The skaters were dead tired, relaxing after the game, having just come straight through from Providence to Waterloo, 1,100 miles. They never stop for the night: the occupants of each car take turns driving. Jimmy drove the 1,100 miles in the semi—48 hours, with just 2� hours off for napping in the cab. "You just push on," he said. "You just push it another mile. It's the same thing with skating. After a while it's all the same whether you're tired or not."
Jimmy was exhausted, of course, and he was supposed to take the truck right out after the Waterloo game and drive to Minneapolis, so Hal Janowitz, the fine old skater who is now the tour manager, let him have the game off to sleep in the cab. Bill Morrisey, the other referee, had to work alone. Morrisey was limping from a muscle pull that he had received while breaking up a fight among the girls, and he was sore and tired. Mrs. Dee Morrisey, who was along on the tour because it was also their honeymoon, provided pain pills and Band-Aids for her husband, and she supplied coffee during the game to help keep Bill and some of the players alert. Mrs. Morrisey also kept score on the tour, though nobody cared much about the statistics.
Nobody was even sure who was ahead on the tour, the Bombers or the All Stars. "They're just exhibitions," Eddie Krebs said. Eddie is 24, has been skating since he was 15, is lean and wiry and may be the fastest skater on the All Stars. "Back in the Bay Area it's different," he said. "Those are league games, and the fans know your abilities and what to expect, so you just get out there and skate. On a trip like this, though, the games don't count, so you give the fans what they want." Virtually since it was created in 1935 by Leo Seltzer—Jerry's father—the Derby has had to contend with charges that it is all an act. Sometimes that has not been a bum rap, either. But the Derby people bristle at such talk. "We're not showmen or anything like that," Krebs said. "Even a night like this, we're skating hard. When you don't skate hard, that's when you get hurt."
This was March in Waterloo, but a premature burst of August had blown in from somewhere, and the temperature had gone into the 80s. It was particularly bad for the players, just in from properly icy New England. In addition, the crowd in Waterloo was about the worst one on the whole tour. The fans were not even stirred when a couple of the All Stars poured the contents of the water cooler all over Bomber Larry Smith in the infield.
The Bombers moved into their locker room at halftime, exhausted and disgusted. Everybody went for a cigarette first thing. Nearly everybody on the Derby smokes a lot. The most exciting discovery on the whole tour across the U.S. was that packs went for 25� in the cigarette machines in North Carolina.
"How can you skate before so few people?" said Julian Silva.
"And all sitting on their hands," said Larry Smith. He was still wet all over.
Everybody took another drag. "Can't we all just chip in a dollar each and pay them to go home?" Julian asked. "I was downtown today looking around...."
"Downtown?" asked Lou Donovan incredulously.
"Well, I was downtown," Julian went on, "and everyone was just moping around like everyone here."