Derby is one of the many joys of my life. It’s an inexplicable, and dangerous, love I discovered late in life. I give and give, not as Gadora Wilder but as my other alter Scrape Myrtle, each week in hours of practice that exponentially give back—on and off of the track. It has afforded me a circle of women who make me laugh, constantly challenge and support me… and at 41 has given me an ass I’m finally quite proud of. My derby loves have trekked to New Orleans for years—without me—to partake in a wacky weekend whereby they skate the streets of The Big Easy as red “bulls” whacking willing runners along the 1+ mile route.
This year I. Am. In. There’s been countless chats for where we’ll stay. What we’ll eat. What we’ll wear. The organizers encourage us to have a blast and whack the runners with “the love for a brother we hate at the moment.” We are not to maim them, just toss them around a bit. We are promised the 15,000 of them will LOVE it. Always at the ready for a crafternoon, the gals and I gathered at my place to pimp our wiffle bats, helmets and horns. We hadn’t planned for our logo but wanted to represent Texas. So Scrape put on her Gadora hat and traced and cut a Rollergirl logo into a Shrinky Dink sheet. We used the reverse as our template.
As a Texas Rollergirl hometeam representative, I now incorporate purple into anything I can. So, my shiny new helmet got a spray of Hustler purple.
Huddled around my courtyard’s table, affectionately referred to as The Goose, we derby gals each sprayed our helmets and bats and gear. Here’s mine, quietly drying underneath the reflection of my canopy of trees. Pretty, me thinks.
MariEasy Livin’ (we’ve dubbed MariEZ… or maybe she did herself), Hydra (a Derby hall-of-famer of sorts) and I each took turns spraying all 8 participating bulls’ gear. In the Texas summer, drying time was a breeze. We carefully peeled and re-stuck the sticky tape on the underbelly of the Shrinky Dink template, then sprayed.
I got a little crafty with my bat graphic. Yes, YOU, I fully intend to smack you with the wrath of my bat. I might even leave a lil mark. Then I’ll skate right past you to the next eager fool. MariEZ recommends we reinforce our bats at their base with duct tape… so as to prolong their life. What kind of hurt did SHE administer last year?
The horns. Oh my fellow derby dears—there will be some 400 of us skating—have created some magnificent specimens. Our gaggle of gals are going for practicality. Nothing will get between us and our ass-kicking. We procured some devil horns and re-appropriated them as bull horns, but not without a bit of bedazzling. They’re kind of perfect in that they’re easy to slip over our helmets, and will allow the maneuverability any self-respecting derby enthusiast craves.
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¡Bienvenidos a NolaBulls.com! San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) is an annual festival in New Orleans featuring an Encierro (bull run), which replicates and pays homage to the world famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, or “The Running of the Bulls”, only our bulls are none other than members of the Big Easy Rollergirls and select participants from other rollerderby leagues across the country! I. Cannot. Wait.