October 11, 2014
Santa Cruz, California
Last weekend I photographed the Santa Cruz Bombshells’ final bout of the season. Santa Cruz hosted the New York Bad Apples at the Kaiser Permanente Arena. Because the bout was held in October, there was a costume theme. Because this was roller derby, a costume theme seemed a little redundant… until I participated.
Almost every roller derby skater and official adopt a persona and name. I have a derby name, (it’s P Giddy), but I have not really lived up to it. I wondered if a costume theme would negate personas. Would some people dress as normal people? What is a normal person? Am I a normal person? Instead, it was double fun.
The previous weekend, I bought an old train conductor’s hat in downtown Oakland and decided that I would wear a vest I bought twenty years ago. I also bought an antique lighter that I can use for business cards, but I do not really use business cards. (Perhaps I will start now that I have an old lighter… I don’t smoke either.)
It seemed that the teams hit each other harder than usual. I have watched enough derby to know these things, or at least think that I know these things. It is possible that the skaters hit the same as usual, but this time they did not avoid contact. The collisions were worse, but I have never worn a conductor’s hat to derby.
The highlight may have been the National Anthem by Kristi Garcia. When the National Anthem is the highlight, it is either really bad or really good (usually bad.) Kristi was really good. Since I do not photograph the National Anthem, I do not have a picture of her signing nor of me running out to tell her that she was amazing. I have a blurry picture of her hugging someone I believe is her boyfriend or brother. I actually hugged him. We agreed that she was amazing.
The halftime and post-game presentations were also excellent. Santa Cruz is not my home league, but they are a lot of fun. Downtown Santa Cruz is fun too. I could write a short story about downtown Santa Cruz. Their downtown has a store that only sells flip-flops near a store that only sells high quality tea. That is like being obsessed with trains, but never riding on them… or calling yourself P Giddy and never smiling.