Fifties' skating star Sammy Skobel recalls his life in the Roller Derby and his inspirational struggles with being a legally blind athlete. Written when the Derby was all but forgotten, this the the rarest of the Derby books and valued because the skater's biography is from the "old days."...
|Title||:||Semka: The Sammy Skobel Story|
|Number of Pages||:||232 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Semka: The Sammy Skobel Story Reviews
Semka: The Sammy Skobel Story is a genuinely inspirational autobiography that deserves to be in print and available to as wide an audience as possible. Post-World War II, nineteen year old Sammy Skobel tries out for and makes the Roller Derby, despite being legally blind—a physical limitation that he incredibly is able to hide from most people for most of his life. He goes on to the highest levels of success on the track, falls in love, marries, has a family, retires on top after twenty years to then start a successful business of his own, and founds the American Blind Skiing Foundation. The central focus here is Roller Derby, make no mistake; and Skobel's passion for the game that he excelled at shines through on every page.A cynical reader might take issue with the earnest positive attitude of the narrative voice. At times this reads something like a fairytale. Nearly every chapter had one line, one moment, that caused me to choke up; most usually in the final paragraph of each chapter.Skobel's Russian immigrant parents are almost too good to be believed, and his love and reverence for them and their lives is powerful. His father instills in him from a very early age that he, Sammy, can accomplish anything he sets his mind too, despite his almost complete lack of vision. And quite incredibly, Skobel does just that throughout his entire life. He achieves remarkable successes by absolutely any standard, not only making it in Roller Derby in an era when it was a professional sport populated only with elite athletes, but in the twenty years he skated, he quickly became and remained one of its superstars. Skobel's heartfelt descriptions of his friends, his family, the woman who would go on to be his wife, the fans: everything is painted in such upbeat tones as to boarder on the hyperbolic. Meanwhile, his measured response to adversity, to those who stood against him, is so determinedly stoic as to add to the effect that everything in Skobel's life was either black or it was white: a literary irony perhaps as his life was spent seeing only shades of grey. If you will give yourself over to the author's story, however, this is a moving story of a life we would all do well to emulate. This is the memoir of a determined, hard-working, undefeatable individual who seemingly triumphed because of the odds against him, as much as despite the odds against him. Uplifting, poignant, unforgettable; do yourself a favor and get a hold of a copy; and let's hope that someone can make this book available again in an era where modern roller derby is making such a comeback.
I read this book many years ago. I followed my mom's lead and read the book after she did. It is a journey through Sammy's life dealing with being blind, getting put down, and fighting for what he wanted. He knew his strength and knew he could be the best while he was blind! This book tells others that no matter what disability you may have, you can still do anything anybody else can do and sometimes better! Being blind never stopped him from following his dreams! This book is a must read!