Many of you know I have finally taken the bull by the horns. I have joined the Greensboro Roller Derby. (GSORD) Since last March I have been intrigued by this group of women and the culture of Roller Derby. It took me a year to make the decision to become one. You may remember my first blog about watching them practice last year.
Since announcing this to friends and family I have come across mixed reactions. Some are supportive and excited, while others think I have lost my mind. Please note: The latter only makes me even more committed to doing this!
I have also come across some interesting questions. Let me share a few:
Question: Will you be skating in the upcoming bout on March 6th?
Answer: No, I have to learn some basic to advanced skating skills and pass an assessment in/around June before I will be allowed to join a team on the GSORD. Then I may or may not be invited to join one of the teams. Unfortunately, some girls may spend a very long time working to get onto a team. The teams within the GSORD are the Battleground Betties, Elm Street Nightmares, Gate City Roller Girls, and The Mad Dollies.
Question: Do you have a Roller Derby name yet?
Answer: I am working on coming up with a name. Names for Roller Derby are registered in a National Registry, so it is a good idea to wait until after we pass assessments and are on a team roster before we choose a name. The name is submitted to a National Board for approval. If it is too much like a name within the registry it will not be approved. I will wait patiently and keep a list of names I want to myself to prevent it from being taken when I am ready to submit my name. When I do come up with a name it will be catchy, creative, and fit my personality. If any of you want to email me some ideas of names, I would love it!! I am always open to suggestions!!!
Question: Why do Roller Girls dress the way they do?
Answer: It is a part of the unique culture of Derby. I am planning on doing a blog a month on my experiences as Fresh Meat (new member on the team) and I will address this question specifically in a later blog!
Question: When can I see your team skate?
Answer: March 6th is GSORD’s season opener and the Gate City Roller Girls will be up against a team from South Carolina (URGE). The bout will start at 6:30 (but you may want to get there earlier, sometimes the lines are very long and you may want to get tickets online here. Your ticket purchase will get you into the after party benefitting Often Awesome!
Below, I have included information on Sunday’s bout:
I Hope to see you there!
Recently Frayed Edge has had a blast spending time with this little one. This shoot was one where it was “all about her” and Emory seemed to be well aware of that. She would stare into the camera with those deep blue eyes of hers. Amazing.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to document her birth as well as her mom’s maternity photos. Now you get a chance to see her at one month! She is turning into such a little beauty!!
After viewing these, if you are interested in learning more about our Baby’s First Year Package and pricing, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you the information!!
This is a great way to document your baby’s first year and you get a whole lot of extras with the package!!
Bonnie, Zach, and baby Dylan’s fall photo shoot was such a fun session for us. These guys make such a beautiful family!
Bonnie is a natural beauty with picture perfect skin-I’m so jealous!
Both Zach and Dylan are so playful and mischievous!
Enough from me, I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.
Ok, I feel like I am comfortable enough to let you all in on a little secret. In fact, it is so secret, I haven’t even shared it with Mike yet. You’ll be hearing it first, right here in this blog.
Here it is…I want to be a Roller Girl. I don’t mean just a skater. I want to be a full fledged, all out, Roller Derby Queen. I want to rule the flat track. I wanna be mean. Let me give you the 411 of how this seed was planted, so, hang with me for a few minutes.
A couple of months ago I went with my sister to get her hair done. She has the coolest hair stylist ever. You know how it is at the salon. Girls talk, gossip, share ideas and secrets. Sandy, (the stylist) just threw it out there in the middle of our conversation about working out. “I’ve joined a Roller Derby Team!”
I did a double take and asked her to repeat what she’d just said. I had no idea Roller Derby was still a popular sport and I couldn’t believe this 5ft. 5 in. super cute redhead was into pushing other people around. I wanted to know more and I couldn’t wait to get the inside scoop on what the Gate City Roller Girls (her roller derby team) was all about. I was also intrigued with learning more about the Roller Derby sport because after all, Frayed Edge Concepts is all about capturing moments outside the ordinary. I couldn’t wait to photograph these girls because to me, they are living a frayed edge experience.
So, I stalked (not really, I was invited) them at the Greensboro Downtown Shindig on May 2nd of this year. They were there promoting their team and connecting with the community. One of the group shots we took from that event appeared in “Go Triad” magazine (see pic below). Holla!
