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Publishing Editor Sherron Phillips

Executive Editor Danica Williams

Senior Editor Leah Bland

Contributing Staff

Grafton Gayle Melissa Sharpe-Jones

Jr. Intern

Chris Gardner

XtremeRollers Newszine is a monthly publication for the urban rollerskating enthusiasts. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without permission from the Publishing Editor. Opinions expressed in signed columns and advertisements are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of XtremeRollers Newszine. XtremeRollers Newszine does not guarantee the publication of any letters or stories under any circumstances and reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity, length, content and syntax. All materials become the property of XtremeRollers Newszine and may be reproduced only with the written consent of the Publishing Editor.


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion. - Hebbel Ask any die hard rollerskater to define the word passion and I would be willing to bet that in most cases, they would describe it as their motivation as to why they continue to be active in the sport. Individuals and skate organizations alike, often share the same common denominator when it comes to their passion of rollerskating. I suppose that’s where XR News’ admiration and dedication to promote the sport comes from. XR News is a publication stemming from our passion of journalism and rollerskating. This combination can be catergorized as a labor of love – and it is laborious. The labor that we put into this project is pro-bono - that’s right, it is 100% free. XR News’ staff is totally volunteer, that simply means our enthusiasm for rollerskating is reflected in our dedication to produce a quality publication monthly. In comparison to others in the community, I believe we share a commonality of excitement about rollerskating. We witness this in all types of examples, for instance, in the relentless skater who attends at least 4 or more sessions a week; in the unmoving skate organization who constantly pushes for equality and unity; in the rollerskating community and in those determined, concerned skaters, that despite the great deal of critique they experience, they still manage to lobby to keep skating rinks open in their community. The theme this month focuses on the zeal of skaters everywhere, specifically in the New York Tri-State area whose trials, tribulations and accomplishments are documented in the pages of this edition of XtremeRollers Newszine. As you read their stories and memories, take the time to reflect on your own experiences and passion about rollerskating. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sherron Phillips Publishing Editor

Cover Photo: Send suggestions and comments to: or call 202.341.9485


September 08|3


XTREME SHORTIES COMMUNITY WELLNESS EVENT AT ANACOSTIA PARK ROLLERSKATING PAVILLION WASHINGTON, D.C. — Aban Institute and Associates, Inc. will host its third annual Community Wellness Fair at Anacostia Park Rollerskating Pavilion on Saturday, Sept. 27, 12 p.m.–5 p.m. The purpose of the fair is to engage in and encourage active lifestyle changes for the whole family. Through their “Healthy Activities Promotion Project for You” (HAPPY), Aban has provided information and services to the public about multiple health issues, including heart disease and nutrition. Moreover, they want to encourage families to roller skate, play and become active in the city at the park. NEW RINK IN NORTH CAROLINA GARNER, N.C. — The community of Garner, N.C. will host the opening of “The Rink” – a new rollerskating rink – on Thursday, Oct. 2. Free admission and free food, with a pass, will be provided at the grand opening hosted by the Bull City Jammers & the JB’s. The Rink is located at 5300 Fayetteville Rd., (Hwy 401) Garner, N.C. For additional information, please call 919.609.4140 or 919.358.4213. CRUISERS RAISE FUNDS FOR THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION MORRISVILLE, N.C. — The Carolina Cruisers Skaters Association will walk in the Heart Walk, sponsored by the American Heart Association, to donate funds for heart disease and stroke research and education. The Cruisers have a set team goal of $500.00 and is asking the skate community to help them with their efforts. For additional information, visit: =258311&lis=1&kntae258311=C27AA7219F3E4C1683EDC87 0563B72F4&supId=0&team=3162848 or contact the team captain, Shawne “Spice” White at:

an 11-year-old child. Anyone interested in contributing to this relief effort can do so by sending donations to: Tee Fall, PO Box 318007, Baton Rouge, LA, 70813 or call 504.810.0811. Information Provided by SkateGroove

DC/MARYLAND CLUBS LOOKING TO REUNITE WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Rolling Skulls of Forestville, Md, are preparing for their first reunion in 2009 and want to get more people involved. Organizers are presently looking for all of the original members of the Rolling Skulls, Junior Rolling Skulls, Larry’s Angels, Fairfax Rollers, SE Rollers, Midnight Rollers and Duff’s Devils, for suggestions and membership opportunities for the occasion. For information, contact Carlton Winslow at: •




2009 ADRENALIN AWARDS UPDATE WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Adrenalin Awards and Skate Jam Weekend has relocated from Elsmere, Del. to Washington, D.C., on May 1–2, 2009. The annual award weekend is hosted by Three-0-Two Entertainment, Style Skaters Television Network and the Adrenalin Awards Committee. Panelist selection requests are being accepted for those individuals interested in participating in the nomination process for the Adrenalin Award nominees. The deadline for panelist member requests is October 31, 2008. In addition, the hosts are asking individuals to create a favorite slogan for next year’s event; the individual of the chosen slogan will win a prize. The deadline to submit slogans is September 24, 2008. For information about the awards, email: or GeeMan@AdrenalinAwards. com. RELIEF EFFORT FOR HURRICANE GUSTOV VICTIM BATON ROUGE, La. — Carolina Cruiser associate member, Tee Fall, was one of many individuals that were touched by Hurricane Gustov’s devastation. Ms. Fall and her family lost a substantial amount of personal belongings – including clothing for 4 | September 08


MEMOIRS OF A LEGEND XR News decided to put together a meeting of the minds with two, popular Tri-State region DJs –Fly Ty (United We Ryde, Newark, N.J.) and Big Bob (New York) – to get their perspectives on the evolution of the DJ game. With a total of nearly 50 years experience between them, Big Bob offered Fly Ty sage advice on various topics including the state of skate music today and how to have longevity as a skate DJ.

