The argument of the broken window pane is the most valuable argument in modern politics. – Emmiline (Goulden) Pankhurst 1858-1928
During this year’s Golden Bowl in Oakland, California, I recalled Pankhurst’s famous quote while photographing the roller derby bouts at the Bay Area Derby warehouse. Many of my pictures have broken windows in the background. Other pictures have the Golden Rules poster in the background.
I first noticed the broken window panes two years earlier during the 2015 “United Nations of Derby,” when I took some of my favorite roller derby pictures in front of broken window panes. I like the pictures even more, because I photographed Eva Menace one of my favorite players. Whether we realize it, the roller derby community are descendents of the suffragettes.… Read the rest
This is the first season that Bay Area Derby has skated at the Palace of Fine Arts. BAD changed their teams, uniforms, and regular season home. The Palace of Fine Arts was originally built for the 1915 World’s Fair. It is one of the few remaining structures; it is definitely the most recognizable.
I have been photographing roller derby since 2011. Sometimes I wonder if I have been doing this too long, but I felt younger next to some of the structures at the Palace of Fine Arts.
My fourteen year old daughter attended the first bout between San Francisco and Berkeley. When she first started watching derby, she liked the vendors. Now she is looking for the opportunity to join a team.… Read the rest
I have also photographed an event inside the 16th Street Station. On November 7, 2015, I photographed a fundraiser when Mayor Libby Schaaf celebrated her 50th birthday at the historic site.
This year’s season opener was historic because of the new venue, but the result was also unusual. San Francisco ShEvil Dead defeated the Oakland Outlaws 186-114. The ShEvil Dead victory equaled their win total from the three previous years.
The new venue seemed appropriate for roller derby. Old and new had found a place to interact and coexist. Nothing felt out of place.
When I watch derby on a foam surface, I forget that the sport is full of full contact.… Read the rest
“If the Good Lord had intended us to walk, he wouldn’t have invented roller skates.” (from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
On Saturday, two teams skated in circles and one team would be able to hold a trophy at the end of the bout.
Last year the Berkeley Resistance won. This year they won again.
Rocket Dog Rescue also attended the Bay Area Derby Championships. Rocket Dog Rescue attended two years ago. This leads other related questions. If God had wanted us to be alone, would he or she have created dogs? (Or if God had wanted dogs to be alone, would humans have been created?)
So, walk this way and view the two galleries from #BADchamps2016. I recommend that you play a Gene Wilder movie in the background.
I almost did not photograph last weekend’s Bay Area Derby Pride double header. I would have missed something special.
My derby photographs were not special, although I took a few decent action pictures somehow. There are two slideshows below the next two photographs.
In the second bout, Richmond Wrecking Belles defeated the San Francisco ShEvil Dead.
In the first bout, the Berkeley Resistance lost to the Oakland Outlaws.
A former skater coached the winning Oakland team, and an injured skater coached the other winning team.
Two contestants won the rainbow whip cream eating contest.
The bearded man was one of the winners. I have pictures to prove it.
After the first bout, the skaters gathered while a referee was honored. Then the rest of us were honored to be in the presence of something special.
Last week I met sports journalist Justine Gubar. She wrote the book “Fanaticus, Mischief and Madness in the Modern Sports Fan.” The book is about crazy fans. Last night I watched the Major League Baseball playoffs. Toronto fans threw beer cans and other debris onto to the field after being upset with an umpire’s call (but mostly the fans hit other fans, including kids). Toronto eventually won, otherwise the fans might have thrown kids. Last weekend, I photographed the Bay Area Derby Girl roller derby league championships. Some fans cheered. Some drank beer. Some fans brought their kids (or some kids brought their parents), but nothing unusual happened… except that The Berkeley Resistance won their first league title.
You can view more photos of Berkeley’s first league celebration and 161-143 victory over Oakland at the gallery here.
This post might turn out like my dinner tonight. I grilled a cheese sandwich with turkey, garden tomatoes and avocado. The sprouted bread fell apart, the crust became hard and the inside became mushy and cheesy. It tasted good, but I would not serve it to friends. While I rushed my dinner, I have spent several days trying to write this blog post.
I have yet to digest my emotions from last Saturday.
Before I attended Saturday’s bout between the Santa Cruz Derby Girls Bombshells and the Bay Area Derby Girls Team Gold, I planned a simple post that included galleries from two previous bouts. I would discuss the community based organizations that the roller derby teams supported at recent events and I would mention how my children love attending roller derby too.
Then I met Bryan Stow.
