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a vote for the Sufferjets

May 31, 2009

Sufferjets 30May09-3864We were there last night to cheer on the Ithaca Sufferjets roller derby team in their first bout of the season, and our first bout ever. They take their name from the original American women’s rights movement, which began in nearby Seneca Falls at the Women’s Rights Convention held July 19 and 20, 1848. You could say Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a lead jammer in her time.

First, a one-man band named Aaron Speiser sang the most soulful National Anthems (Canada’s, too), I’ve ever heard. Tapping out a mean beat on the snare, his gruffly sweet voice set the tone for the night. Then there was the blessing of the bout, a prayer in the irreverant spirit of derby but that remained thoroughly “holy, righteous, kosher, and halal.”
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On the bench. Names are brash, numbers nonlinear, legwear stripey.

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The Roc City Rollers are a study in green.
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Nearly clocked by an incoming jammer.
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A winning moment for the Sufferjets. You knew they’d win, didn’t you?
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“Harriet Beecher Ass,” my favorite nom de derby, is bottom right in the photo below. She told us about coming up with it later at the Fisherman’s Pub, an official derby bar. Legend is that when Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862 he said, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this Great War!” A name that didn’t make it was “Harriet Thudman.” Another strong woman, Harriet Tubman, lived just up on the road to Auburn.
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About halfway through the bout, I was wondering where my skate key was and thinking up my rollergirl name when a jammer’s feet flew out, landing her flat on her back. In that second, my spine shook those derby dreams right out of my head. Too bad, I’d really like to be “AdrennaLynn,” but it’s in use already anyway. To see if YOUR derby name is still free, check the International Rollergirls’ Master Roster.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2009 12:13 pm

    Thanks for the fun writeup! We’ve got spare skates for you to try anytime…

    • June 1, 2009 1:26 pm

      Hey, my pleasure in return for a superfun time!

  2. Leigh Kahre permalink
    June 1, 2009 6:53 pm

    I would be known as LEIGHTHAL! But you are right about the bone thing. Harriet Beecher Ass is the best name :)

    • June 1, 2009 9:37 pm

      THAT might be the best name. You could so be a jammer…betcha Denver has a team.

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