Ty: I’m here with the icon, the legend – DJ Big Bob. Bob, how are you doing today? Bob: I’m doing fine today, Ty. Thank you, man, for conducting this interview. I don’t know anybody better that I respect, that is new to the game now that I would allow to do this [interview]. There [are] certain people that have touched my heart and you are one of them.

by Danica Williams

how to hook up equipment and make the sound system talk. A sound system is supposed to be a four-part harmony – highs, horns, mid-bass and bass – the same way [that] you sing in four-party harmony [is how] the sound system is supposed to sound. For a couple of years, I took off with [Flowers]…hanging out and opening up for him. Then around ’77, a guy in the skate world named Anthony Fleming said, “Bob, you’re a great DJ. Do you want to play for skaters?” Man, I used to go to Empire to dance and skate a little bit from ’65 on into the 70s…I used to hustle and dance in the middle on Ladies Night at Empire but I never thought I’d want to play in the skate world because I was always [DJ’ing] in the clubs. I didn’t think that skating would take off for me but, at that time, I analyzed it and,

Ty: I appreciate that, Bob. Let’s get right into it. Take us from the beginning. Give us a synopsis on where, why and how this legendary run started? B: Okay, back in [1969], I was in junior high school [and] loving music…I was already singing and [playing music] in the church. Then, I got into high school and my friend, Rodney, was a DJ, [so] we started hanging out after school at his house and getting into it. I tried to emulate everything he was doing at the time but I was basically just emceeing, because I liked to sing and emcee…they called me the “Singing DJ” back then. It was fun. Then, [near the end] of high school in ‘73, I was introduced to my mentor, Grandmaster Flowers and, at the time, Rodney kept saying to me, “Yo, Bob, you got to come to hear this guy play.” I said, “Oh, Rodney, he ain’t better than you and me. I go to church on Sunday. I can’t go out to hear this guy.” So, one Sunday, I went to hear [Flowers] play and I fell in love with the mix…how he took us from A to Z and you never knew you left A. It was so smooth and rich and I thought, “Wow, Rodney, he is good.” And after that, my love of DJ’ing took off even more and I tried to follow this guy wherever he played at or whatever function he was doing…I wanted to hear him play. Two years later in ’75, I joined his group and became the sound engineer. [Flowers once] told me that anybody can DJ, but nobody knows

to me, club DJs out here…[wouldn’t] get into the club because there’s too many of us. So, I decided to go and make my mark in the skate world and, basically through Anthony, I have been [here] for 32 years now and it’s been a total blessing to me. Skating is a spiritual art, and depending on the skill of the skater, the music can take you to so many levels of dance that you don’t need a partner, you don’t need a lover, you know, you can just come in and do your own thing and get your own groove on depending on how the DJ takes in the spirituality of it. And I used to say it’s like being in a church, when you’re playing that music…when you feel the spirit, I used to call it catch-

ing the “holy ghost” because that’s what it feels like when you playing every record, right on beat, right on time and the crowd is whooping and hollering and having a great time. Skating’s been great for me… maybe the business side and other personalities have been up and down but overall, I love skating. T: Wow, you said 32 years! With that being said, how did you maintain your focus and dedication to the skate world for so many years without becoming complacent? B: Well, through the ups and downs… the music…the love of music kept me grounded. I got bored at one time and wanted to take my skaters out to experience other skate venues. Every city has their own culture and we might skate to one record; they might skate a different way. So, I wanted to go and experience what other skaters and cultures were doing in other cities; and I wanted New Yorkers and northern [New] Jersey skaters to experience the same thing. I’ve traveled around the country and [world]…to Japan twice, London, Germany twice, Holland and Sweden…they skate very hard over there…especially Germany and Japan – they take skating to the fullest. And I thought only the Midwest – Detroit, Indiana and Chicago – [skated hard] like New York and northern [New] Jersey until I started traveling the country. I went to California and met the Savoy skaters – you have to be 50 years old just to get into the group or retired – and they [skate to] the music of Motown and funk. So traveling made me stay true to the game because I wanted to bring that experience back to Brooklyn, back to Empire when I [traveled to] play in other cities, states and countries. And that kept it green for me…you know they say, “keep things green and they will always grow” – and that’s what I was trying to do, grow in knowledge – musical knowledge and culture. And that’s what kept it real for me and in spite of all of the politics, B.S. and backstabbing that I went through in the game; seeing new skaters, flying to new events, keeping myself out there kept it green for me…because that’s what it’s all about. Just getting out there and staying Continued on page 9

September 08|5


HEALTH ALERT by Leah Bland



Anorexia is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating and psychological disorder that occurs when a person refuses to maintain a minimal body weight (within 15 percent of an individual’s normal body weight). Other symptoms of anorexia include: fear of gaining weight; a distorted body image; denial of the seriousness of the illness; and an absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles. People with anorexia tend to show compulsive behaviors and may become obsessed with food. The extreme dieting and weight loss can lead to a potentially terminal degree of malnutrition. Early treatment can be very effective; however, if not treated early, this illness can become a lifelong problem leading to starvation and serious health problems such as osteoporosis, kidney damage, heart problems and, in some cases, death. Anorexia usually begins during the teenage years and is most common among girls and young women, but can also be seen in children, men and older women. Approximately 95 percent of people affected by this disorder are women. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 0.5 percent to 3.7 percent of women will suffer from anorexia at some point in their lives. The disorder is most common among middle and upper socioeconomic groups. In the U.S. and other countries with high economic status, it is estimated that about one out of every 100 teenage girls has this disorder. Doctors and researchers do not know exactly what causes anorexia, but a combination of family history, social and environmental factors and personality traits are believed to play a role. Research has shown that eating disorders tend to run in families, revealing that relatives of someone who suffers from anorexia are over 10 times more likely to have an eating disorder than someone whose relatives are not anorexic. Stressful life events or transitions may also lead to the illness. Personality traits common among people with anorexia are perfectionism, anxiety, low self-esteem, and social isolation. This disorder is very hard to diagnose, It is very rare that people with anorexia will seek professional help, because they will believe that nothing is wrong with them. In most cases, treatment is not seeked until medical complications arise or is brought to the attention of a professional from family or friends. However, the good news is that this illness is treatable. Depending on the seriousness of each case, some people can be treated as outpatients, while others may need hospitalization to stabilize their dangerously low weight. Methods to help people overcome anorexia may include: psychotherapy to deal with underlying emotional issues; group therapy so people can share their experiences with others; family therapy; prescribed medication used for treating the disorder or associated depression or anxiety; and a nutritionist to advise patients about proper diet and eating regiments. •

