Re: Re: report on the Hall Of Fame Events WRITTEN BYPHIL BERRIER
We may need more seating for dinner
Food again. It's delicious and plentiful. Old friendships are renewed and new ones formed during dinner. Looking around the room I see Jerry Seltzer, Mike Gammon, Barbara Baker, Jan Vallow, Harlean Khein, Cliff Butler, Darnay McPherson, Nick Scopas, Sherry Erich, Pauline Kadyra, Sue Cola, Ron Turbin, Annis Jensen, Mary Youpelle, Carol Meyer, Delores Tucker, Myrna Vandenberg, Maverick Howard, Stu Ganz, Bert Wall, Bobbie Mateer and Judy Arnold. I know I am leaving people out and I apologize.
Finally, it's time. Gary welcomes everyone and talks a bit about the Roller Derby Foundation and the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame before introducing Jerry Seltzer.
Jerry Seltzer is one classy gentleman. He pulls no punches and tells it like it is. He begins with, "In 1973, we (Roller Derby) went broke." It was as simple as that. It was as complicated as that. Jerry speaks glowingly of the Roller Derby Foundation and the Hall of Fame. Tonight means as much, if not more, to him as it does to us
Next up is Keith Coppage with remembrances of Roller Derby, Kezar and the Bay Bombers. Like so many of us Keith thought he had the Derby out of his system once and for all. He found out he was wrong. Once bitten by the Roller Derby bug, it never lets you go. It's best to just go with it and enjoy the ride.
Gary again takes the podium and begins announcing the names of this year's Hall of Fame inductees who are no longer with us or simply could not be with us tonight: Sid Harnesk and Kitty Nehls are gone. Terri Lynch and Freddie Noa live in Hawaii and were unable to make the trip to San Francisco. Ronnie Rains simply could not be located. Their careers are highlighted and each receives a round of sincere applause.
The next Hall of Fame award goes to Russ Massro. Gary asks Bert Wall to say a few words about Russ who passed away in July. Mary Youpelle Massro and her family accept the award for Russ Massro. It means so much to all of us to have the Massro family here tonight.
Next is Barbara Mateer Wall, a veteran of seventeen years on the banked track. She is as beautiful as ever and husband Bert beams with pride as she accepts her Hall of Fame award. She can still hold a crowd in the palm of her hand just like she did when she would swish her ponytail around to the delight or the chagrin of the fans.
In the 'Sixties, 'Seventies and into the 'Eighties, Carol Meyer and Tony Roman were two of the reasons that I loved the Derby. They made it more fun and exciting with their presence. Tony died on Christmas Eve, 1988. Earlier in the evening I watched as Carol, the kids and the grandchildren stood in front of posters featuring her husband, their father and grandfather. The love still shows in their eyes. Carol and the entire family go up to accept on behalf of Carol and Tony. Carol's first words, "I wanted this for Tony so much more than for myself . . ." After that it's all a blur because I am trying not to cry.
Jan Vallow is the last skater to accept membership in the Hall of Fame this evening. She has been an absolute delight. A proud mother, grandmother and great-grandmother; her entire family is here tonight. Last night she even shared two of her trademark moves with some of us: lifting the opposing jammer onto her hip and dropping her over the rail and hanging from the track held up only by one skate hooked on the rail.