Baby, Derby, Sonoma explosion!


I am groggy but want to write about yesterday at the Sonoma Film Festival because I am sure I will lose memory of some of the magic.

Derby Baby screening. Photo by D.E.sign.

At 9 am Ana, Jim, and Jerry (Nicol) showed up at my house and cleaned and set up tables and started to work with the food……wonderful wines had been donated by Enterprise Vineyards (Phil Coturri), Highway 12 (Paul Giusto) and B.Wise wines (Allison).  And Sonoma Springs Ale by Darrel Smouse and other brews by neighbor Martin…..and the food, unbelievable and only added to by our Derby women as the arrived.

Amazing photo of Derby's best who visited Sonoma for the Derby Baby screening and time with Jerry. Photo by D.E.sign

And arrived they did, in droves…..The motorized cable car never could make it (her schedule was wrong) so we all got into cars and drove to the Plaza where people were waiting in front of the theater.  And our wonderful Derby women from Resurrection, Sonoma County, Sacred City, and some from Windy City (Val Capone) Gotham (Suzy Hotrod), South County (Taira), Fresno (Tengauge), Redding (Ophelia Balls), Granite City (Maine! – Angela Watson), London (I forgot your name, but she is in training with Sacred City) and zebras and more got into formation, and upon a hidden signal did the forbidden.

It is illegal to skate around the plaza (two blocks each way), but off they went in a disciplined line and pace, and they circled twice, came back to the theater, and completely illegally did a demo on the street in front of the theater. Literally dozens of cameras blazing, including coverage from our TV station, Sun TV, channel 27, which will be shown this week as well as streamed to Derby News Network for coverage.

Derby Baby screening. Photo by D.E.sign.

Then we saw “Derby Baby”.  It will make you cry, it will make you proud and have you say “yes, this it what I have been trying to tell you!”  Kudos to Ron Patrick, Robin Bond, and Dave Wruck who have devoted two years of their lives to produce a feature that shows their love and understanding of Roller Derby today.

Derby Baby Q&A. Photo by D.E.sign

And this was interesting to me:  the film audience – all three hundred of them – had sold out the showing in advance.  And after making my little presentation with our wonderful friend, Cheryl Jennings of ABC , I moved to the very back row and noted that virtually no one left the theater until the end of the film (average age of  festival film goers and subscribers:  55).  And I kept thinking, they won’t understand, it has no meaning to them, but it did!

Then there was a question and answer afterwards with Robin, Dave and Suzy Hotrod and Val Capone…..and then another wonderful thing:  Shadow, whose story is part of “Derby Baby”, has pursued skating and Derby because her father had been such a fan of the Bay Bombers (my team, my era) in the 70’s, and he was affected by agent orange in Vietnam and had died, but had seen his daughter skate!

And yesterday was actually her birthday…..and there was a drawing of Riedell products, and she won the last item, a $600 pair of their very best skates!

Derby Baby Screening, Sonoma. Photo by D.E.sign

Then we went back to my house where the crew had the best spread of food I have ever seen, many tables set up in the back yard, and we ate and drank and laughed and enjoyed each other and talked about the film with Robin and Dave and Suzy and Val and on and on for hours until, sadly, everyone had to leave except for the three from far away who stayed here last night…..and now they have left this morning and I am writing this and will sleep shortly.

There is such closeness in the Derby world…..it is hard to explain.  and Robin and the others have figured a way for all of you to see this film.  Keep checking on the “Derby Baby” site and there should be some posting soon.

Judi and I will be working with a number of you on ideas for “Seltzer Brand” which will be debuting shortly….it will be different!  And it will show our love for the continuation of my family’s game.

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