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The first Transcontinental Roller Derby was held on August 13, 1935, and Jerry Seltzer -- the son of roller derby pioneer Leo Seltzer -- is polishing the diamond today on his blog. Seltzer gets a little sentimental, but considering the occasion, he's probably earned it. Read what he has to say -- and find out how you can help celebrate Roller Derby's 75th anniversary -- after the jump.
"I don't have to go through the history of the last 75 years; it is in Wikipedia, videos, books, etc, as well as the oral histories of so many skaters who delight in telling the tales of what for many was the best times of their lives.
But there are many things to note about the current state of the game.
First of all, this time there is the best chance for the long-term survival because it has come from the bottom up, rather than from having been seen on television and others wanting to duplicate it. There is a strong natural foundation from the 570 plus leagues and many tens of thousands of participants around the world who don't just see this as a game to play, but as a cultural event that crosses borders and ethnicities and creates a sisterhood (and now brotherhood also) of people who didn't even know each other, and the common thread is Roller Derby in their lives."
For more from Seltzer, check out my Westword interview with him from May. To celebrate the anniversary locally, check out the Denver Roller Dolls bout next week on August 21 at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, featuring featuring Bruising Altitude vs. FoCo Girls Gone Derby and the Mile High Club vs. Mad Rollin' Dolls from Madison, WI.