Rasslin’ and Roller Derby with Ruthie
She’s two glasses into
Dad’s homemade saki
and it’s only noon.
Auntie Ruth, banging on her tray,
rocking her wheelchair with
with fearsome might, and she’s
pretty tight. Saturday Rassling.
“That fight, we shoulda had
money on it, Amer,” she smiles.
I’m 12 and her best companion
since she moved in with the family.
“Where’s the National IN-quirer?”
I wave it and remind her, “First,
Roller Derby, then, the world news.”
Time for Joanie Weston, Amazon.
Old-school roller derby, women
big as fridges scooting, scrapping,
scraped up and bruised. Unlike the
rassling, these girls are out for blood.
“That Joanie must be hell on her husband,”
she snickers, clicking her false teeth.
“One more snort, Amer.” I fill her
punch cup with Dad’s toxic moonshine.
“Ruthie, something tells me Joanie Weston
isn’t married,” I offer. “You remember
Aunt Frank?” Frances, the loner sister in
cowboy boots with a femme friend.
“Yup. You think it’s that way with
Joanie?” I nod assuredly. “Well,” says
Ruthie thoughtfully, “then I hope she has
a nice girlfriend, like Frankie did.” Wink.
Roller Derby ends; Joanie and her team are
victorious once again. “And now,” parking
my sneaks on a table, “The evening news.”
ALIEN MEETS NIXON AT WHITE HOUSE
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image from Amy’s collection; please do not copy family photos.
Another from Mom’s side of the family, the irrepressible Ruth Stoll, sister of Grandma Blanche Laughlin. Auntie Ruth moved in with us after her 98-year-old mother died. Ruthie would get so potted on saki that all the wooden baseboards were scratched up from bad steering! She was a pistol and kept the whole family hopping, especially on penny-ante poker night (we used the same pennies over and over again and put them back in the cup when we were done).