Supporters traveled across the county to cheer on their favorite team, adoring fans showered their favorite athletes with gifts, and families gathered around the television to watch the game.
No, these fans weren’t supporting their local football, basketball or even baseball team – they were fans of the roller derby.
Author and former professional skater Larry Smith spent most of his young adult life traveling around North America as an award-winning member of the National Roller Derby League. Smith details his exciting years in the sport in his new book, “The Last ‘True’ Roller Derby.”
“What people know as roller derby now is more for show than a real sporting event,” Smith said. “The roller derby as it used to be is relatively unknown anymore, but it’s such a vital part of American sporting history.”
Smith retired from roller derby in 1973 when the National Roller Derby League was sold to an entertainment group. He now resides in California and works as a real estate broker. Although his career in roller derby is over, he continues to teach others about the sport that was so important to him and hundreds of thousands of spectators.
For more information, visit http://thelasttruerollerderby.com/.
The Last “True” Roller Derby
By Larry Smith
Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iUniverse
About the author
Larry Smith became hooked on derby games at age twelve after watching Mickey Rooney’s movie, “Fireball.” By mowing lawns and raking leaves, he earned enough money to buy a pair of clip-on skates and went on to join Roller Derby School.
Smith grew up in a family that struggled to make ends meet and traveled all over the western United States in search of jobs. His family’s vagabond lifestyle was a perfect fit for joining the Derby and he subsequently traveled to over 200 venues a year throughout North America for the next 10 years.
Smith is now a successful real estate broker and manages a RE/MAX real estate office in Livermore, Calif.