Eating disorders are very complex and usually start out by

individuals just eating smaller or larger portions of food, and then the urge to eat less or more spirals out of control. Anorexia might be the most highly publicized eating disorder, but it’s sister disorder, bulimia, is just as serious and potentially life-threatening. Bulimia is a psychological eating disorder that consists of repeated and frequent occurrences of binge eating (eating unusually large amounts of food), followed by purging (selfinduced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or excessive exercising). Binge eating is not caused by intense hunger, but is a response to depression, stress or other feelings related to body weight, shape or food. People who suffer from this illness may binge because food gives them a feeling of calmness, but the self-loathing because of the overeating soon replaces the short-lived happiness, leading to purging. Without treatment, this disorder can lead to serious and longterm health problems. Acid in the mouth from vomiting can cause tooth decay, gum disease and loss of tooth enamel (the hard, glossy, calcareous covering of the crown of a tooth, containing only a slight amount of organic substance). Any type of purging can lead to osteoporosis, kidney damage, heart problems and even death. Bulimia is estimated to affect between three percent of all women in the United States at some point in their life. About six percent of teenage girls and five percent of young adult women are believed to suffer from this disorder. Approximately 10 percent of identified bulimic patients are men and 20 to 40 percent of women with bulimia have a history of problems related to drug or alcohol abuse. People with bulimia look perfectly normal. Most of them are of normal weight and some may be overweight. But like people with anorexia, they often fear gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight and are extremely unhappy with their body size and shape. People who are bulimic experience significant weight fluctuations, but their weight loss is usually not as severe or obvious as people with anorexia. Not all bulimics engage in self-induced vomiting. Some may fast for days following a binge episode. Others may resort to excessive exercise as a method to regain their control and rid their body of the possible weight gained during the binge. It is often difficult to determine if someone is bulimic, because the bingeing and purging is often done in secret and they are in denial about their condition. It is not uncommon for an individual to binge anywhere from twice a day to several times daily. •

6 | September 08


Letta (SRI Coordinator) 727-564-3357 FREE WEEKEND CONCERTS BY: Doug E Fresh, Roy Ayers and Brick

September 08|7

XTREMEROLLERS by Sherron Phillips A birthday party, tears and laughs amongst fellow skaters and the glowing lights illuminating from the skating floor were just a few cherished memories that were left, as skaters said their goodbyes on the evening of April 23, 2007. Some skaters left the rink that night with feelings of grief, anguish and an uncertainty of what would happen, now that many of the rinks in the

New York City area appeared to be closing. Since Roxy, Skate Key and now Empire had closed, the future of New York rollerskating seemed to be fading, wading in the winds without hope of its return to the Big Apple. For over six decades, Empire was one of the premier places to rollerskate in New York. People from all walks of life would congregate in this establishment and use it as an outlet, a meeting place or a home. Loved and adored by many, its bright lights and energetic atmosphere attracted skaters and non skaters alike, from all parts of the globe, making its mark in the history books of rollerskating. A building once occupied by hundreds of die-hard skaters who deposited over sixty- years of countless memories, is now ironically, a storage facility, stowing not only the possessions of others, but skate memories as well. Although there were many protests by the community for it to remain open, the skating rink was forced to close its doors, driving skaters to find alternative places to rollerskate. For some, Empire was so much more than a skating rink, it gave refuge to those without shelter; it gave meaning to those without purpose; and it provided, as Gwen White, an avid skater describes, “[comfort]…making everything alright after a stressful week in reality. It was a free ground for all to skate, couples, families and singles alike, shared in the experience that Empire offered several times a week.” It has been more than a year now since any DJ has spun a record on 200 Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn, NY, better known as Empire Rollerskating Rink. April 2008, marked the year anniversary of the closing, of what some skaters refer to as “the birth place of roller disco. ” With renewed hope, some skaters have found the courage to rebuild, finding alternate solutions and places to rollerskate; yet keeping the synergy of Empire rollerskating rink alive. Branch Brook Park Rollerskating Center in Newark, N.J., and Skate 22 in Union, N.J., are just a few places where New York skaters have sought refuge. Other skaters have stuck to finding places in New York, like Staten Island and the

Crazy Legs Skate Club" (Brooklyn, N.Y.) located inside the BedStuy Salvation Army to curb their craving to rollerskate.

REMEMBERING EMPIRE Gwen White (on the right) 4-Year Empire Skater My forever memory is the last days of Empire. The love and support for an institution that served her people well. To be apart of something much greater than self is truly a blessing. Empire the institution is no more, but the spirit of Empire is stronger than ever. We are the "Salt of Empire" we shall never lose our flavor. With this heritage, you can skate on cotton and make it taste good! I travel to Branch Brook twice a week, with an occasional skate at the Central Park skate circle. As of this interview, we are now skating at the "Crazy Legs Skate Club" (Brooklyn, N.Y.), located inside the Bed-Stuy Salvation Army. Thus far, it has been a real delight. Smooth wood, good music and no rentals. Now that's good skating, at least until we find a real home.

Edna Davoll Long-Time Empire Skater “[The closing of Empire] is a very sensitive issue – even today it is difficult to [discuss]. There are so many good memories during the many years [that] I have skated there. Tuesday nights were always special and you left the session feeling so exhilarated. But, the most touching [memory for me was] the closing day, which also [happened to be] my birthday. My friends gave me a surprise birthday [party] and I had all [of] these mixed emotions – happy in one aspect, but my heart was so heavy because it was the last day...the closing of Empire. [A year later,] it was like a big, happy family [gathering] when Big Bob hosted the First Empire Reunion Party at Branch Brook Park Roller Skating Center [in Newark, N.J.]. We were so happy to be as one again.”

Continued on the following page

8 | September 08


EMPIRE continued previous page

BIG BOB continued from page 5

Harry | Energy In the Middle 20-Year Empire Skater Empire was like the Roman Empire – it was the home of some of the best rollerskaters of all time. The energy was off the hook. The troops were led my king, DJ [Big] Bob. My team Energy in the middle fed off the musical energy. I had been rollerskating at Empire for [more than] twenty years. My best memory of Empire was doing the music video, “Got To Get Myself Into It,” by Rapture with all [of] the great Empire rollerskaters. I feel sad that Empire is gone. New York has lost all of it rollerskating rinks. We now skate in Central Park and Branch Brook Park. I feel [that] Empire will live on in the high school students in my rollerskate program. They are using the Empire rollerskates that the school and I bought. Once the students get good, Empire will never die.

true to the music, wanting to always learn new music and meet new skaters. By the time I get on the plane, I know I’m going to another beautiful experience.

