current (March 2017) issue of Valley of the Moon Magazine…every (good) word is true:
There is a book long out of print “A Very Simple Game” by Herb Michelson – the oral history of those associated with Roller Derby. over 30,000 copies were sold in 1971 and 1972, and you may find a copy with the original cover in a library, or bootlegs elsewhere. And don’t worry about sharing, I owned the publishing company (Occasionally Publishing)
But I am going to give you the first chapter as told by Leo Seltzer (b 1903, d 1978).
I don’t like to use the name Promoter. A Promoter is the type of man who goes out and uses everybody else’s money. I always gambled my own money, even though I took some hard losses many times. But we didn’t call on outside people . I have never considered myself a capital P Promoter. I was just a man who took a creative idea and tried to move…
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2016 will not go down as a glorious year in my long life.
I don’t think I will have to tell you why….but I am still prepared to fight for what I believe in.
And then one of the very good people in the roller derby community stopped fighting his demons and left this world.
We all have things going on that we don’t share on social media. I have so much in my life that I won’t talk about. And age is not a great help as things progress. I am not saying that at a stage where things become intolerable that I wouldn’t want to just go away; I cannot be judgmental.
But that doesn’t decrease the sorrow one feels when thinking about what a loss it is when a great friend and person decides to end it.
This was to be a positive Christmas and New Year’s message.
So let me say please be more aware of each other. I believe we are on our earthly journey to help and take care of others….what if your conversation or interplay with a friend or associate is your last..does that affect what you would do?
I love you all, truly. You make every day better for me, and I follow your exploits happily.
Give yourselves a big hug and just fight the battle positively.
With this post, total views of my blog will exceed 400,000. You may want to read some of the 528 previous ones.
Last week the New York Shock Exchange were on CNBC at the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange (glad they saw the connection and humor in it) and really did a great job explaining modern Derby and the Brown Paper Tickets blood drives (they and the Gotham Girls and Suburbia Roller Derby all participated) to on air people who had no idea that Roller Derby was in existence.
I watched in amazement. Not only are the Gotham Girls the best women’s team in the world, but there have been so many features on them in all media. They have been in existence for a dozen years (the Stock Exchange for 10); over 59,000 likes on their Facebook page….and on and on.
So obviously that is one fight for recognition and stature that is still to be fought.
Ironically, with the Olympics in the forefront, can anyone say there is a more pure and honest sport than Roller Derby, requiring so much sacrifice and dedication on behalf of its participants.
So who gets credit for modern Derby and the 1900 women, men and junior leagues that participate in it in 60 countries throughout the world?
Not me nor my father, who saw our game end in 1973.
I am honored by the connection to the original game, but this sport would have never emerged if it hadn’t been for the efforts of not only the women in Austin, but of those throughout the country (and the world) who shaped what has occurred.
So make of this modern version of what you want: a game created by women for women; a sport that men are enjoying, as are the juniors and recreational participants. It is yours and be proud and work with all others who are skating the game in some form and open it up to the world.
All of us, the old and the new, will be happy.