In Southern California during the 1960s and 70s, the broadcasting of Roller Derby and Los Angeles Thunderbirds’ games was front and center. In fact, the T-Birds were as popular and as frequently televised as Dodgers, Lakers, and Rams games.
So, it should come as no surprise that in 1966, six-year-old Scott Stephens received his first set of roller skates. Before long, he was staging and competing in Roller Derby games in his parents’ backyard.
Later, when teenager Stephens started training at the new T-Bird Rollerdrome in Pico Rivera, it was primarily because he loved skating on its banked track. He had no idea the Roller Games league was low on skaters, or that he was destined to add to its ranks even as he painstakingly memorialized the rise and fall of his favorite sport.
From 1978 to 1981, from his seat on the infield and from the track itself, Stephens was part of everything the games offered, from its underground cast of shadowy characters and venues to its adrenaline junkies and alternative lifestyles. He loved it all.