Big Bob 30-Year Empire Skater Tuesday and Saturday nights... the energy on our Ladies night [sessions] was always so high. Wherever the ladies are, the fellas are going to be, [too]. Empire was more [of] a place [where] the average working AfricanAmerican could come and relax. [Skaters] would get off [from] a hard day of work, get there at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night and enjoy themselves. I miss the spirituality of Empire, that was the Mecca…ask skaters all over this country [and] they will tell you [that] you have never really skated in the 70s or 80s, unless you’ve skated on a Tuesday night at Empire. •

Continued on the page 11

T: That’s a lot of great information for a DJ as well as a skater that hasn’t had the opportunity to experience all of those different places. On the subject of music, what is your opinion on the new music today compared to the music from when you first started? B: Skating started on a funk…it was more of a funk, R&B-ish [sound]. There was no club, house music [or] hip-hop…it was always about the artist that could sing and the beat. So today, I used to look down on a lot of hip-hop stuff because skating is not hip-hop. Again, I had to be open-minded…it goes back to me learning other people’s cultures for awhile, you know, if depending on what region you live in, if hip-hop is the only thing you skate to and that makes you do you moves and dance moves because it’s a spiritual thing again...if that song is what you hear on the radio every day and that’s what you want to skate to… whether I like it or not, because most of all we are DJs, but we’re [also] entertainers. We’re not supposed to play what we want to hear…we’re supposed to play for the skaters. So, if I’m in a certain region and I’ve studied my music and I’ve studied where



September 08|9



by Danica Williams

Each month, XR News selects an individual or group to be recognized as the “XtremeRoller of the Month.” Recipients are honored for one or more of the following: positivity, unique or diverse skating style, and/or passion for the art of skating as well as the community at-large. It is doubtful that an individual would dispute the statement that Rosa “Boricuamami” Soto, is a phenomenal woman. In addition to holding two jobs, the mother of four and member of two skate clubs – Get Em’ Girlz and Tugger Productions – works with her close friend’s non-profit organization, is currently in school…and did we mention that she hardly ever misses a skate event or session? “As I’ve been told by Tugger [in the past], ‘Get in and feel the pain,’” she said of her skate philosophy, which could easily be applied in life as well. A native of Newark, N.J., Rosa was introduced to rollerskating five years ago, after becoming an employee of Branch Brook Park Roller Skating Center in Newark, N.J. Aside from skating at Branch Brook, which she proclaims to have “the greatest adult nights and outstanding DJs from New Jersey and New York,” Soto also regularly attends adult sessions at Skate 22 Roller Skating Rink in Union City, N.J. Skating has also become a family affair, with Rosa and her children spending quality time together while attending weekly family sessions. Known to have a warm smile on her face and an equally engaging demeanor, Rosa can usually be found in the middle perfecting her skate techniques. “My skate style is actually dance skating,” Soto said. “And [I will] most definitely get on a train.” In addition to skating at numerous rinks in the New York and New Jersey region, Rosa has traveled to out-oftown parties in Baltimore, Delaware, Virginia, Ohio, Charlotte, N.C. and Atlanta. “[I] always look forward to going to other [skate] rinks,” she said. “[All of] the beautiful people I have met all over the United States…it has been the greatest experience ever.” In spite of her fast-paced schedule, Rosa’s passion for the sport is comparable to a spiritual experience. “The [thing that] I most enjoy about skating is that it soothes my soul,” she explains. “After a hard day [of] work, it is a stress reliever.” Skating was originally a refuge for Rosa, who herself was a victim of domestic abuse. “[Speaking] as a woman who has

experienced the drastic life of domestic violence… [it] stopped me from being me and feeling free.” she shares. “Now, [I am] free from that life...and [skating] has taught me to feel free, be happy [and be myself], have fun [and] have friends – just plainly enjoy life.” Priding herself in living a drama-free life in and outside of the skate community, Rosa has no problem sharing her testimony of how she one day chose to take control of her destiny and escape her turbulent life. “[One day], I just found the courage and walked to the store and never went back home,” recalls Soto. “I just had faith…I had a serious wake-up call when I lost all my kids. And [I] knew that there was no way I could live my life without them.” Rosa made a life-altering decision the day that she walked away from her volatile relationship. “[It] was time to make the right choice,” she said. “I was left to die and came out of that [situation] much wiser. So, that’s when I said to myself, [it’s] time to get out…[and] get help because there is someone out there to help you. And, I did it!” Her ability to look at important issues that impact women at-large from a personal perspective, led Rosa to work as the marketing director of her friend’s organization, Supporting our Sisters (SOS) in Newark, N.J. Founded in 2007, the mission of SOS is to “help women develop into wise, confident, knowledgeable and productive individuals” and to provide them with essential skills that are necessary in their personal, professional and social lives. “[We want to] inspire them to be self-determined women who will positively contribute to the improvement of our society and to the world,” said Rosa. "If we do not change the way [that] we think, we will never change the way [that] we live. [SOS wants womPhoto: en] to fulfill their destinies and live their dreams.” One would think that Rosa would be exhausted from the schedule that she maintains, but she somehow manages to exude vivaciousness whenever she’s on the wood. “All of that energy in my system has to be released… [skating] just keeps me going…I stay in a great mood and in great shape,” said Soto with a chuckle. One thing is for sure, Rosa is not ashamed to give credit when it’s due. “Skate family, [my passion for skating] goes deeper than that,” she said. “It took me along time to find out what keeps a smile on my face. Thank you all for the love you have given me.” Phenomenal woman, indeed. •



10 | September 08



HoodTimes Founders Mike & Tariq w/ Joi (Sk8-a-thon)

