What makes someone want to give their precious time and undying devotion to the Carolina Rollergirls without the prime benefit of getting to hit another human legally and guilt-free? Is it the sport? Is it the fans? Is it the…daughters?!? Well a daughter is exactly what brought one very special volunteer to the Carolina Rollergirls team over 7 years ago, and he has been an invaluable support to the league ever since.
Ask any All-Star and they can tell you about their collection of custom bandanas supplied to them by Stabby Abby for every All Star bout they have ever played, home and away. Other CRG skaters will tell you that he hangs more posters advertising CRG bouts than anyone ever, and some will remember being blessed with the song that he created and sang for us some years ago, but any Carolina Rollergirl will know Stabby Abby as a supporter and lover of all things skating, especially CRG. Without the amazing help and generosity of time that he gives, CRG would not be as strong, smart and amazing as we are.
Stabby Abby can be found at every bout and even marching alongside his favorite girls in the Durham pride parade among many, many other events. We caught up with Stabby Abby recently and were lucky enough to find a moment between the many jobs he does for CRG to ask him a few questions.
Stabby Abby hands out schedule cards at the 2011 Durham Pride Parade
PR: What brought you to the Carolina Rollergirls?
SA: My daughter, Violet Femme. Seems she was a middling good jammer.
PR: How long have you been involved with the sport?
SA:With Derby? About seven years – since the first practices. “Proud parent of a Carolina Rollergirl.” Personally, as an inline, street skater, 11 years.
PR: What is your favorite aspect of volunteering with roller derby?
SA: I admire the game and what the Girls have done with a tough sport. I admire every single one of the Girls, their courage and massive hard work. I’m happy to help in my little ways.
PR: What hobbies do you have when you aren’t at the rink?
SA: I only do three things in life: I skate, sing folk songs and drink beer. Often I combine these but I *never* skate and drink – that’s dangerous! If I’m going to drink then I take the car.
PR: What are your favorite places to eat here in the Triangle?
SA: I like any place I ever ate with Tinker. After that pretty much anywhere I’m with congenial company. Plus a cool little cafe on the Left Bank in Paris. I get a take-out from Pho Cali (near the Ranch) every Wednesday after Speed Practice.
PR: Where are you likely to be found out and about in the Triangle?
SA: Wherever they or I sing traditional folk song. About twice weekly. Join me, anytime. Otherwise I’m on inlines and rolling. This morning I had to renew my driver’s license – I went through the door and the guard said, “Well, roll on in.” Friendly place.
PR: Is it more important to win or to give it your all and learn
SA: I’m not an intentional competitor and it may be different for me. It is more important to learn something, whether giving it All or giving much less. I was once asked if I would rather be rich or be a good singer. The answer was easy.
PR: Who has been your greatest inspiration to push yourself and train?
SA: Violet Femme.
Ya got time for a wee story?
About two years ago I found I was skating progressively slower, weaker, shorter distances on the street, fewer days per week. This continued and I sadly resigned myself to the knowledge that I was getting older. I’m pretty old, after all. So I started looking around for something more appropriate to a weak old man…maybe skydiving or a motorcycle.
Suddenly I realized I wasn’t getting old at all – I was just getting lazy. I started accelerating uphills instead of easing back, started going to Speed Practice and lost 40 pounds. I’m now skating three times as far and six days per week. Hey, folks – don’t get “old.”
Stabby Abby and daughter Violet Femme at the 2009 CRG Awards Night
PR: What do you like the most about living in the Triangle area?
SA: Easy – CRG.
PR: What do you like to rock out to while skating at speed practice or
cleaning the house?
SA: I sing, of course. Learning a cute EA Poe song just now.
PR: What is the one house chore you hate to do?
SA: Toss-up between polishing the grass and ironing and folding the dishes.
PR: Have you had any major injuries because of roller skating?
SA: Three majors – all 100% the fault of cars. I sued, too. That’s much of the reason I go to Speed Practice – to improve my sprinting so I can escape attacking cars.
PR: What is the scariest thing you have ever done?
SA: Daily riding the motorcycle up a six-inch wide, 35-degree ramp and through the doorway to get into the hotel in New Orleans. Five months; never got used to it.
“(So) stand to your glasses, steady
Let not a tear fill your eye
Here’s to those wrecked already,
And here’s to the next girl to try.”
We love you Abby. Thank you for everything you do!
CRG will host a party honoring Stabby Abby and all of our wonderful volunteers this weekend. We love and appreciate the contributions of ALL the people who work so hard to keep this organization afloat. If you would like to be part of our volunteer team, email firstname.lastname@example.org- we would love to have you!
Contributed by Pretty Reckless and Jesse King