assume the name comes from the former great seaport of Astoria and those unfortunate enough to have been slipped a mickey and awaken on a sailing festival far out to sea.

Astoria is named for the prominent pillager of animal skins and other travesties, John Jacob Astor…..the Astor tower sits far above the small city and you probably saw it in Arnold’s Kindergarten Cop which was filmed in Astoria, and Tara sent me a great photo of her team around the statue in front.

This is a league for fun; they got rid of the drama last year and have made it easy to come and skate and learn and enjoy…..great participants in the local communities and parades and gatherings and functions….just what you would want to be when you think of Roller Derby.

And a number of women are from Seaside, near Seltzer Park.

Last Saturday they had a game at the Fairgrounds in Astoria; ironically where we had scheduled Willie Nelson for a benefit to raise money for Seltzer Park….Obviously we succeeded with other fund raising and benefit concerts by Willie again in Seaside and one by the Smothers Brothers.

And their game last weekend sold out, drawing 500 people to the building and it was fast and hard hitting and everyone had a great time….who won? I don’t know and don’t care.

By the way, they sold out their advance tickets through Brown Paper Tickets.

The best way to bring additional revenue to your event!


Brown Paper Tickets – The fair-trade ticketing company..

If you are in a service organization, a theater, music or sports group, click on the above.

Do it even if you aren’t, it will make me happy.

I represent Brown Paper Tickets in outreach, and it is the least expensive way for a customer to buy a ticket; usually costs the producer nothing, and adds to your event by having it on a website used around the world.

Great 24-hour customer service, phones answered in English, French and Spanish, and it is what all ticket companies should be.

I should know:  I used Ticketron, started BASS Tickets in Northern California, and was executive Vice President of Ticketmaster.

This company is different, and you can use them for donations and/or fundraising.

I think you get the feeling I really like them.

A week of memories, and please talk to that person


I always used to be happy about the third week of May.  School was going to be out soon, and the birthday season was starting.

My sister’s birthday was May 23; I looked forward to the  chocolate angel food cake from Helen Bernhard, the best bakery in Portland.

It really is different because Gloria is gone, and how I miss that wonderfully responsible woman who had that crazy Seltzer sense of humor.  We had a great evening at the Cinema in Seaside when we decided (and Ken did not want to go along) to see two different movies.  It happened to be the night of the first showing of Jurassic Park at midnight, and the manager invited us to stay before he opened the doors to the crowd waiting to see the midnight premiere.  We had dinner of hot dogs, ice cream, and Hershey bars and just had a great time.  Of course we were both over 60 at the time.

I wrote a post about Gloria on this blog.  If you haven’t read it, I hope you will.  For those interested she was a big part of Derby history.

I am the survivor of the Leo, Rose, Gloria, Jerry family.  I don’t dwell on it except when I think about each and what they have meant to me.

I was walking at the Plaza in Sonoma with Cooper (a small dog) yesterday.  All the tourists were there and one lovely older woman who stopped to pet Cooper and we started talking.  She had moved to Sonoma 5 years ago from Ft. Lauderdale and remarked how much she loved the town, and no great heat and humidity.  I of course asked if she missed the wet tee shirt contests that town is so famous for during Spring Break and she just laughed.  I thought, I bet she has a bunch of great stories.

I know I am cross generational.  I have a huge ready-made family out there because of my Roller Derby affiliation that goes back so far, and my thirty years of ticketing Rock and Roll and Sports and Theater have kept me from losing touch with the present; so I know I seem relevant to many of you out there who are no where near my age.  And my closest friends are more of my generation:  my brother-in-law Ken Gurian; my partner of 50 years Hal Silen who had as much keeping Roller Derby going as I did, as well as his great stewardship of BASS Tickets; Bob Nicholas, my former neighbor and great raconteur in Sonoma; and Richard Cuneo, one of the pillars of the community with a great sense of humor.

I read on facebook (or twitter) yesterday a comment from someone who was grieving because she couldn’t get over the fact that she had hit thirty.

Do you see, all of this about years is relative…..there are now over 2000 Derby players over 40 who are still in the game.  My best years started when I was forty.  and I am sure one of the reasons so many of you follow me is I have a lot to talk about, that only comes with age and experience.  I feel I have been lucky because I have done so many different things and can relate them.

Then I thought:  I know that lady I met on the street has some great stories.  and many of you don’t just automatically start talking to an older person you don’t know.  Hey, you want to connect with the hot ones, the fun ones.

Do me a personal favor.  The next time you have an opportunity please cross connect to another generation.  Especially if they are alone (and you let them know you are not trying to scam them).  It might add a lot to your next conversation or post, and please remember none of us want to feel we are removed from the world.