DESCRIBE THE HOODTIMES MOVEMENT. Hoodtimes is a powerful, skate movement that is compiled of an extremely large group of individuals who absolutely love the art of rollerskating. HOW LONG HAS HOODTIMES BEEN IN EXISTENCE? WHO CREATED IT AND WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION? The movement started in 2004, in the adrenaline-filled roller rinks in northern New Jersey by three friends who decided to unify the highly skilled and very tal-

BIG BOB continued from page 9

by Sherron Phillips

ented skaters in New Jersey into an organized circuit. HoodTimes started as a promotional group [that] was known for throwing various skate parties at a local rink in New Jersey; [it] became so popular that more and more people started joining the movement to the point that we've outgrown New Jersey and have an extended hoodtimes family in many cities, all over the United States. HOW MANY MEMBERS? HOW CAN YOU BECOME A MEMBER? There are over a 100 members involved in hoodtimes literally, and growing daily. To join the movement, all one has to do is love skating; represent for us by wearing a hoodtimes shirt; and travel with us on skate trips, if possible, or contribute to our growth to the best of your ability. WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE FUTURE FROM HOODTIMES? Our next move is that we are starting a

from the end of the 80s going into the 90s, started more into the hip-hop era taking over and it started losing its flavor. Even though I love some great hip-hop, but hiphop is not skate music, to me. But, that’s not what I’m there for…if I’m in a skating rink and I’m paid to do a job for four or five hours, whoever is in front of me, I [don’t] judge it and play the music to entertain them. My job is touch everybody’s heart some time during the course of the night to the best of my ability.

they come from and their culture, I know how to play to entertain them on their style of music [and]…I mix my records accordingly. And all of the music that I have… new and old…I’m going to add that to that and I’m going to go to that city and try to rock them to the best of my ability. But today’s music is truly not skate music. Some of the new R&B songs that are coming out are good; but hip-hop, to me, is not skate music. But, if that’s what you skate to in your city, then I’ll play it because that’s T: I’ve experienced in my short time of doing why I’m there…you pay me to do a job this…it’s very hard to please the crowd. What and entertain, not to be judgmental of advice can you give an aspiring national DJ, the music. But today’s music – if you ask such as myself, as far as getting jumpstartme hypothetically and off the top of my ed? head – it’s not skate music. They’re not making enough funk [or] good R&B mu- B: Okay, first things first: practice, pracsic to rock and roll to. You know, I touched tice, practice. I’m getting ready to do on this [topic] on one of the documenta- a friend’s birthday party – strictly oldries with Tyrone…you know, “…my neck, school…50s, 60s…and I had to rememmy back…” – that Tweet song – was not ber where all of my music was at, put it in a skate record but it’s the hottest things order so that I could practice it, so that I on the radio. So, you only want to hear would know where it’s at, and I don’t have or skate to what you hear on the radio … to skip around trying to find all of these that’s what you want to hear when you go songs. Practice and knowing where the to the skating rink whether it’s skate music music belongs and how to mix it is very or not – that’s what we do as DJs is enter- key to making you a national DJ because tain. I think that the 70’s and early mid- you’ll learn everybody’s culture – mean80’s was great, great skate music. Now, ing all of their songs [from] different cities

Hoodtimes Clothing Apparel Line which will include all flavors of t-shirts, skate apparel, custom made hoodtimes skates, etc. For any information on the hoodtimes skate movement, you can visit our myspace pages at www. myspace. com/ hoodtimes or www. myspace. com/skatemovement or simply call hoodtimes at 201.954.6482. Big shout out to all [of] the skaters [that] "LET THE HOODTIMES ROLL"...from HOODTIMES – "ain’t we lucky we got em."

Photo: HoodTimes

– you’ll go home and practice it where to play in between what we do here in New York and northern Jersey and what you hear around the country, you’ll know how to put in order starting from learning the beats per minute (bpm), from 90 bpms on up…you know where certain songs go… you’re not skipping all around the world. …You should go from a smooth transition to work your way from the bottom and come your way up to the top. And, Ty, get out more, get out more [and] see other cities. I’ve shared this with you plenty of times. I’ve been to a lot of cities where I didn’t play in the early days… Eric and I just went to a lot of cities where we would stand around and experience. I took a little pen and wrote down songs, …oh man, I started writing down like 10 different songs and then I’d stop for the rest of the night. I’ve already got an idea. After I’d get to the eighth, ninth or tenth song, I already know what flavor they’re living in and then I’d go to the next city and do the same thing. Sometimes I can’t do it mentally, so then I write them down and then you learn and go back and all of those songs that you wrote down, you start pulling up the songs from that era and start putting it back together and mixing. I Continued on the page 22

September 08|11


CENTRAL PARK DANCE SKATE ASSOCIATION Central Park is one of the top tourist attractions in New York

City. Known for its beautiful landscape, horse and carriage rides and entertainment, this park is a must see. Located at the foot of Olmsted Way and 72nd Street, is a hidden treasure called Skaters Road. Here, every Saturday, Sunday and holiday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., from the beginning of April through the end of October, you’ll find hundreds of New Yorkers and tourists skating to music. The scene at Skaters Road has become a popular tourists attraction, drawing thousands from around the world to watch, photograph, film and videotape the Skate Circle’s activities. The Central Park Dance Skate Association (CPDSA) sets up a sophisticated sound system and plays music for all dance skaters. The events are free and open to the public, and is supported by the membership of the CPDSA. It is because of them that hundreds of skaters and thousands of spectators can enjoy and share this wonderful experience. But it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when dance skate in Central Park was silenced. Co-founder Bob Nichols tells the story of how dance skate came to Central Park, how it thrived, was taken away and brought back. It all started around 1978, when Bill Butler and a gentleman opened up a skate and bicycle shop in Central Park. “It was Bill Butler, who was sort of a famous guy and ran the Skate Key in the Bronx for a long time. He started skating in Central Park and then other people started skating out there,” said Nichols. With the skaters came the music. Wayne Bradley was the first skater to provide music by bringing his big boom box to the park. Each weekend, the skaters would come to freestyle and skate to the music that Wayne provided. Their numbers kept growing and growing until one day, the entire roadway became completely blocked. When the Parks Department got wind of what was going on, they moved the skaters to Dead Road, an old and cracked roadway that had been closed off. The skaters would end up calling it, Skaters Road. “I’m told that, at first, people would bring out radios and boom boxes and they would tune in to the same radio station. When a commercial would come on, someone would find another station that was playing good music and would call out the station. That’s how they would have music,” said Bob. As time went on, so did the evolvement of the sound equipment. It started with Wayne, who brought amps and a good deck. Then came Zee, a.k.a. Blade Runner, who used his car battery operated deck, amps and homemade tapes. There was Carl, a.k.a Blue, followed by Hector with his high-powered sound system and tapes and next was Pete, a.k.a. Fafir – each playing a vital role in bringing music to the masses of skaters and spectators.

