WICHITA FALLS, Texas (AP) — Stacie Flood is an expert on what it takes to be a genteel lady.
As curator of the Kell House Museum, she's not only familiar with turn-of-the-century manners and niceties, but gets to observe some of them as she works with donors and volunteers for the century-old historic home.
This, of course, is during working hours, before Flood puts on her fishnet hose, helmet and roller skates to become PunksLea Addamns, the fast-skating, body blocking member of the Wichita Falls Derby Dames flat-track women's league.
Not only is Flood a Vigilante Vixen (one of the derby's three teams), but she also is the WFDD league president.
"I first heard about the league organizing from a co-worker, and it sounded interesting," said Flood, grinning sheepishly. "In the winter we used to skate in the basement of my parent's house in Kansas City, and it was tons of fun."
Organized as a nonprofit that gives a percentage of its proceeds to local charities, league practices soon began at the Roller Plex Skating Center. Flood said that although none of the thrill of skating has changed since childhood, the adult body's reaction to jamming and blocking was definitely different.
"The girls are proud of their bruises," Flood said, laughing. "They're serious about winning. We've had some broken bones early on, but the more we practice and build our skills in the game, build up our muscle, the less prone we are to serious injury."
While speeding around a roller rink isn't an everyday exercise choice, Flood says it makes for quite a workout. Friends and colleagues have noticed her tuned-up muscles are making for a finer figure.
Husband Drew Flood and her son Colin, 12, are among her greatest fans.
"Colin just loves it. There were weeks he wore team shirts to school four days out of five," she said. "If we had a junior boys league, he'd be in it."
Having a hobby so far removed from the gracious tone of her everyday work life surprised some Kell House volunteers, but Flood said they've been "really supportive."
"I am constantly being admonished not to break anything," she admitted. "A couple of them have even come to the bouts. One of my docents is actually a referee, but she's a bit on the younger side."
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