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September 9, 2021 Edition
(C) 2021 Portland Ice Skating Society
Welcome to another edition of The Portlandian. We're now three-
quarters of the way through 2021, and already it's shaped up to
be another stinker, with Covid proving it still has plenty of
steam left. Oh, for the '90s when Delta was a type of Oldsmobile.
Thank God for ABBA saving the year from being a complete write-
off with the announcement of some new music and a virtual tour
after almost forty years on hiatus. But in the meantime, there's
lots to be positive about with a new development from Tonya!
JOE HARAN: 1944 -2021
But first, we must begin this issue on a rather somber note: it
is with great sadness that I must report the passing of Joe
Haran, who was a casualty of the recent record-breaking
temperatures experienced in the Pacific Northwest area. Although
this article doesn't mention it, Joe was a leading figure in the
original Tonya Harding Fan Club back in the 1990s, including
serving as an editor of the club's magazine, The Skater:
Joe was born in the New York area and his family broke up after
his father died when he was 12. He had a distinguished career in
the print and broadcast media in the Portland area before ill-
health regrettably forced his early retirement. Prior to this, he
graduated from the University of Oregon School of Journalism in
Eugene, Oregon, and served in Vietnam where he received several
decorations for his military service. His journalism credits
include positions as a staff reporter for "The Oregon Spectator"
monthly newspaper in Oregon City; news director at KGAL-AM radio,
Albany, OR; chief writer at "GrassRoots" monthly news-magazine,
Salem, OR; news editor at "The Stayton Mail" weekly newspaper,
Stayton, OR; announcer and reporter at KOIN-AM and KOIN-FM News
Departments, Portland, OR; news presenter, producer and reporter
for KEZI-TV News Department, Eugene, OR and producer and reporter
for KOIN-TV News Department in Portland.
In addition he also did freelance work for "PDXS" (a fortnightly
newspaper in Portland), "The Oregon Spectator" monthly newspaper,
Oregon City; CBS New York; "The Lake Oswego Review" weekly
newspaper, Lake Oswego, OR and the weekly newspaper "The Portland
Observer". His voluntary journalism work includes editing
"Welcome Home", a monthly newsletter for the Steven F. Worley
Chapter 392 of Vietnam Veterans of America Incorporated; reporter
for "The ZooDoer" monthly newsletter, Metro Washington Park Zoo;
special correspondent for "The Oregon Daily Emerald" newspaper,
at the University of Oregon and sports editor of "The Bridge"
weekly newspaper, Portland Community College.
Joe initially heard about Tonya in the wake of the triple axel,
and identified with her because of his own deprived upbringing.
In December of 1992 he became aware of a proposal by Elaine Stamm
a retired charm school teacher, to form a fan club. And it was
through this connection that we got to know him, with him sending
us a large amount of Tonya-related material, including several
issues of The Skater which you can read at the link below. We
also have since obtained several other issues that we hope to put
on line when we get the time (even Joe didn't have a complete
set). He also sent us some photos from his time in the fan club
and a series of emails detailing his memories of being part of
Team Tonya, which we published under the title of "The Haran
Chronicles" in the early 2000's:
We have therefore created this special section of our web site to
honor his memory and his work as a Tonyaphile, gathering together
as much of his Tonya-related writings and other materials as
possible in one place. We have some other odds and ends that he
sent us that we hope to upload soon.
For those in the Portland area who wished to honor Joe in person,
there was a full military committal ceremony for him on August 16
at the Willamette National Cemetery.
ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES ON THE REINSTATE TONYA HARDING FACEBOOK
Joe is not the only Tonyaphile that we regrettably report has
passed. We recently became aware that Mickey Davis, the founder
of the Reinstate Tonya Harding Facebook group, died back in
November last year. Unfortunately, we never got to know Mickey as
well as Joe, but when he founded the group back in January 2018
(presumably after seeing "I, Tonya") he wrote the first message,
which reveals that like us, he objected to the injustice that
Tonya has suffered over the years:
Okay I've had enough. If you really want to see how
treated unfairly and grossly differently look at Tonya
Harding. No other male athlete has ever been treated like
this. She is not allowed to work on the ice, even as an
advisor FOR LIFE. Can you think of any male athlete banned for
life from even coaching in the sport in which they excelled
globally? We will get her reinstated. First we need a group.
Please join the group now.
In the wake of Mickey's passing, Gisa Zur Nieden of Germany and
myself have taken over as group admins.
TONYA MAKES A CAMEO APPEARANCE
Tonya has now joined Cameo! For those of you who aren't familiar
with it, Cameo is a platform that enables fans to get customized
videos from their favorite celebrities. That's right - for a
small fee, you can now have Tonya send a personalized message of
your choice upon request! What could be a better gift for a
special occasion - a wedding, birthday, passing an exam - than
greetings or congratulations from our skating idol?
Note that only stuff that's in good taste will be accepted -
jokes about "breaking a leg" will presumably be off the agenda. A
couple of examples of what you can expect have already been
posted to Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CTD7RZVHNxD/ (Bigfoot Magazine)
https://www.instagram.com/p/CTQl5_bnBlw/ (Michael Meggison,
A litle bird tells us on good authority that a certain other
skater from the greater Boston area is charging $5 more than
Tonya for her Cameo messages, so as usual Tonya is much better
value than the competition!