by Leah Bland

The loud music was very disturbing to a lot of the residents along Central Park (5th Avenue, Park East Side and west on the West side). When Mayor Giuliani was elected to office in 1995, things for the Skate Circle took a turn for the worst. In March 1995, the administration’s new “Zero Tolerance” policy put an end to amplified music in Central Park. Captain Bayer informed the Skate Circle that amplified music was no longer acceptable and that their crowds encourage drinking, crime and other kinds of problems. Skate representatives went to meet with the Parks and Police departments, but unfortunately, they were told that no compromise could be made and if people wanted to continue skating, they could either listen to their walkmans or go to Wollman Rink. In response to this, Lezly Ziering and Bob Nichols formed the Central Park Dance Skate Association (CPDSA). The CPDSA served, as a liaison between the Parks and Police departments and skaters. Their goal was to come up with a mutually agreeable solution to this situation. Under the leadership of Brent Nosworthy, Lezly Ziering and Bob Nichols, a membership flyer was produced, dues were collected and a newsletter was created to keep the skate community Photo: Copyright c 2007 Ed’s Stride Zone abreast with what was going on. A decision was made to start a petition campaign and the group turned to member Bob Nichols. “They had all looked at me for the petition, because I had done a petition campaign a couple of years before,” said Nichols. While negotiations were trying to be made, there was a lot of heavy police presence in the area and absolutely no amplified music was being tolerated. In order to sustain a presence, members encouraged skaters to keep coming out to skate – asking them to bring walkmans or acoustic instruments, sign the petition and join the CPDSA. They also encouraged skaters and supporters to send letters to Captain Bayer, the Commissioner, the Park Commissioner and Mayor Giuliani. After going to the newspapers and receiving additional help from some influential friends, the CPDSA and their supporters gathered 8,000 signatures. “We just kept passing them around in the park. People would take them home, we went to different members of the city council and got support from all over the place,” said Nichols. “Mayor Giuliani and the boys thought that ‘if they’re not there skating for the next six or eight weeks, then they’ll go somewhere else.’ But, by the second week, [because] people had radios and we had a transmitter, they kept coming. And it just became a waiting game and we waited them out,” said Bob. Finally on June 30, 1995, Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, announced that the CPDSA would be given a one day permit for amplified sound on the 4th of July. The group had to agree not to exceed certain sound limits; keep the place clean; not Continued on page 19

12 | September 08


September 08|13


XRNEWS VOTES, DO YOU? XR News encourages its readers to make a difference by being active participants in the voting process. No matter which political party you support, your vote counts! If you are a U.S. citizen and will be 18 years of age by Election Day, please register to vote on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. Here are a few ways to become a registered voter before Election Day: 1. Register to vote online.. It is really quick and simple. Visit http:// and click “Register to Vote.” Select your state and fill out the registration form. Print out your completed form and drop it in the mail. 2. Obtain a voter registration application. Typically, individuals must register in states where they reside. You can find voter-registration applications in several locations including: • State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or driver-licensing offices • Armed forces recruitment offices • Public libraries • Post offices • Unemployment offices • Public high schools and universities • State offices providing public assistance • State offices providing state-funded programs for the disabled • County or city election commission or registrar’s office Complete the voter registration application. Be sure to fill out every required field on the form such as your full name, street address, date of birth, signature and date. Depending on where you reside, some states may require you to list a political party affiliation – if you are not affiliated with any particular party, list “Independent.” Mail in your voter registration application. You should receive confirmation of your registration in about six to eight weeks from your local Board of Elections office. If you do not receive a

confirmation, please contact the election office to confirm that your registration has been processed. 3. If you are already registered but are away from home, vote by absentee ballot. If you are not currently living at home (e.g., attending school, serving in the military, etc.), you can vote by using an absentee ballot. Remember to request an absentee ballot so that you can mail it in prior to the election! Typically, voter registration forms must be postmarked anywhere from 15 to 30 days before the scheduled election. To find out your state’s voter registration deadline, visit: http://www. You only have to register one time – unless you move, change your name or want to change your political party. Once you are registered to vote: • Find your polling place. Visit http:// to determine your voting poll location to cast your ballot on Election Day. Generally, the polls are open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. • Bring some form of identification. Proof of identification varies from state to state. Examples of IDs that are usually accepted are a voter registration card, driver’s license or photo ID, student or work ID and social security card. • Don’t leave without voting! If a poll worker tells you that your name is not on the voter lists, do not worry! You can still vote on a provisional ballot. Source: •


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XR News welcome comments from our readers regarding skate related issues or any article featured in our newsletter. Here is your opportunity to “say what” you feel. Please send all correspondence to Letters should include: subject title “SAY WHAT,” the writer’s full name and location. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space.

