About Suzy Hotrod

Jerry Seltzer:

This is just as true today (and maybe more so) as when it was written two and a half years ago…..your sport is competing for the entertainment dollar, and just maybe you should do what is suggested.

Originally posted on RollerDerbyJesus.com:

I really don’t know Suzy that well.  We have met and talked on several occasions but are not really close friends.  But there is really something about her that portends well for the future of the game (and obviously I am not the only one to see that.)

Suzy is taller than you think, obviously very strong, and a hell of a skater and, very importantly, very charismatic.  If I were to compare her to skaters of my day, you would automatically think of  Ann Calvello because of the aura around her.   However, she is a much better athlete than Ann, and remember that showmanship was a big part of our game  –  and Ann portrayed it to the max.  Probably the one woman skater I admired the most for her agility and physicality was Judy Arnold, and she didn’t stay with us that long.ann

It is hard to…

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You skaters scare me and not in a good way

Is it my imagination or does the game seem to be getting more dangerous with more injuries…..It is almost like I see a number reported each day.  On June 20th this player broke her fibula when her Savannah team was playing.  And she does not have the funds for her medical coverage.  So here is her information if you could spare a few dollars to help a Derby sister:


You know I used to promote and own Roller Derby (oh no, is he off on that again?).  We paid the skaters, provided all equipment, doctor availability when needed and of course had workmen’s compensation…..we virtually never used it because our rate was so high anyway that we had been assigned to the State of California for coverage. So we paid the medical expenses, and kept the players on salary until they could skate again (after our orthopedic surgeon released them).  If it appeared to be a very long term situation, then we turned it over to the insurance company if there was the prospect of some permanent injury.

We required butt pads in the uniforms of all skaters, and unfortunately too many of you don’t realize the terrible effects of a coccyx injury until it occurs.  And yes our leather pads in the tights and shorts do not compare with the equipment required today, but our skaters went through almost a year of training on average before joining the league and knew how to skate the banked track; how to fall; how to avoid hitting other skaters on the track and since they were almost always moving forward (by rule) the impacts did not equal what is in the game today.  And the talent and skills of the players are not all equal.

What I do not understand is the jeopardy you all are putting yourself into.  You aren’t going to be injured at all?  Don’t bet on it. The benefits of the insurance required are minimal, and if you are injured and off for some time, you are jeopardizing your employment and other activities.

Everyone who skates should have private or affordable care insurance.  I am really surprised that leagues do not require it.

Examine your situation and don’t think it can’t happen to you, and could you afford an extra ten to twenty thousand dollars if necessary.

Just for your own good.

The powerless Commissioner has spoken.

Sasha, Yuri, Valery, Yakov, and Steve Seltzer

Jerry Seltzer:

oh what else did I do…..why manage a rock and roll band, of course.

Originally posted on RollerDerbyJesus.com:

I read recently where Sasha Lehrman, a well known professor of Language had died…..did that bring back memories from 1976.

Did you ever want to manage a Rock and Roll band of Russian immigrants?  Neither did I, but I did.

A good friend of mine, a fraternity brother from Northwestern called me and said he had been at a gathering the night before and had heard two wonderful Russian immigrant folk singers, and because of my affiliation with BASS Tickets and the various music clubs I might be able to get them bookings.

And thus I was to meet Sasha and Yuri.

They had not known each other in Russia, but were able to emigrate, theoretically to Israel, but both came to the US.  Sasha was an expert in the similarities of languages (there is a specific title, but I forget it), and Yuri had been an attorney in Moscow…

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A Toddling town

Val Capone and I connected when we first met at the 70th anniversary Roller Derby celebration in 2005 at the Chicago Hstorical Society.

She and her Windy City teammates were the first of the modern Roller Derby that I had ever met.  I had heard that something had started in Texas, but really wasn’t aware.

Our friendship has grown over the years, and a lot of it is based on our love of Chicago.

Of course there is more:  although a star and a great example of modern Derby, Val is also a lover of the history of the game.  I am also because it is part of my DNA.

But although I have been a Californian for many years, the Chicago area is where I grew up.  I was an unwilling resident at first; my sister and I had to leave our hometown in Portland after our mother died, and since my father’s business was in Chicago, that is where we landed.  First we lived in the Edgebrook part of the city, and then we moved to the suburb of Glenview.

And every week my cousin Bob and I went to the marvelous Loop.  We enjoyed the Field Museum, the museum of Science and industry, every camera shop, and always ending up at the creaky old Coliseum, the home of the original Roller Derby, and if we were lucky the Westerners were in town and we were able to see all of the greats:  Wes Aronson, Billy Bogash, Ivy King, Kitty Nehls, and on and on.  These were my heroes, all bigger than life and just marvelous athletes.

I have lived in so many cities, from New York to Miami to Denver to LA and many more.  But Chicago just has a magic to it.  And every time Val writes about it I am reminded.  In all honestly, I would rather spend time in Chicago (if away from Sonoma) than any place.  I also am a graduate of Northwestern, which is located in Evanston, just north of Chicago.  When I was there, it was a “dry” town, the home of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  So we would journey a short distance to Howard street, on the border of Chicago and Evanston, which was about as “wet” as a street could be.  And we could hear any kind of music, but pariculary Chicago blues and jazz:  George Brunis on the trombone.  And at the London House (downtown) there would be Sarah Vaughn.

And today you have Rush Street, and a great Aquarium, and tall buidlings and all set on the most beautiful Lake Michigan.

Last year I had the pleasure of showing a good friend this city for the first time, and by doing so was able to relive all the wonderful sites, and restaurants and places…….did you know that the all faiths Bahai Temple in Wilmette sits on the exact site across the world from the original temple in India?

I used to pay 50 cents and sit in the bleachers at Wrigley Field, and who else do you know that saw the Cubs in their last World Series in 1945?  And the legendary George Mikan played for the American Gears basketball team whose home games were in the Coliseum.  And I saw “the raging bull”  knock out Bob Satterfield at Wrigley field in one of my father’s promotions…..and the Chicago Bears with Sid Luckman play the Chicago Cardinals also at Wrigley Field.  and the world championships of Pro basketball (before the NBA) at the Chicago Stadium; where the Harlem Globetrotters, who could really play great ball defeated the New York Rens in the finals.

I was so fortunate to have spent most of my high school and college years in this amazing city.  And thank you, Val, for constantly reminding me of the wonders of the city with the huge shoulders……your loving husbitch.

Be aware of where you are and what you do……..it is the foundation for great memories.