Cairollers bring roller derby to Egypt – Daily News Egypt

Cairollers bring roller derby to Egypt – Daily News Egypt.

Click on link above to see story.

You think it is difficult for you to play Roller Derby?  What if much of society opposed it to the extent you felt threatened?  what if you had to rely on others to bring skates and equipment to you because there was none in your country?  What if you have to have “guards” stand duty while you practice?

And among their biggest supporters and helpers are the Derby girls from Tel Aviv, who also have helped train some of their personnel.

If we can just get leagues into Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran, the great game can bring peace to the Middle East.  Please share.


And please like the Cairollers site on facebook and show your support.  It is all about empowerment.

Roller Derby and the Military…..was there really a game on an aircraft carrier?

Yes…….more on that later.

My father was very patriotic.  He was too young for World War I and too old for World War II.  But he did all he could for the War effort.  Before the 2nd World War Roller Derby was at its largest in terms of total personnel:  4 “units”, each with two teams playing across the country.  The teams did not interchange, as in those days Derby played in cities from 14 to 28 days in a row, depending on the size of the city and the love of Derby.  So the teams were “white shirts”  (home favorites) and “red shirts” (non favorites).  When they went from Cincinnati to Kansas City, the home team was Kansas City, the visiting team St. Louis, etc.

When the War came my father told all the skaters that if they went into the service or worked in War industries, they were guaranteed their jobs back when the war ended.  The Derby was down to one traveling unit of those who did not qualify for the service or did not get a wartime job.

There were always free tickets for the military, and promotions to sell war bonds.

When the War ended, most skaters came back.  Some who felt they were too old or didn’t want to do it went into other professions, got married, etc.  (Some 20 years later when I was operating the League, a skater who I had known from the 40’s came up to me at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco and told me he wanted his job back as Leo had promised.  Unfortunately his skating skills were gone, and we got him a job selling programs… have to be careful what you promise.)

During the Korean war my father worked with the Army and USO to arrange a tour for Roller Derby to go the Far East to play for the troops.  One of the skaters later told me they landed in Bangkok for refueling and a stop over (no jets, then), and the players freaked out when the officer who greeted them was Captain Seltzer.  He was my first cousin Lloyd who was an officer in the Air Force as was his brother Bob Seltzer.   Of the four Seltzer cousins (including Sherman, see post about him) who were in the service, I was the only enlisted  man.

When I was operating Roller Derby we also tried to do something for servicemen and women.  When we would play in Hawaii, games were scheduled on a consistent basis at Pearl Harbor and Schofield Barracks.  But I was thrilled when I was contacted by the US Navy in Alameda, Ca, to schedule a game on the carrier, USS Ranger.  I told them there would be no charge and all personnel would be free, but we needed help with the logistics.  So they provided the transportation and personnel to set up the track on the  hangar deck (first deck down), and an official game was played.

The commander of the ship sat in a special chair trackside .  There were a few bleachers, but most of the sailors stood.  One time I look over at the Captain, and my then 6-year old daughter Ellen had crawled onto his lap…..he seemed fine with it.  The event was a huge success.

As a result of this game, I was invited to go on the family day “cruise” when all personnel’s family left on the ship from Alameda, went under the Golden Gate Bridge and many miles out into the Pacific.  They then had their jets take off and eventually land.  I think it was the most terrifying noise I have ever heard.  They fed us on the way back….Quite a day.

The other game we gave that was interesting was to San Quentin for the prisoners and personnel……Luckily, Calvello did not cause a riot.

The party’s over

Photo by Philip MacKenzie from

I think everyone pretty well  knows my politics.  I believe we are here to help everyone we can, and we should all pay our share.

The main issue now is our country is broke.

Today I heard the CIA has been secretly helping opposition in Syria since 2003 (courtesy of Wikileaks).  We still have tens of thousands of troops in Germany (war ended in 1945), tens of thousands in Japan and about 15 other countries.  And we are muddled down in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We can’t be the world’s police anymore;  I thought that was why the United Nations was formed over 60 years ago.

Our people can’t get work; yet we spent almost a billion in a few days bombing Lybia; our social and educational programs are being sliced, yet we spend 1/2 billion on a fighter plane.

The threat from major nations is not the same; we have to guard against terrorists here in the US and not create more by helping unpopular governments.

Get our military home, let them spend the money in the US and help when they are needed here.

Our credit rating is about to disappear, our population has no money or employment……We need radical action now!

The best of times

Photo by Robert Linder from

My teenage years were during what many feel were the best times, the late 40’s and early 50’s.  The war had ended and after years of food, gas and clothing rationing, our economy burst at the seams.  Clothes were funny (not to us then), with lots of material, huge shoulders, long skirts for women;  and the cars:  so long and so wide, huge fins, terrible gas mileage (gas was 25 cents a gallon), and the future looked so great.

GI’s had the right to go to college, guaranteed loans to buy houses (new houses were from $10,000 up, cars around $2500) and we felt that when we got married, our kids would have a brighter future than we did.

OK, so today we have the web, electronic marvels abound, and a pretty lousy world for many.  If you have a degree you no longer have a guarantee of a job, and the so-called middle class is heading south; and money is definitely not trickling down.

This is not a Republican or Democratic thing;  for whatever reason this is where we ended up.

Every one talks about whether or not you are patriotic;  that does not mean waving a flag or just supporting our troops.  Either the Americans of my generation were gullible or far more patriotic;  when we were told to conserve and ration, we did.   Everyone made sacrifices to support the war effort.  Prices were controlled (by the government).

When the Vietnam war came about, those in charge (again Dems and Repubs) wanted people to not be affected, so we were not told to choose between “butter and guns”.  No restrictions were imposed, we did not sacrifice in any way, and our debt grew and inflation came about.  And future wars came without sufficient reason and we just accepted it.

From that point on we have never been asked to save, buy bonds, hold back and look where we are.  And when things turned into an almost-depression (or maybe a real one), the solution given was to go out and shop.

So  now all of us are no better off (except for a select few) and the pols are all afraid to cut any of the real cuts that are needed (and not just ones that affect the already distressed middle and poor classes).  We shouldn’t just blame them, we all went along with it.

God Bless America.


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