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By Sunny Montgomery 

 

Holler 52. Melissa Carter.

Holler 52. Melissa Carter.

It is no secret. I am Holler Poet’s Series’ biggest fan. In fact, if Holler handed out superlatives today, I would likely win “Most School Spirit.” The monthly series, which is held at Al’s Bar, includes an open mic, live music, and featured readings by local literary heavyweights such as Frank X Walker, Ed McClanahan, and Maurice Manning.

Over the years, Holler has also provided a truly grassroots opportunity to experience not just great writing, but also great artwork. Since its beginning in May 2008, Holler has relied upon the work of local artists John Lackey and Melissa Carter to help promote the literary gathering. The posters, distributed around town and offered at Holler for a nominal price, relate the time, location, gathering number, and featured presenters (two poets and a musician, normally). Beyond that, though, anything’s possible.

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DDG employ Killbox strategy to victory

By Sunny Montgomery

ROCKJunk-Drawer-for-May-2013WEB

Junk Drawer makes a GRRR face at opposing pivot. Photo by Johnna Mckee of Speakeasy Studios.

On April 20, the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) faced off against the Dixie Derby Girls (DDG) of Huntsville, AL, during the first home bout of the 2013 season.  After two full seasons of coverage, I was finally in the swing of things. As I entered the arena, I delighted in its familiarity.

The arena smelled of hot dogs and beer.  Beyonce blared from the speakers overhead while the Pebbles, ROCK’s junior roller derby, chased each other excitedly through the crowd.  I nodded hello to the photographers, the score-keepers, even the avid fan who never misses a home bout and who brings a bean bag chair from home so that he may lounge comfortably in the suicide seating.

I took a seat close to the action, opened my notebook and peered onto the track where ROCK was warming up.  I squinted and adjusted my glasses…

Wait. Something was different.  Continue reading »

 

By Sunny Montgomery

The Rollergirls of Central Kentucky’s (ROCK) sixth season is quickly approaching.  Recently, I met with the girls during a weekday roller derby practice—or rather “colder-derby” practice, as ROCK’s Rainbow Smite calls it since the team is currently practicing in the unheated warehouse space of the Bread Box.

It was quite chilly.  I kept my coat buttoned and my scarf tight around my neck as I took a seat against the far wall of the building.  A dozen or so rollergirls did laps around the track, occasionally spinning onto the sidelines to do push-ups.  I scanned the floor for familiar faces, but I recognized only a couple of the skaters.

When I mentioned this later to ROCK’s President, Kitty O’Doom, she told me that she thinks the new faces on the team will be what fans notice most about the upcoming ROCK season, at least at first.  So, in preparation for the pending season, let us meet a few of the newbies!

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Fifth season concludes

ROCK’s Sugar Shock fights her way to the front of the pack. Photo by Lewis Gardner.

By Sunny Montgomery

On the last Saturday in September, the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) concluded their fifth season when they faced off against the Red River Sirens (RRS) of Clarksville, Tennessee.  I attended ROCK’s final home bout with my mother and my grandmother—or Mimi, as I call her—who was visiting from Philadelphia.

My mother and Mimi arrived just in time for announcer Bill Widener to introduce ROCK’s junior roller derby team, The Pebbles. One by one, he called their names.

“Sue Nami!

Lean Machine!

Devilish Cutie!

The Amazons of the future, ladies and gentleman!”  Continue reading »

 

Christianburg rains on Robin Souls’ parade

By Sunny Montgomery

On September 8, I attended the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky’s (ROCK) second to last home bout of the season against Christianburg, Virginia’s New River Valley Rollergirls (NRV), aka the Bruisin’ Burgs Rollergirls, who to my horror were sporting the same pink and black jerseys as ROCK.

Regular fans of the roller derby know the sport is fast-paced with lots of action.  It can be difficult enough to follow without the added complexity of both teams dressed in the same colors. Twenty minutes before the bout began and already I was confused.  This was not a good sign, in hindsight an omen of what was to come.

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179-53 victory impresses Reese the Beast

By Sunny Montgomery

This past Saturday I attended the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) home bout against the Greenbrier Roller Vixens (GRV) from West Virginia with my best friend, Teresa, who was a roller derby virgin.  I love introducing my friends to the sport.  Being able to answer their questions makes me feel important.

We chose front-row seats so close to the track they were practically in suicide-seating, the area around the track where, due to the very real possibility a skater could skid out of control and into the crowd, fans are permitted to sit so long as they are over the age of eighteen.  As announcer Bill Widener began introductions, I surveyed ROCK’s competition.  Based on stature alone, it was going to be a fair fight. Continue reading »

 

Don’t stop believing

By Sunny Montgomery

An hour before the bout and already a long line of fans were assembled at the arena entrance in anticipation of the Rollergirls’ of Central Kentucky’s (ROCK) home bout against the Gem City Rollergirls (GCRG) of Dayton, Ohio, the same Gem City who ROCK beat in 2007 for their very first victory.

Tonight was the team’s annual salute to the armed forces. Service members received door discounts and rollergirls challenging them to push-up competitions.  In the far corner, the 108th Army Band from Concord, North Carolina—dressed in fatigues and equipped with keyboards, saxophones, and guitars—played a loud and soulful rendition of “My Girl.”  Continue reading »

 

By Sunny Montgomery

When I first began covering the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) for NoC, I’d been bewildered by everything:  the skaters whizzing past, pushing and falling, the referees gesturing wildly and the announcers hollering things I could not understand.  But by the end of the season, I was an enthusiast.  I was so overcome with female empowerment that I cut off all my hair and got a girlfriend.

So I was thrilled on April 7 when ROCK returned to the Lexington Center for their first home bout of the new season to face off against the formidable Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls (BBRG) from Northern Kentucky.

Rainbow Smite attempts to punch through Black-n-Bluegrass wall. Photo by Jack King.

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Bike polo tourney, April 27-29

By Sunny Montgomery

It was a warm and particularly windy afternoon when I attended my first bike polo practice, arriving at Coolavin Park as the pickup games were already underway.  A dozen or so players and two large dogs hurried back and forth across the old tennis courts.  The dogs, unfortunately, did not play polo.  Instead, they barked raucously at the young children who’d wandered over from the playground, in part to tease the dogs but also to watch the players circling the court on their bicycles, chasing a small ball with their homemade mallets.  Occasionally, a player would cruise past where I sat taking notes and whack their mallet up against the chain link fence.

Within just a few minutes, I witnessed my first collision.  The player toppled sideways off his seat then struggled to climb back on while still holding onto his groin.  Continue reading »

 

Win final bout 143-92

By Suns McGunns

On Saturday, October 1, I attended the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky’s(ROCK) final bout of the season against the Vigilante Pistols Whips (VPW) at Heritage Hall in Lexington.

Donning plain white tees, the Pistols Whips were a unique team because, actually, they did not exist.  Rather, VPW was made up of various skaters from various leagues, including three skaters from ROCK.  As seasons end and tournaments begin, I learned that these types of pickup games are not unusual.

Pickup game or not, roller derby fans were out in full force.  The stadium and suicide seating were filled.  Fans lined the walls.  I took a seat on the bottom row of the bleachers.  To my right were a couple of young boys, gobbling popcorn and singing along while Adele played over the loudspeaker.  To my left was an older good-natured heckler, joined by his daughter who lovingly referred to him as ‘weasel.’  Continue reading »

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