14 | September 08



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CENTRAL PARK continued from page 12 allow consumption of alcohol; enforce a helmet law for children under the age of 14; not solicit funds except at approved events and maintain order. The event was a success and the Parks Department extended the permit to cover Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Thirteen years later, the Skate Circle is still going strong. The Skate Circle is open to any and everybody who wants to skate. “Anybody can go out there and skate. We ask people to join, but nobody is forced to do anything,” said Nichols. Not only are the skaters a group of diverse individuals, but also so is the music. The Skate Circle can be found dance skating to the sounds of R&B, classic music, disco, house music, some rap and hip-hop, new soul and jazz. “House music is it!” exclaimed Bob. The music is played by a rotation of DJs. The CPDSA has a list of about 25 DJs, with approximately 10 to 12 DJs playing regularly on certain rotations. According to Bob, the Skate Circle is like any other rink. “Most of the skaters’ free style, some dance and others do tricks. We are primarily a skating rink. That’s why we’re here. We are a skating venue. People skate around…they don’t necessarily dance, but there are dancing couples. In the north and south ends is usually where people dance and do tricks.” The CPDSA host’s two very popular annual events – Skatefright and DJ Jam. Skatefright is their annual Halloween celebration that closes out the end of the skate year. They have games, costume party, parades, pumpkins, goblins, etc. Another popular event is the DJ Jam. This is an invitation only for the best and

top DJs. The day is split into 20 to 30 minute increments and the DJs play their best stuff. “They give us their best music, so it’s hot all day long!” said Bob. No matter where you are or what style of skate you prefer, the skate community shares the same love and passion for this sport. It is the one common bond that everyone shares and the Skate Circle is no different. Bob expresses this emotion when speaking about his joy of skating. “It’s like a skate family. We skate together. When you’re skating with people, you get to know them pretty quick. You care about people. The skate family is just a wonderful thing. It’s another thing about skating that I love. It’s very spiritual.” • MEET CPDSA’s OWN KYRAN DAISY WRITER - DANCER - ARTIST - ROLLERSKATER

New York native and Central Park Rollerskaters Association (CPRA) member Kyran Daisy is not your ordinary rollerskater. In addition to rollerskating, he manages to juggle writing, designing and dancing into his busy schedule. WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE A PASSIONATE SKATER? Yes. I find [skating to be] very enjoyable and challenging. It’s a lot more than just a hobby. It’s something that I want to become good at because I love it...the energy, the people, the music and the movement. .

September 08|19

CLASSIFIEDS HELP WANTED PART-TIME NATIONAL AND LOCAL WRITERS XR News is seeking experienced writers for various sections of the Newszine.


SEPT/OCT 2008 WEEKLY/MONTHLY ADULT SESSIONS EAST - CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, PA, RI, VT D’ Light Skate N Palace Temple Hills, MD Sundays & Thursdays Skate Arena Elements Columbia, MD Fridays 443.827.6155 Millennium Skate World Camden, NJ Wednesdays & Thursdays www.MillenniumSkateWorld. com Skate 22 Union, NJ Ride Out Sundays 973.727.2202 Jersey’s Finest Skate 22 Union, NJ TruSk8ter Tuesdays 908.686.6838 Shake N Bake Baltimore Wednesdays & Sundays 410.669.9100 Skateland Orchard Towson, MD

Wednesdays & First Saturdays 410.669.9100 Wheel-A-While Lanham, MD Wednesdays 301.577.8889 Branchbrook Rollerskating Rink Newark, NJ First Thursdays & First Saturdays 973.482.8900 Bus Tour to Branchbrook Rollerskating in NJ College Park, MD First Thursdays 240.417.0368 Adrenaline Skating Center Elsmere, DE Sundays & Thursdays WEST - CA, NV, UT, CO, WY, ID, OR, WA, MT, HI, AK Sunrise Rollerland Rink Citrus Heights, CA 7/19, 7/26, 8/9, 8/23 916.961.6333 SOUTHEAST - AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV Joi’s Sk8-A-Thon All American Skate Ctr. Stone Mountain, GA First Saturdays 678.334.6393 Manslick Rollerdome DJ Syncere Louisville, KY Fridays Grown Folks Skate Jam Atlanta, GA Thursdays 770.969.5250 Duncan Pea & TruSk8 Ent Skate Ranch Raleigh, NC

Sundays K97.5 w/Brian Dawson Skate Ranch Raleigh, NC First Thursdays Skateland Richmond Richmond, VA First Fridays 804.283.2337 Empire Nights All American Skate Ctr. Stone Mountain, GA Last Saturdays 678.334.6393 MIDWEST - OH, IL, IN, MO, KS, IA, NE, SD, ND, MN, WI, MI Rollerdome Euclid, OH First Friday 216.857.5783 United Skates of America Columbus, OH Last Sundays 614.470.2805 The Skatin Place Cincinnati, OH Saturday Night Adult Skate 513.522-2424 Roll-Out Entertainment The Rink Chicago, IL First Fridays

SPECIAL EVENTS EAST - CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, PA, RI, VT Oct 4 Rolling for a Cause Rolling Out Entertainment & NY Angels Newark, NJ Oct 11 Millennium Sunrise Session Tracy & Lawrence Camden, NJ www.MillenniumSkateWorld. com Oct 17-19 National Skate Party Chocolate City Rollers Temple Hills, MD Oct 19 Roller Skate for the Cure Chocolate City Rollers Temple Hills, MD Oct 25 Supreme Skate Jam Above Average Skate Assn Columbia, MD WEST - CA, NV, UT, CO, WY, ID, OR, WA, MT, HI, AK No Events Reported

Orbit Skate Center Palatine, IL Saturday Midnight Ramble 847.394.9199

SOUTHEAST - AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV Sept 19-21 4th Annual Skate Jam Arkansas Federation of Skaters Little Rock, AR 501.551.8192

SOUTHWEST - AZ, NM, OK, TX The Rollercade San Antonio, TX Suday Hip Hop Skate 501.247.4764

Sept 26-27 Virginia at its Best! Virginia Skate Connection Richmond, VA 804.283.2337 Continued on next page

September 08|20


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Oct 4 Midwest Roll for Soul Naptown Real Rollers Indianapolis, IN 317.291.6795

continued from page 20 Oct 17-19 Rolling on the Bluff Rolling Wheels of Memphis Memphis, TN 901.363-7785 Oct 18 Black Carpet Jam The Black Carpet Committee Richmond, VA 804.283.2337 MIDWEST - OH, IL, IN, MO, KS, IA, NE, SD, ND, MN, WI, MI Sept 27 Ohio Roll Call Skate Jam Pepper Cincinnati, OH 614.670.9883

Oct 10-11 Mix & Mingle Dance and Skate Pary Detroit Connection Now Detrioit, MI 734.427.9110 Oct 19 Roller Skate for the Cure Chocolate City Rollers Temple Hills, MD Oct 25 Creep & Roll Halloween Skate Jam Lisa & The Ohio Skaters Akron, OH 440.366.6659

