When Sue Duffy, 2007-2017 Chief Parade Wrangler, first met Diana “Skullyvera” Schmelzer of the Alamo City Rollergirls (ACRG) in 2007, they instantly became friends. In 2008, they hatched a new Parade tradition when the Rollergirls became Sue’s official wrangler crew. You’ve no doubt noticed them skating alongside the Parade since then with their “Speed Up” and “Slow Down” signs to keep things moving smoothly.
ACRG is a skater-owned and operated all-female roller derby league specializing in flat-track derby. As a non-profit organization, they strive to promote and support healthy competition and lifestyles within the roller derby and San Antonio communities. Their league was founded in 2005 by Kat “Kitty Glitter” Feuerbackner and Cate “Nita Spankin” Compton who made it their mission to bring the great sport of roller derby to San Antonio. They succeeded in bringing together skaters and volunteers to form the only Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) nationally-recognized league in our city.
Skullyvera has lots of crazy memories of the Parade, such as the time when someone attempted to steal another person’s dog right in the middle of the Parade in front of everyone. Rollergirls to the rescue! They radioed the proper authorities and made sure the situation was quickly resolved. Skullyvera also has many fond memories of working with Sue and remembers her as engaged and hardworking from the beginning to the end of every Parade. She loved working with Sue and learned from her to not take life too seriously. This year may be a little hard for Skullyvera as she said she’ll probably forget that Sue isn’t with us anymore and will be looking for her, but she knows Sue will be with us in spirit.
Another tradition they shared was Skullyvera blinging out and decorating every one of Sue’s annual King William Fair t-shirts over the last 11 years. Skullyvera loved seeing Sue’s face fill with excitement and happiness when she received her decorated t-shirt. Sue’s request was that Skullyvera do whatever she wanted to it, but that she always include a skull somewhere. That made Skullyvera happy because she loves skulls and it ties into her roller derby name: SKULL in English and VERA for CALAVERA in Spanish. Skullyvera also speaks Spanglish, so that’s where her name came from!
As for the future, Skullyvera looks forward to ACRG growing and moving up in the rankings and keeping their relationship with the King William neighborhood by continuing to wrangle the Parade so it runs smoothly for years to come. Thank you, ACRG!
Skullyera and ACRG invite you to come see them in action at their Cinco de Mayo game on May 5 at 6:00 p.m. at Mission Concepcion Sports Park. More details at alamocityrollergirls.com.
- Syeira Budd, Fair Manager