At the end of my past life, I earned the right to be the first flat track derby announcer with the Texas Rollergirls.
What follows is a very old, very unauthorized, and very unedited version of the document I produced describing my experiences during the genesis of flat track derby. It would be some of the last moments of my past life.
LOUDMOUTH: Confessions of a Flat Track Derby Announcer
Bowie V. Ibarra
Copyright 2007 Bowie V. Ibarra
“Keep smiling’. Keep shinin’
Knowing you can always count on me
That’s what friends are for”.
- “That’s What Friends are For”, 1985
Chapter VIII: Buckshot Betsy and Sparkle Plenty
Driving home from my hometown of Uvalde late one Sunday afternoon, I noticed a very peculiar baby blue Jeep Cherokee just outside of New Braunfels going up IH-35.
Originally, it drew my attention because of its obnoxious color, standing out from the traffic like a large baby carriage, or pram if you are from Great Britain. As my vehicle revved closer, bold white letters spelled out the Texas Rollergirls website, which is http://www.txrollergirls.com by the way. I revved even closer and pulled up beside them.
To my genuine surprise, it was Sparkle Plenty and Buckshot Betsy. The girls were pretty much a duo. You didn’t get one without the other, it seemed. You kind of get the feeling they would do everything together, like rob a bank or kill someone. Well, maybe not the “kill someone” bit, but rob a bank, for sure. Their friendship came across as that strong to me. They were staples at some of Austin’s early Air Guitar Championships, and I seem to remember being told they advanced very far in the tournament. For the longest time, their MySpace picture was a great action shot of the both of them rocking out on a stage somewhere, Sparkle dropping the lyrics while Betsy rocked out with the guitar in a pose reminiscent of the ‘80’s glam rock days. It was a great picture.
I waved enthusiastically at them and I think they were also pleasantly surprised to see me, too. I wanted to call Sparkle from my vehicle, but felt it was not necessary. I guess I did not call because I don’t necessarily feel their equal, from a pro-wrestling perspective. I don’t mean wrestling them, either.
Anyway, what I meant by a pro-wrestling perspective is that they are the stars of the show. I’m just the lowly announcer. My job is to make sure to get them over.
It still made me very happy to see them. The moment brought back a moment from the early days of the league when Sparkle and Buckshot gave me an impromptu phone call, leaving a really cool message about how great my announcing was and how they were happy to have me on board with them.
I remember thinking initially that it was good that they left the message. XXXXXX certainly would not have understood their sincerity and would have probably gave me a piece of her mind.
Sparkle eventually formed a more professional bond with the announce team while emerging as one of the best pivots in the nation. Buckshot respectfully kept her distance which meant a lot when she did say things to me. She lauded my work when Tucson came over for a second battle with Texas, and I still remember how sincerely pleased she was when she told me she liked some of the things I came up with.
The Texas announce team likes to joke that very few people pay attention to what we have to say. That is, if they can even hear us.
But I like to think that Buckshot and Sparkle are listening and I hope that every once in a while, I can make them chuckle while making them proud.
More to come...
For more info on the Texas Rollergirls, visit their website HERE.