What to do at Rollercon besides skating (which I don’t do)

The first Rollercon I attended was in 2006, and I don’t remember exactly why I went.

I think it was because Loretta “little Iodine” told me about it, and I had met the Windy City Rollers and my first Derby wife Val Capone the year before.

And Judi Flowers sent along 300 pair of her flower slippers that had been featured on Oprah and Sex and the City and we gave them out…..anyone still have them?

Judi and Jerry:

Photo: IMG_7904

Loretta and I were so honored to be introduced and get to say hello to everyone at the big opening dinner (gone the way of the dodo bird).

July 30 to August 4 at the Riviera in Las Vagas will be either my fifth or sixth.  Ivanna and Trish and all the people who put together this amazing event are wonderful…..at least to me it has become the centerpiece of modern Roller Derby, even more than the championships……over 5000 from all over the world (will there be anyone there from the leagues in China, Russia, Korea, South Africa, Egypt, Israel, etc?) because this is Roller Derby Mecca.  The best skating instruction, the best functions, seminars, trade show etc.  It is really Roller Derby University, where it is not as much what you learn, but who you meet, hang with, and make even more bonding relationships.

First league being formed in Russia:  in line skates for now!

Photo: Our traning of 5 June. We usually have around 10 people, there are several who are coming every time, but also we get some new guys every training, what's good. It is sunny in St.Petersburg. and we are enjoying it on the Palace Square (in front of the Hermitage, yep)

I have never been a skater (unless you count my time on the banked track in a match race with a sponsor (I had sense enough to lose) or when I skated with the Singer midgets (their actual name) when they were in Hollywood filming “The Wizard of Oz”…….I hope that doesn’t date me).

But boy, this is my Disneyland, Space Shuttle, Super Bowl all wrapped in one.

And Brown Paper Tickets, the only ticketing company with a full Derby Division with Derby people, has me doing sales and outreach for them.  This not just for profit, fair trade company had me start with them last September.   And if you can imagine the logistics of doing every admission function for Rollercon, you can see what a snap they would be to handle your league (lowest service fee, no cost to you, magnificent customer service….www.brownpapertickets.com).

And what will I be doing?

Well, I have 7500 facebook friends and tens of thousands who follow my blog and twitter, so I get to see many of them this one time of year.  And we take pictures and I sign the various places they want to be signed (yes, it is true, I did).  And I will hang in the Brown Paper Tickets booth with Sten and Michelle and the many others they will bring just to make sure all problems in Las Vegas are handled.

And Judi Flowers and I will be at the Roll Models/gamegear booth in the main hall (#24, at the corner right in front) where Judi will introduce the Derby fashion forward SeltzerBrand/Gamegear designs by Lucy D which are sublimated (what till you find out what that means) and unlike anything else in Derby.  the designs last as long as the fabric, regardless of washings etc.  There will be a limited amount on sale as well as books autographed by the Commissioner and photo ops, etc.

And if you are even thinking about getting team uniforms, please check out Roll Models, unless you don’t want professional looking, long wearing, sublimated designs.

Bob Noxious of Roller Derby fame and Brown Paper tickets and I will be heading a seminar on Saturday at noon in #114.  If you are super-successful in attracting fans or not successful, you will want to be there to be part of the discussion…..there is so much about promotion, marketing, ticketing that is not obvious, and we will get into all of that….and oh yes, I promoted over 3000 Roller Derby games, Willie and Waylon, and much more.

And here is an oddity:  The Roller Derby Skate Company, started by my father and uncle Oscar Seltzer 70 years ago will be making its first appearance at Rollercon, in the west hall where Brown Paper Tickets booth is.  I have no ownership; cousin Ed (a nuclear physicist who attended Cal Tech!) owns it, and has made it one of the most successful roller, ice, skateboard, hockey companies in the world.  I guess he figured it was time to visit his namesake.  I am certain he has gone for a certain niche, and you really should stop by and see the products in the booth.  We required all of our skaters to wear them back in the day.

The voluptuous Val Capone at our Derby Wedding.

Jerry Seltzer

It appears that about 200 members of the vibrant Derby over 40 group will be on hand.  We will have a little gathering on Friday night, and hope you can attend my (third) Derby wedding to the breathtaking Donna “thehotflash” Kay at the top of the Riv and then stay for the pants off/dance off party (I guess that is appropriate on a wedding night).

Oh Donna, (sigh)

Donna 'thehotflash' Kay

And of course Dumptruck officiiated at the Lori and Jerry nuptials.

Photo: After ceremony

If you don’t know about Donna, please check out her facebook page.   Maybe the most amazing woman around.

I can’t remember your derby name and real name (I check the labels in my shirts to make certain they are mine), so just come up and hug me, tell me who you are and let’s take a photo.

Gawd, I love Rollercon.


Some time after I post this my blog will have had 180,000 views.

