Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Face the Facts

A Roller Derby “touring group” and their support team (our version of a travel team and NSO’s aka none skating officials) were headed for a performance (bout) in Cincinnati, Ohio. They were traveling from St. Louis, Missouri with an estimated 23 passengers on board March 24, 1937. Unfortunately, when their journey neared Salem, Illinois their chartered bus blew a tire going 40 miles per hour down a hill on U.S. Route 50, crashed into a bridge abutment, flipped onto its side and was engulfed in flames. Most of the passengers were trapped inside with only a few escaping. Later some that escaped the burning disaster died from the injuries they sustained, bringing the death toll to around 20 (sources vary on the exact death toll number).
This tragedy nearly killed derby as a sport, but luckily replacement skaters were found and the sport continued to be played. To pay homage to the members of our derby family lost that day, the number “1” was permanently retired for all Roller Derby teams.
I know this is a tad depressing but I just wanted everyone to be careful – especially those on the travel team. We are the ones keeping derby alive and well today – and I want to keep it that way!

Your Saucy dish of history,
Muscles Marinara

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