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XR NEWS COMING TO YOUR CITY October 11 - Millennium Sunrise Session, Camden, NJ October 19 - Roll for the Cure - Temple Hills, MD

BIG BOB continued from page 11 think [that] I shared [this] in the DJ meeting, if I live in any city for six months, I’ll own it because after a while I’ll learn all of their styles, techniques, culture and what music they like… it doesn’t take much if you love music. I know that you love music like I do, so it won’t take you long. You just have to get out there and be persistent like you were in Atlanta, you were doing your CDs, you know. All I have to say to the new jocks, man, is practice what you’re doing, learn what you’re doing…. Again, practice, practice, practice…a little knowledge will make you a national DJ. Ty: Me being a skater as well as a DJ, I have been fortunate enough to travel outside of New Jersey and New York and I have taken a real liking on the Chicago style of skating as well as music because, personally, the energy level matches right up with the New York and New Jersey style. With that being

said, other than home, where is your favorite place to play based on the music and the style of skating? B: Okay, I have two, so, that’s kind of easy for me. Other than New York and northern Jersey. Chicago’s cool, I love, love the West Coast and I love Detroit, maybe because they skate to [and] love the old school funk. If you go out to Los Angeles to their [Memorial Day weekend] skate party or if you go to Detroit in October, you will see what I’m saying. Detroit was the first ones who took me out to the West Coast to represent them. That was a great honor for me that another skater took me out of New York, and we did a East Coast-West Coast [venture] and when they decided to do the West Coast back in 1996, we had almost 480 of us came out of the East Coast representing [on] the West Coast that followed us out there and it was a beautiful thing. And that is the most beautiful thing that you could do for me – another city hired me to represent our East Coast in the West Coast – and that was great. I heard some music

22 | September 08

that I hadn’t played in 30 years out there on the West Coast and in the Detroit area, and I loved it. I was like, “Wow!” It’s nothing wrong with loving a certain city you know for their energy because that’s what makes you a better DJ . And if you get out to other cities you will see that same passion in a lot of cities.…And that’s what it’s all about, I don’t expect to go [and] hear New York and New Jersey music; I want to hear what they do because I know what we do at home, so why would I want to go to another city and experience my music there when it’s all about me learning their culture? That’s what it’s all about. Ty: Is there anything else on the table in the near future if someone wants to come out and hear the legendary Big Bob play? Where can we find you in the upcoming months? B- Well, Oct. 10–11, there is a skate couple [who have] built there own skating rink in the back of their house in Stockton, Calif., [DJ] Spin and me are playing Continued on the next page


BIG BOB continued from previous page together – check for information. And I’m in the process, you and [XR News] are going to hear it first now, I’m getting ready to come back out and start doing my mobile stuff again. I’m going to cities and bring my sound system with me. I personally think [that] skaters are missing a lot. I want to come out and do the skaters right. I just want to start looking up other skating rinks around the country again and start playing mobile [and] giving skate parties. MLK Weekend [I] will be in Huntsville, Ala., and that’s coming up and will be a great party – I am grateful for the four to five years of being a part of that and helping that city grow. I’m going out to Virginia to [visit] this guy who owns a couple of skating rinks that I used to do business with and a couple of Virginia Skate Connection members are going to pick me up when I get in and take me to the skating rink so I can meet with people in Richmond, Hampton and Virginia Beach, Va.. I’m really starting back up again, Fly Ty. I’m getting ready to do it all over again, reinvent what true skating is all about, man. [I’m] getting out there to bring New York and New Jersey and other skaters [together] so [that] we can love one another. Skaters need to know [that] music…and love of rollerskating is universal. You and Lil’ Brian – I said this to you before I left – don’t get caught up in the politics. Stay humble, stay meager humble…humble in this game will get [you] further than being cocky, trust me – I’ve been there. That’s the only reason why I think people hired me, because I was humble, [and] I love what I do. I’m not perfect, but being humble and loving what you do will get you further than trying to be cocky. I just wanted to share that with you…and I wanted to tell you in this interview and I told you to your face – you’re doing it the right way, Ty. Stay [in] love [with the] music, don’t get involved in the politics, and you know, Ty, there is a lot of politics going on around here. But most of all, love your game, love the game and I’m telling you, after 32 years, it will love you back no matter what.

ready to open up a new rink in 2010. I have been contacted by a Freddy Sands in London, [who] is opening up a new skating rink in 2009. I want to be able to take skaters to Europe… [there’s] going to be so much [that] the skate world is going [offer] in the next couple of years. And I hope, by the grace of God, [that] they don’t throw the dirt on me [any] time soon…that I can be there to experience it – even if I don’t play. I can get guys like Fly Ty that’s going to be in the mix to take over. I hope that the skate world will be in good hands with the DJs coming up today. [Skating] is getting ready to blow up – [overseas] and [nationwide]. So, you guys just hold on [because] by 2010, its going to be the bomb…I feel it coming. Because I’m starting to get phone calls from around the world, it’s going to blow up, it’s going to blow up. Other than that, thank you guys again, I really had a good time with you. •

LtoR: DJ Fly Ty and DJ Big Bob

Ty: Well, thank you for that advice. And, on behalf of all of the skate DJs, skaters, Xtreme Rollers Newszine, and my company, United we Ryde, I want to thank you for paving the way and setting that bar at such a high level. You know I’m following [your] footprints, I’m searching for your footprints in the sand every day to kind of take that same path and thank you for your time with this interview. If there is anything else you want to close out with, by all means please do so. B: I just want to say thanks, Ty, man, thanks for your friendship and thanks for your love of the music. Thanks for being there, I know its been hard sometimes, you know, a lot of DJs and a lot of stuff going on but, you know, you’ve always been a true brother to me and that’s what it’s all about. Regardless of what’s happening, you respect what you do and you respect what’s going on. I want to thank [XR News] for allowing me to express myself and express my abilities in your newszine. And having Fly Ty do the interview…I wouldn’t know anybody better who I respect and love to do this [with me]. I hope that I said some good things for you today and I hope that we can stay friends and love the game of rollerskating and keep all our AfricanAmerican people together around the country. Because, I’m telling you, [rollerskating] is going to make a great comeback around the country. [In] Frankfurt, Germany, [they’re] getting

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