Now that is not today, but since I started it.  And I also have 409 subscribers who get each one sent to them when I publish.  (You can too; just add your email address to the upper right hand part of this page).

That is the great thing about the web and social media today.  with my facebook pages, twitter and wordpress, what I write reaches over 10,000 readers a day, and if they share, God knows how many are out there.  And just today, according to wordpress, my blog has been looked at by people in Botswana, Austria, Philippines, Russia, UK, Sweden, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, France and Germany, in addition to the US and Canada.

I started all this as a lark.  Without knowing anything I went to Wordress.com in June 2010 and didn’t read any directions and just started posting.  And pretty much the same thing with Facebook and then twitter (516 followers).

Image by Kolobsek from stock.xchng.com.

As you probably know by now, I am pretty opinionated, and I like these forums where I can express myself and get others to do the same.  What was really strange to me was when I started getting complaints that I wasn’t just writing about Roller Derby but about my other experiences in life, just funny or interesting stuff (to me) or whatever.

Of course I stopped promoting Roller Derby many years ago and have been primarily in the ticketing, promoting, consulting and community service.  And I am getting complaints from others why don’t I write more about that aspect….of course I will in the future.

I am very proud of my children and my family, but I made a conscious effort from the start to keep the personal aspect out of these posts; I did one, really hurt a person’s feelings who is very close to me, and I promptly deleted it.  When Mary and I  do the compilation of these posts with additional stories and photos, I will put some of that in.

In case you haven’t noticed I am liberal, although once an Eisenhower Republican.  I like to think I am socially conscious and try to include that in my writings as well as try to help those who ask me to.  And I like to engage in meaningful discourse with those who agree with me and those who don’t.  I won’t allow any personal attacks, although I admit I have gone too far on occasion.

I have been around a long time and can tell you about World War II, the first atomic bomb, the McCarthy era (I heard him speak at our mock convention at Northwestern), and everything subsequent.  I know that we as people have a seemingly very short memory and are too often influenced by the last 30-second spot we have seen,  so that is when I try to shout the loudest.

I am lucky to be in control of all my faculties and thank God for Judi and her ability to (try to) keep me grounded.  A short “you’re not that interesting” from her brings me back to Earth.

I have a great consulting job connected to Derby coming up, as well as Seltzerbrand.com with Judi, Lucy D, Jim Weymouth, and GoMerch, so you can be sure I will get that in.  (Did you know that I was a promoter).

I appreciate you all, so please hang around and I’ll see if I can continue to stimulate, educate, and amuse you (and me too).

My fifth!

In just a couple of weeks I will be at my fifth Rollercon!

Modern Roller Derby has re-inspired me.  My generation of Roller Derby started a half century ago, and yet these people have made me feel such a part of what is going on today and the history of where the game came from.  In August Roller Derby will be 77 years old;  and yet it is the most modern and fastest growing sport in the world!

And Judi Flowers and I will be part of the GoMerch/Seltzer Brand booth at Rollercon (#61…..right across from Wicked Skatewear…..didn’t I teach you to promote all the time?).  Go Merch is one of the leading fanwear vendors in the industry and is exclusive to many of the artists (Train and others) and record labels, and we are proud to be part of their entry into “our” world.  And Judi, of course, is Seltzer Brand. And our friend Doug Martin of Roll Models at completeteamoutfitters.com who is proving to be among the best of uniform distributors will also have a display in booth 61.

And of course I will be autographing “Roller Derby to Rollerjam” for you and hopefully in pictures with you and for the first time showing the new book by Keith Coppock and me “Bay Area Roller Derby”, a part of the Image of America series by the prestigious Arcadia Publishing company.  It starts with Roller Derby in the thirties and takes it right up to modern Derby, with plenty of previously unpublished photos and stories.

Is that enough of Seltzer at Rollercon?  Well there is much more:  I will be heading a seminar at 4 PM on Saturday with Val Capone and your help on making your league more successful from a marketing point of view!

And I will be hanging with one of Derby’s amazing groups:  Derby over 40.  There are now over 1200 members, some in their sixties!  There will be a gathering at 10 PM on Thursday, and a game of all over 40’s at 2 PM on Saturday (yes, you will have time to make to the seminar!).

And Saturday night I will be taking a new Derby wife:  Lori Milkeris who has been such an inspiration to all in Derby (and without) with her fight back from an abusive relationship that almost killed her (see I Like Women on my blog) and has helped lead to the creation of Derby Against Domestic Violence and Blockers not Bullies on facebook and many of the leagues working with women’s shelters and other organizations.  By the way, Lori will be at our booth during the event and I hope as many of you as possible will stop by and say hello!

And then the pants off dance off and all the other parties…..and I want you all to meet Dan Cooper of Go Merch and of course Judi Flowers and Jim Weymouth of Seltzer Brand!

For you first timers at Rollercon, you will skate your asses off, learn your asses off, party your asses of and realize what a connected world Derby is!

If I had drawn the scenario, I wouldn’t have it any other way.