The Famous Denver Roller Dolls

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John (Joanie) Weston
Joan (Joanie) Weston
Sports Illustrated - 1960s

The vintage photo is of the late JOANIE WESTON, pop-skate-tart of the Roller Derby scene. Tart as in the “flavor.” Her persona was that of a very tough lady who was loved by anyone who ever saw her perform. JOANIE WESTON was one of the definitive, cool chicks of the real Rock ‘n Roll era (50s-60s,) not unlike Bettie Page. If her sport had more credibility she would have ranked with top Pop-Culture stars. Roller Derby was sort-of-like old-school pro wrestling, not quite top shelf.

The following text is from WikipediA

“The Denver Roller Dolls (DRD) is a flat-track roller derby league based in Denver, Colorado. The league was founded in December 2005.  The DRD is a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).
On January 21, 2010, the Denver Roller Dolls announced a partnership with Kroenke Sports Enterprises and AEG Live Rocky Mountains. The partnership includes the Roller Dolls moving to the new 1STBANK Center (formerly Odeum Colorado and Broomfield Events Center) in Broomfield, Colorado, as their dedicated home venue for 2010.”

Broomfield! Is that where Witches and Warlocks dance under the full moon? I actually have some serious connections to Broomfield. My uncle Art had a working cattle ranch in Broomfield five decades ago, around the days of Joan (Joanie) Weston and The Bay City Bombers – see photo above. Uncle Art was also a practicing lawyer, but he was a good guy, a gentleman rancher.

We used to ride the open-range west of Broomfield. My best recollection and a “fact” I’ve repeated many times is that the range from Broomfield to Boulder was what westerners call “Open Range.” No fences. The horse (Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in New York anymore] I was most fond of was a Pinto/Paint called Patches.

Sundays would find us out at the ranch – riding or watching the automatic milking machines (first of the kind in the area) sucking on the cows’ teats (automatic suction cups were attached to the teats.) [ WHAT DO YOU CALL A COW AFTER SHE’S HAD HER BABIES? ]

FYI – Would you believe that there was a tollbooth half-way between Denver and Boulder! I think the charge was a nickel. A little booth was erected between the east and west bound lanes and a guy took your money. They were raising dough to pay for the road. No traffic jams on that road. One car would pass by about every ten minutes, if I recall correctly..

The subject of my first real ROMANCE (when we were 16 – in the 50s,) later on in the 70s, opened a Country & Western Bar and Dance Hall in Broomfield. Watch out for those first romances.

One other connection to Broomfield, I guess, is that Big Time promoter Chuck Morris ran a club I played guitar in (for a one performance stand) – Ebbets Field in Denver. This ties in: The Roller Dolls are based in Broomfield at 1STBank Center, formerly The Broomfield Events Center.

“A passion for speed and service. A craving for hard knocks and hard-core business. A commitment to the community, our fans and each other. We’re the Denver Roller Dolls, Denver’s premier roller derby league. And we’re proud to be part of America’s fastest-growing female sport.”

“Founded by 20 intrepid skaters in December 2005, the Denver Roller Dolls has gained skaters and fans from throughout the Denver metro area. The draw? Extreme athleticism and full-on fun. For us, roller derby is more than a hard-hitting sport. It’s a place where women of all sizes, backgrounds and skill levels can compete in an intensely athletic and supportive atmosphere. It’s a chance to explore our community through service and volunteerism. And it’s an opportunity to hone our business skills through a completely skater-owned and -operated non-profit organization.”

“When the Denver Roller Dolls aren’t honing their speed, balance and skating skills, putting on public appearances and fundraisers, or volunteering for Denver-based charities, they’re successful businesswomen, sisters, wives, mothers, moms, and friends. What’s more, they’re part of a nationwide revival of one of the nation’s most unique and compelling sports. Not bad for a bunch of dolls!” from the Denver Dolls Official Website

Anyway the Dolls are skate’n the West, check ’em out.

The Denver Dolls Official Website


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