Hailing from Kalkaska, MI (population 2,035) in the county of the same name (population 17,196), The Small Town Outlaws are home town heroes. However, their successes and challenges are similar to many leagues. This entry takes a handful of Outlaws to the still forests and sandy shores of the Grand Traverse Bay that are the hallmarks of northern Michigan. Additional Photos can be found in this album.
From Left: Violet Rage, LilBit-o-Fury, Dee Railya, and Jackie Bauer
Kalkaska is a small town with a very enthusiastic crowd, especially against our cross town rivals, Traverse City. Visiting teams are surprised what a big deal our small town heroes are on the track. I've skated for Indianapolis (Circle City), Traverse City, and even Team Michigan and have never seen anything quite like the fans of the Small Town Outlaws.
- Jackie Bauer
|Children||1 boy (2) 1 girl (7)|
|Children||1 - 19 yrs old|
|Started||4 1/2 years|
|Children||1 - 3yrs old|
|Height||5’ 2 1/2”|
|Started||May 15, 2010|
I am proud of who I am.
I am proud of who I will become.
I am strong.
I am determined.
I'm an Outlaw.
- Dee Railya
A Note from the Photographer
This set with The Outlaws is both a nostalgic piece as well as a transitional one. I spent the first 9 years of my life, and several weeks in each following year, in the tiny community of Fairview which lies 65 miles east of Kalkaska. In Northern Michigan terms, The Outlaws are my hometown team. On the other side, Body By Derby has ruled my life and my creative outlet for three years. I made the decision to move on to other things, one of those being just getting out and photographing people.
On January 6, three days after shooting the Body By Derby sets for Windy City and Gender Non-Conforming individuals, my father was placed in the back of an ambulance. He died somewhere between his house in Fairview and the nearest hospital almost 40 miles away. My Father was born on the family farm located a couple miles outside of Fairview in 1938 in a house with a dirt floor. Except for a brief stint in the army and maybe some short-term residences in his early 20’s, he never lived more then four miles from the family homestead.
Since January in Northern Michigan can be brutally cold and snowy, my siblings and I opted to return in May to clean out his house. I have a lot of love and fondness for Northern Michigan and this trip to clean out his house signaled the end of my real connection to the area. I have aunts, uncles and cousins, but he was my core connection. I can be a sentimental and somehow, it felt right to symbolically bridge my past and present. The obvious bridge was to merge derby, photography, and my hometown league. So, I knew what I had to do on this last trip to my father’s house.
I knew Jackie from her time with Circle City Derby Girls so I reached out to her. Understandably, the Outlaws would have preferred Body By Derby, but I had already committed to myself to the transition I had to make. So, we went for a day of shooting. The results are beautiful and trigger some of my favorite memories of living in Northern Michigan. I will admit, this set is not distinctly derby, but I think it’s a great homage to the beautiful landscape of the region and to the derby players who call it home. It’s also tribute to the small town leagues everywhere who bring derby to life in the wildest places.
Sunday, September 6, 2015