December’s RSRD Volunteer/Referee: Harriet Beat’cher Ho

Harriet Beat'cher Ho

Name: Harriet Beat’cher Ho

Title:  Head Non-Skating Official (NSO)

What’s the story behind the name?
There’s not one really.  It’s hard to come up with a good derby name, and my awesome friend Justin Goar came up with this combination.  I like that it’s a literary reference, but I’m amazed that fewer people know who Harriet Beecher Stowe is.

What first attracted you to roller derby?
I had known it was having a rebirth for a while. Then in March 2010 RSRD played MRV. I went to high school with Moxie Balboa from RSRD, and my cousin was a skater with MRV (now a ref), Meana Sparker.  Knowing 2 people that were going to be involved made me brave enough to go to my first bout. I went to my first practice 2 weeks later.

What is your most memorable derby moment?
There was a time when I was trying to skate but couldn’t unless I wanted to finance my orthopedic surgeon’s vacation home.  I was looking for a way to be a part of this awesome thing that I thought I couldn’t really be a part of (and as the always-out-of-shape-kid, I’ve never been a part of *anything* sports related). Then I got a text from Sour Patch Kid. At the time, she was coordinating all the volunteers and NSO staffing; she asked me to take over for the next season, and I don’t think she knows how much that meant to me.  It’s kept me involved in a sport I love with people who have become some of my best friends.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from derby?
Personally, I’ve learned I can handle a lot more than I think I can as long as I know who my supports are. On bout day, I coordinate about 25-30 volunteers and NSOs. I always have a panic attack, but once I get that out of the way, I can tackle the day, and things always manage to look like I meant it to be like that :)

What type of gear do you prefer? 
Florescent yellow highlighter and novelty pencils with good erasers.  And a D-ring binder.  Those are my essentials.

What do you do when you’re not participating in derby activities?
Act as mother and wrangler to my son. Work as a Palliative Care nurse at BR General, and I’m also about to start a second job at the Carpenter House (in-patient hospice care).

What Pop Tart flavor would you be?
Probably that weird new berry stripe one that looks like something that was painted by a 3 year old.

The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?    
Um, both? Is there a reason I can’t have both? I think not.

If you played derby, would you want to be a blocker, pivot, or jammer?

What is the most outrageous, awesome, or funny thing you have seen happen at a bout?
I think it was my first bout ever. Rock Bottom was on the track, and a skater fell in front of her. Skater curled up, as she should have. And Rock just jumped right over her (about 18 inches vertical, I swear). It was awesome.

Highlight, Harriet! Highlight like the wind!

If you could arm wrestle any girl in the league, who would you arm wrestle and why?
OOOOO.  I think I’d have to go with Glock Strap. ‘Cause she looks scary, but she’s secretly really gentle, and she also is strong enough to tear apart phone books.  It would be an interesting challenge. Would she risk breaking the arm of the poor single mother who works with dying people? Would she just go for it and snap my arm? Only one way to find out.

What is the one thing you want to make sure fans of RSRD know?
Derby is a real, real sport. These people put in a lot of work that fans don’t see, both workout-wise and league-maintenance-wise.  These people are out here for the love of the sport. When at a bout, function, on Facebook, whatever, PLEASE feel free to interact with the players and zebras (refs) and volunteers; because we love what we’re doing, we will GLADLY answer questions and talk your head off!

Do you have any advice to anyone thinking about getting involved with derby?
Be prepared to work harder than you can imagine but also to be rewarded more than you can imagine.  And be open to constructive criticism.

When did you join Red Stick Roller Derby?
April 2010. It was mid-season, so I’m actually starting my fourth season with RSRD.


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