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A night with the Rollergirls

(Editors’ note: The following letter was penned by former Durangoan and current Austinian, Matt Joyce, known to many late-night owls as the beloved former drummer of the Lawn Chair Kings. Joyce is enrolled in graduate school but manages to take a break from his studies once in a while to release some steam, as evidenced by the following.)

Hello Friends,

I had an experience last night that I think is worth sharing. The Texas Rollergirls Rock-n-Roller Derby hosted its inaugural season’s championship bout at Playland Skate Center, down here in beautiful Austin, Texas. The evening featured the championship match between the Hustlers and the Hotrod Honeys and a fight-filled consolation match between the Hell Marys and the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers. I’m sure most of you have seen roller derby on TV at one time or another, but this live event was unreal. The players ranged in age from about 20 to 40, and they came in all shapes and sizes. Tattoos were common. My friend Dante Dominick, who secured tickets for the event, was particularly excited about Buckshot Betsy of the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers. Me, I had a soft spot for Anna Mosity of the Hell Marys. She instigated at least four fights.

Imagine if you will a low-budget warehouse roller-skating rink taken over by 1,200 rowdy, beer-swilling folks who are shouting and cheering for these women as they skate in circles, knocking each other to the ground. The guitarist for the local band “And You Know Us by the Trail of Dead” opened the event by singing the Star Spangled Banner. “Trail of Dead” provided the half-time entertainment, along with big-wheel races for the children.

Should you suspect that the Rollergirls are fakes like WWF wrestlers, be aware that Pinky of the Hotrod Honeys separated her shoulder after a particularly bruising shot sent her to the floor. Apparently it was her third separated shoulder of the season. There have also been at least two torn ACLs this season. One girl suffered some sort of spiral fracture to her leg. I personally saw and heard skin burning across the rink many times.

Maybe the neatest part of the whole thing is that the league is completely owned and operated by the players. Some movie people have been documenting the first season, so keep your eyes out for a documentary. The next season starts in February, and I would say a Rollergirls match would justify a trip to Austin in and of itself. Check out the Web site at www.txrollergirls.com.

- Matt

Wake up and question your leaders

Dear Editors,

And so now we see the payoff for the war. Bush’s friends are lining up for the contracts to rebuild Iraq. The money these elite will pick up will come from the oil that will be sold to you and me and all the other peons that had to get their children killed as soldiers and were told it was for freedom just so this could take place.

And if you think that getting the oil would ultimately benefit America, then you are not looking at the price of gas at the pumps. Not only will we pay more money for our gas, but we will foot a huge bill in the billions of dollars that will come from taxes and the greatest hidden tax of them all, inflation, and at a time when unemployment is rampant. If you think unemployment and the economy are stable, then you must understand that Enron was just a bunch of rookies compared to the government when it comes to cooking the books.

Lies were told to get America in the war. No WMD, no Saddam, not anything to validate the deaths of the soldiers. “Terrorists” can’t operate without the help of the civilian population, and there is plenty of help.

And the elite are counting on Americans’ tendency to forget quickly and move on.

America is being held by the hand and taken down the path. Wake up and question your leaders, the mechanism is still in place to have these elite explain the results of their actions and be held accountable. If you don’t ask, they won’t tell. (They won’t tell anyway, but if there is interest, then a lot of questions will come to the forefront and the truth will win.)

– JR Borsos, via-e-mail

Cat’sMeow: A furry feline soaks up the atmosphere from atop her outpost in a south Durango home earlier this week./Photo by Todd Newcomer.

Unraveling the airport-shoe riddle

Dear Editor:

Recently, I traveled by air and encountered a puzzling social phenomenon. It seems that shoe removal at airport security gates is “optional,” but everyone seemed to believe it was “mandatory” and shoes were coming off in unison. Confused, I asked the surly security officer, “Is shoe removal recommended or required?” She answered stoically, “recommended.” When I smiled, thinking I had her, she looked at me with wide suspicion and followed up with “strongly recommended.” Aha! I thought and strode through the security gate, shoes on, grabbed my bag and arrived at my gate with plenty of time to ponder the situation. Why, I wondered, would thousands of seemingly intelligent travelers, old and young alike, voluntarily remove their shoes under a “suggested” security policy? Was I witnessing some unspoken form of patriotism, or are Americans so fearful of “terror” that they suspect even themselves?

– Soren Nielson, via e-mail





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