WOW! What a night!
We made it to watch the Cherry City Derby Girls of Salem in their bout against Sick Town Derby Dames of Corvallis.
After finding out our family friends twin daughters had just had their 15th birthday, I decided that taking my daughters and the the twins to the Roller Derby here in Salem, just might be the way to celebrate. But actually, this event, presented by The Culture Shock Community Project, actually did become a cultural event. The twins had two visiting French Exchange Students who went along with us. So it was me and six girls ages 13 to 16 who braved this new experience.
We had no idea what to expect and that was half the fun. We arrived an hour before the bout began and found the parking lot nearly full, the line to get in BLOCKS long, and a very eclectic group of people. Obviously, Salem, OR is ready and willing for Roller Derby. We all saw people we knew...except the French Exchange Students, who pretty much had wide eyed wonder through the entire night... "Vee do not haf einything like dis in Fraaance!"
Welcome to America! Land of the Free, Land of Roller Derby!
I'd have to say the night was quite educational as well. For those unfamiliar with the sport, a great event program explained Roller Derby Basics, and before the bout, they had some girls exhibit the basics, how to score, what counts as penalties, and a brawl. My daughters and their friends especially enjoyed the make believe cat fight. We also got to watch a pre-game video that expounded on Roller Derby basics. And if that wasn't enough, we were told if we had any other questions to ask some of the random girls on roller skates zipping through the crowds to explain more by saying, "Talk Derby to me!" Everybody loved that. Men especially seemed to really be entertained by that phrase... hmmmm...
The fun continued going through the program and reading some of the names the girls skate under. I'll let you go check some of those out at www.cherrycityderbygirls.com Some of the names are actually well, lets just say "interesting."
There were some pre-bout theatrics with a woman coming in on a horse with her face painted blue and white "Mel Gibsonesque" of Braveheart and she gave a rousing speech pretty much straight from the movie, but with a bit of Roller Derby thrown in there. Half-time was entertaining as well with Man Overboard performing and the An Daire Irish Step Dancers. (The Irish Step Dancers were a special treat!) www.andair.org
The bout itself was amazing! I got to see Flea Bitten Kitten 9 Lives do her thing as a high-scoring jammer. She was so good that my daughters informed me they have to get her autograph. Since they were way too young to go to the after party at Flipside Nightclub to meet FBK9L, I will have to visit Michaels Spinal Rehab (my chiropractors office) to get those autographs... not because FBK9L is there for treatment, but because she works there.
After Derby and after Dairy Queen, I delivered the twins and the French Exchange Students home. They glowed with excitement and were grateful for the experience. I just asked the French Girls, who are now on a 25 hour journey back to their country this morning, not to judge our entire culture based on their evening of Roller Derby. They laughed, their world view expanded just a little further by experience Cherry City Derby Girls on their last evening in America.
I never thought I'd become a Ambassador for Roller Derby. I never thought I myself would ever watch Roller Derby live here in Salem, and I never thought I'd expose my daughters to it...
But hey, isn't half the fun of life not knowing what comes next?
I'll have to remind myself of that when my daughters start thinking up their own Roller Derby names and plan for trying out when they are 21...which thankfully is many years away.
I'm still going to hold out on the skates and roller blades...
We are really looking forward to the next bout so we can go watch Flea Bitten Kitten 9 Lives and her teammates skate to victory once again.
Next week at the Pavilion is a Cage Fight, but I think we'll be sticking to Girls' Night in the future.