10 years. It's amazing what big things can grow from trying to escape monotony. 10 years ago, myself and a co-worker were dealing with the day-to-day boredom that came with being a Customer Relations Specialist in a major printing design house. We needed an escape. I got a DVD for Christmas featuring the latest incarnation of roller derby from Texas. I went to work the next day and told my co-worker derby was back and we had a chance to get in on the ground floor (since there were no leagues in the Philly area). We both jumped into it feet first and actually thought we might even make a little money doing this. Well, fast forward a bit and I quickly learned you don't make money doing this. My co-worker moved on. But by then, I was bit hard by the dream. Making money didn't matter. Love of the game did. I was determined to bring banked track derby back to Philly. Along the way, I gained my greatest friends...the players and the coaches of PJRD. I met and strengthened our connection to many former professional skaters who came to see what we were doing in Philly. And through sickness and health, PJRD always had my back and fought to make that banked track dream come true. And one day, through luck or fate, a friend from my new-found derby world offered PJRD the chance to acquire a banked track. At this point, I had been forced into semi-retirement by illness, but PJRD had not lost sight of the dream. Soon after, I took my first cautious steps with tears in my eyes onto the first banked track in Philly in many a year. The long route to the dream had been fufilled. And now here we are celebrating 10 years and I'll step on that track again and feel the memories rush in. Many thought we would never make it. Some of those leagues who told us that don't exist anymore. I'm proud of what a bunch of dreamers can do. And as we celebrate this anniversary, I know that the guys and girls skating for PJRD will continue to dream on and accomplish their new dreams. And 10 years from now, I hope to be joining them again on the track to celebrate 20 years of dreams. Congratulations PJRD. Thanks for making my dream come true and making your league's poppa proud.
Ken Sikes, "Poppa Bear"