Since spending a few hours talking to these girls and photographing them in action, I have decided I want to be them. In fact, I want to be them so badly, I spent two hours this week with these high spirited girls while they participated in one of their four weekly workouts. Don’t worry, I didn’t don my skates and push my way onto the team. Mike photographed while I chatted and got to know a few of the girls a little better.
– I learned that Aubrey aka “Molly Flogger” (her Roller Derby name) started the Gate City team. She also writes about the team on their Facebook site.
-I learned Roller Derby girls have really cool Roller Derby names like Smaxle Rose, Jess the Ripper, Eristhrottle, Super Scar and Myrtle Biotch.
-I also learned that being a Gate City Roller Girl can be very dangerous. I mean, if you have to wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and a mouth guard, it’s pretty apparent there is a degree of danger there.
-I also learned that these girls are very athletic. They spend a considerable amount of time warming up with sneakers before they ever put on a pair of skates. They do sit-ups, push-ups, and lots of stretching. Once the skates go on they spend time maneuvering in and out of small orange cones and even partner toss a shoe back and forth while skating side to side.
-I learned being a Roller Girl isn’t easy. It requires passing a Skills Assessment test before you can compete. Those skills include learning to fall correctly because falling the wrong way can be a hazard to oneself and others on the track.
-Thanks to Safia aka “Veto Power” I learned a few of the rules and etiquette of the sport like what a “jammer” is and elbowing is a bad thing.
-I learned that these girls who now call themselves the best of friends vary in ages, culture, ethnicity, occupations, you name it! As far as careers go, they have everything from small business owners to professors on their team. Impressive!
But, most importantly, I learned that the Gate City Roller Girls are all about camaraderie. They are into building relationships not just on their team, but with the community. August 21, they will be holding a Dance Party fundraiser in support of their team and Often Awesome.
Lindsay aka “School Ya Childs” shared that she had moved to Greensboro sometime ago and really hadn’t felt connected until she joined the Gate City Roller Girls. She said her time practicing and hanging out with the girls has been a social outlet which has made Greensboro feel more like home. “This is a great workout time, kick someone’s ass time, build team skills and challenge ourselves time. It’s also been a way to learn how to build a business from scratch with my friends.”
Two other team members had this to say about what they’ve gained from being on the team:
Carly, aka “Addie Van Cynic” –“Anger management!”
Jessica aka “Jess the Ripper” –“It’s a great workout with forty of your best friends and it channels aggression.”
One would think a team composed of forty girls would become a breeding ground for drama of Housewives of Orange County proportions, but these girls agree that the drama is non-existent. These are girls who are completely self aware and self-confident. Just a few more reasons to join.
So, as soon as I publish this post I am headed off to our local video store to rent “Whip It.” As I watch it, I will imagine I am Smashley Simpson or Babe Ruthless and maybe the movie will give me the edge I need to “put on my skates and be my own hero!” (quote from “Whip It”)
Anybody who’s taken the time to glimpse my photo on this blog’s “About Us” page can pretty readily tell that I like ink. Tattoos. Tats. Body Art. And not only do I like to get carved on from time to time, I also enjoy tattoo photography. Few things say “Frayed Edge” better than a dragon chestpiece peering at you from behind the deep cut neckline of a bridal gown, or a tribal tramp stamp slashing right through the soft curves of a boudoir pose.
So Jill and I occasionally visit tattoo shops to drop off business cards and other materials to let tatted and pierced folks know they’ve got soul mates at Frayed Edge Concepts, LLC if they’re ever in the market for some photos. Not too long ago we stopped by Tattoo City in High Point, NC where we met tattoo artist, Dallas Morris.
When I met Dallas I almost felt compelled to drop into a cross-legged lotus position and wait for nuggets of wisdom to fall from his tongue. His wispy whiskers, gray hair, slight frame and weathered brow make him look like some kind of Sinsei just waiting for a little Grasshopper to bounce along and sop up the raw wisdom he’s gleaned the hard way from his years and travels. And Dallas has been around.
He’s a Vietnam vet and guitarist who spent almost 20 years with a band performing Southern Rock and Country music on the road. “Back in my hippie days,” as he says. He’s lived in Los Angeles and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Over a decade ago he grew weary of the vagabond life so he channelled his artistic nature into the tattoo gun. He’s been in High Point, right there at Tattoo City, almost ever since.
