If you’ve never heard of Hinesville, don’t be surprised. It’s a very small, albeit charming town about an hour southwest of Savannah. One of our derby girls works at the local newspaper and asked us to come to the safety fair last year. We were such a big hit that organizers asked us back this year.
Safe Kids Day is an opportunity for children to meet law enforcement officers and other safety officials, getting to know them as actual people, not something to be afraid of. There are also informational booths on ways children can stay safe (seatbelt safety, bicycle safety, fire safety, etc.) Aside from things like this, this year there was also a demonstration by two bodybuilders who tore phone books in half and bent frying pans. There was also some dancing in the street (see above picture) and a hula hoop competition (Emm Jay and Murderous Marylan’ entered). I was really cheering on a tiny girl in yellow who displayed some serious skill, but she lost a woman who clearly knew her way around a hula hoop.
The derby girls met at the newspaper office, geared up, and skated over to the festival. Part of the reason we were there was to show kids that safety gear isn’t just some lame helmet your mom really wants you to wear when skateboarding or riding a bike. We skated around, handed out flyers for next weekend’s bout in Savannah, and took pictures with both little and big fans.
It’s always cute to watch little kids ask their parents what the ladies on the roller skates are doing, and then see their eyes go round when mommy or daddy explains roller derby. Nothing matches the enthusiasm of children when they discover grown-up women can be both cool and aggressive.
While we were doing all of this, some movement caught my eye. I looked over and saw several bills tumbling down the road. Skating over and picking them up, I discovered I was holding two crisp $20 bills. I skated around asking anyone nearby if they had money in their pockets that was no longer there. Everyone had their money. I even asked two police officers what to do. They both congratulated me on being $40 richer. I put the money in my pocket and told the rest of the girls to keep an ear out for anyone missing money. No one ever claimed it.
We skated around, crawled through a fire safety house, and took pictures with Army Police K-9s. Then it was time for lunch.
Since it was Cinco de Mayo, the decision for lunch was obviously Mexican food. We went to Rodeo where I put the $40 to good use: large queso dip and a Margarita pitcher.
I don’t get to hang out with my teammates near as much as I would like. My work schedule leaves my exhausted at times when most people are just getting ready to start the day. I bail early on afterparties because the schedule flip for me means I’m ready for bed by midnight. But this day, I could enjoy with some fabulous ladies in short shorts, mini skirts, fuzzy leggings and tights who understand the joy of hitting another woman in her legal target zone and that hips aren’t just for gyrating, they help you score points on the track. We toasted a fun day spent with small fans and another happy International Roller Derby Day!