I am a Dodger fan. I have loved the Dodgers since I was a little kid and moved to Fresno from the San Fernando Valley.… Read the rest
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.… Read the rest
The B.ay A.rea D.erby G.irls held their second Double Header of the 2014 home season in San Francisco at The Armory on Saturday, April 26, 2014. I posted a few photos on my Facebook page already, but the images look better on my derby photography website. I almost always upload galleries at www.AFlatTrackMind.com after a bout. There is a gallery for bout 1. You just need to keep reading.
This was my first time shooting at The Armory. (This was my first time inside the building ever.) For part of the evening, I almost lived up to my really cool derby name. (P Giddy) I smiled a little more often than usual.
I met new people who can teach me how to smile even better. I saw familiar friendly faces too. You can probably see familiar faces in the gallery. You need to keep looking.
There was also a cool half-time show.… Read the rest
On Saturday March 1, I attended two season openers. One was a campaign and the other was a sporting event. There is probably a cheap joke here, but neither event felt cheap.
In the morning, I attended Libby Schaaf’s “Libby for Mayor Oakland Campaign Kickoff.” (I took a few hundred pictures; here is the edited photo gallery.) In the evening, I photographed the Bay Area Derby Girls Season Opener. The events felt similar. There was music. There were people from different ages and backgrounds. Young people held signs. Older people cheered. Everyone seemed committed. Positive.
As someone who pretends to be a journalist, I do not officially endorse anyone, but I support many people and causes. I support Libby. Before she was elected to City Council, she supported my kids and neighbors. I support people who help my kids and neighbors.
People at derby support me and my kids.… Read the rest
Saturday night I photographed the 2013 Bay Area Derby Girls Roller Derby Championships. I am almost a regular.
I will probably always feel awkward referring to a grown woman as a “girl,” but derby is a place where awkwardness is normal.
I might never live up to my derby photographer name either. I may never grow into P Giddy the way that Ellen Page’s character grew into her character, but she was a real derby girl.
I am just a photographer… with A Flat Track Mind.
See more galleries at the link or click on a picture above to launch a gallery.
BF / PGiddy
During half-time, Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan proclaimed May 11, 2013 as “Bay Area Derby Girls Day” for the entire city. I have known Mayor Quan since she served on the school board (and later as my City Council Member). I have always been impressed with her visibility at community events. At derby, I was impressed by her ability to adapt. She pronounced the San Francisco ShEvil Dead’s name correctly. She asked questions and talked about her mother attending derby.
Mayor Quan also got close to the floor and photographed action. I think she is ready for her own derby photography persona. (She can probably have mine since I am not really using it.) After the bout, she spoke to reporters and fans.… Read the rest
I am like an official women’s derby photographer now. I am more than a little excited. I’m running and I won’t touch ground. Eva Menace, the PR person for The B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls, invited me into Saturday’s season opener on March 2, 2013 at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California. Now I can take photos of REAL LIVE DERBY GIRLS like Lulu Lockjaw. Lulu actually let me take her picture. Wow. What’s a boy to do?
I think I have a found my derby persona too. As I understand derby personas, they are like an alter egos. My derby alter ego uses the word “like.” He also has the exuberance of a respectful high school sophomore boy who happens to drop his camera and damage his lens. (Assuming this never happens again, it was worth it.) If you are one of the five people who read my blog, you know that I usually take my self way too seriously.… Read the rest
Since the top two teams at the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association West Region Tournament automatically advance to the national tournament in Atlanta, the third place game between the Bay Area Derby Girls and the Rose City Rollers was probably the most dramatic of the tournament. The bout was especially exciting since the BAD Girls hosted this year’s West Region Tournament.
The bout was close the entire game (though not as close as the seventh place game) and there were very few two minute jams. (To those who have not watched roller derby, there were not many penalties nor big scoring plays… a lot of field goals.) The home crowd was excited to be returning to nationals. Portland fans are cool too.
Was there any doubt that the bout between Angel City Derby Girls and the Sacred City Derby Girls was the greatest match of the 2012 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Western Regional Tournament?
The two teams are bitter sweet rivals with a relatively long history. When the bout ended, Angel City’s tournament MVP Jammer Fifi Nomenon fell to the track one point short of Sacred City, but many fans thought Angel City won. The two teams fought, pushed, skated, and tugged the entire game. When Sacred City eventually won, players from both teams cried. Players from other teams cheered.
I love close games and I would watch these two teams compete every day. I also wish my children had attended so my son and daughter could have watched how the players respected each other despite the fierce competition. Despite losing an agonizing bout, Angel City congratulated their rivals. Sacred City celebrated without being arrogant.… Read the rest