Dallas does all kinds of work…tribal, lettering, portraits, cover-ups…and refuses to let himself be backed into one style or another. He creates tattoos based on what he knows about a client’s preferences and goals. But he is old school about how he relates to his clients. “I work with people,” he says. “I don’t expect someone to have to ask themselves whether they want a tattoo this month or make the car payment.” As a result, Dallas has developed some long term relationships.
“Long term” is the operative phrase, here. Because Dallas says that, besides the relationships, the thing he likes most about his art is that people not only carry it with them to the far corners of the world, they carry it forever. With all his years in the business he’s lost some clients to tragedies. “My artwork was with them when they went out,” he says. That’s where the weathered brow comes from. Dallas has lived the full swing of the human drama over the years and has shared the drama with clients who come to him for memorial pieces and tattoos that acknowledge their struggles. It shows on the Sinsei’s face.
That’s one of the things I like most about my job. Faces. They all tell a story. For me, Tattoo City is a great place to hear a story or two, and maybe find a creative (and perhaps a bit painful) way to tell some of my own.
In an earlier blog post I mentioned how I am inspired by other people who enjoy expressing their creativity in different ways. I am excited to bring my gal pals’ attention to one of my favorite “girl” boutiques here in High Point. When my girlfriends out there read this, they will be squealing with delight (I know), because for the past three years, since Dragonflies first opened, this has been the place we’d go for our more serious “shop therapy sessions.”
Owner Kim Gilliam and manager Paula Holdaway consider Dragonflies to be “every woman’s store” with speciality items that appeal to the littlest of divas and more seasoned divas as well. In fact, Paula likes to say that “If it ain’t fun, we don’t have it!”
Personally, I have to agree. Because, as a frequent shopper, I know their store appeal extends way beyond the merchandise lining their shelves. So many times I’ve walked into the store to be greeted by Paula and her warm southern charm. She has never failed to remember what I was shopping for or drawn to on my last visit. There have been several times when I know she ordered merchandise with my tastes in mind. Individualized service is one of the biggest reasons Dragonflies is a favorite among many of my friends as well.
On my most recent visit to Dragonflies, I learned that they are in the process of selling their store due to unforeseen health problems in the family. This has absolutely broken my heart. At present, they are expecting to have the store sold or closed by December 31, 2010. Paula says, “We are hoping somebody will see this as a great opportunity and will purchase it to keep the dream alive since Kim had always wanted to open her own boutique.”
Dragonflies prides itself on selling locally made merchandise. They sell everything from unique hand painted glassware and individual novelty soaps, to handmade dresses and bows. The store creates their own lampshades in super cool “diva” designs and colors that accentuate the store’s atmosphere. They offer these quality custom items at reasonable prices.
Paula had this to say about her customers over the past three years, “Our customers are like family, man. That’s the one thing I’ll miss the most. Real people with real problems and we’ve become a place to relax for awhile.”
So this is a bittersweet post for me. It is a chance to honor what Kim, Paula and the local artisans and craftspeople have created in the past three years, as well as help get the word out that their store is for sale. Hopefully there will be someone out there who cares as much for their customers as these girls have for the past years. Even if you’re not in the market for the whole store, drop by and shop around a bit. I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.
I like the quote from Queen Victoria: Beware of artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous.
And speaking of Her Royal Majesty, we recently encountered Steampunks when we met a band called Vive Le Vox at a photo shoot in Greensboro, NC.
Steampunks and the Steampunk “movement” were new to me so I did a little research. Of course, research smesearch…so I’m basing what I’m saying here on what other people have written and on an all-too-short encounter with some of the coolest people we’ve had the pleasure of hobnobbing with.
Steampunk derives at least partly from an attraction to the 19th and early 20th Centuries when steam power ruled. Much of it draws on Victorian style and science fiction literature from writers like H.P. Lovecraft, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. So you get a truly eclectic and broad-shouldered expression with a wild mix of bulky machinery, grunginess, handlebar moustaches, sideburns, lace and fantasy. As far as music is concerned, Vive Le Vox is rather hard to pin down. It’s a unique and stirring mix of elements that make me think of everything from heavy metal to rockabilly. All of it, from the clothes they wear to the way they talk to the music they play is wild and beautiful stuff for those of us with a taste for things like that.
They make great subjects for photos, too.