Meanwhile, in this photo, UK Tonyaphile Alison Davies proudly
models her Tonya t-shirt she got from Fan Arch:
We've also been advised that Tonya will soon have photos
available to purchase through Fan Arch in the near future, so
there's more to look forward to:
Tonya and her career have long been an inspiration for musicians
- Brockhampton and Sufjan Stevens have both released songs about
her in the wake of the "I, Tonya" film. Now rap group
$uicideboy$ have joined in with a track entitled "If Self-
Destruction Was an Olympic Event, I'd Be Tonya Harding" on their
new album "Long Term Effects Of Suffering". Although Tonya's name
is in the title and appears in the video, she is not mentioned in
the song itself:
This isn't the only time that Tonya has been referenced in rap -
there's at least 12 other known instances mentioned in this
article. Last year J. Galore released a track titled after her,
and a rapper by the name of Emma Carroll, aka "Lil Freckles",
sampled Nancy's post-whack wailing in her song "Classic Case" in
J. Galore - "Tonya Harding" (feat. YOUNGMANI) (2020)
Lil Freckles - "Classic Case" (2015):
Punk band Tonya and the Hardings, from Denton Texas, appears in
this next video. What's interesting is that the singer is a real
Tonya, a music therapist called Tonya Blum:
As you can see, this Tonya does a mean pogo!
It's not the first case of another real Tonya being inspired by
our Tonya. Back in 2019, one Tonya Geesman of Chicago dressed up
as our Tonya for Halloween:
This track from New Zealand artist Mercedes Cambridge doesn't
mention Tonya, but apparently the cover of this cassingle is
inspired by her:
Nick Harte (nick___harte)
"I, Tonya" has also inspired numerous mashups and edits from
various fans. Some of these are actually better than the official
trailer. A few months ago, we had Tonya & Black Sabbath - now
Tonya and Blondie:
Tonya and The Kinks:
Tonya and Queen - and let's face it, Sebastian Stan does look
rather like Freddie with his mustache:
Tonya and The Stones:
Tonya and Hall & Oates:
Tonya and AC/DC:
We don't know how long these will be up for, so enjoy them while
ODDS AND ENDS CLEAROUT
In this next section, we've collected a bunch of odds and ends,
mostly from Instagram, that we've had sitting around for some
time because they haven't really fitted anywhere else. So let's
take the opportunity to unload them here:
- the "I, Tonya" house location in Chamblee, GA.
As you can see, it's nowhere near as grotty-looking in real
life as it appeared on screen.
- also in that part of the country, frame 7 is a signed Tonya
skate, in Savannah GA.
- a Sharp Edges review: https://www.instagram.com/p/CLz5WyZFrvz/
- Sarah Coronado James (gretagnp) - reminisces about celebrities
she's met at the Alamo Drafthouse, including Tonya:
- Kristi tries a triple axel in training - and fails - proving
that it's not as easy as it looks (and it doesn't look easy):
- nostalgic.atbest - Tonya shows how it should be done in this
triple axel compilation:
There's quite a bit of other Tonya on that channel as well.
- An actual Lillehammer ice skating silver medal (albeit for just
speedskating, not real skating):
- Larry Clark (primitivemodern) Tonya's Spam carving (yes, it's
thing) of a monster truck back in 2007.
Larry says "Facebook reminds me that it's the seventh (sic)
anniversary of the greatest photograph ever taken."
CANUCK COMICS TAKE ON THE INCIDENT, EH?
Before Allison Janney, others had a crack at impersonating
LaVona, such as in this sketch, which aired on CBC's satire show
"This Hour Has 22 Minutes" on January 31, 1994. Interestingly,
she accurately foretells of Tonya's trouble with her skate laces
at the Olympics:
Tonya and The Incident were also referenced a few other times
S1E12 1994-01-24 https://youtu.be/5Wa6oI6aLWo?t=685
S1E14 1994-02-21 https://youtu.be/2eFgBNfqEuA?t=110
The rest of the shows probably don't make much sense unless
you're familiar with Canadian politics of the era. And if there's
one thing that's even more boring than New Zealand politics, it's
TONYA ART TO FEATURE IN SARATOGA SPRINGS ART SHOW
Some Tonya-related art works will feature in an exhibition to be
held in Saratoga Springs, NY on Saturday 11. The event will
feature artists and musicians who are all doctors from the
Saratoga Hospital. Four of the pieces in the exhibit, by Dr.
Steve Offord, feature Tonya. The Art Show will not only have an
enormous amount of work from Dr. Offord but also art and original
music from his colleagues. It's all being filmed for a
documentary that will look at art as a way of healing:
And now for the rest of our regular Tonya fan art roundup:
(steelmanure) Earlier this year, a picture of Tonya appeared in
Vancouver, BC, Canada. Not quite sure how it fits in with Exclaim
magazine, which is a music mag:
Ash (aishlingdraws) London, UK
Delighted to be part of another @artholecardiff zine. 70 odd
pages packed with illustrations, photography and writing on
the theme Gnarrly!
Retro Blvd (_retroblvd) "I, Tonya"
- A still from a press conference with Olympic figure skater
Tonya Harding in 1991, following her silver medal at the World
Figure Skating Championships, featured in Time Magazine.
- The badge is 38mm diameter - the perfect size for pinning to a
jacket or bag! £2.50 + postage.
- Comment or DM to purchase!
Max (muxsi_lol) - "I, Tonya" pencil sketch
Shaun Craike (shancraikeart) - Tonya pencil sketch
LUNCHBREAK CHALLENGE. Draw up a portrait during my 30 minute
lunchbreak. Last week's (Yeah, this one took a while) subject:
Tonya Harding. (I finally watched I, Tonya. I loved it).
Neon Art Gallery (neon_posters) alternative film poster
- https://www.instagram.com/p/CQIn4PVj1-8/ by @nachtkartoffel
Suite Gallery (suite.co.nz) Wellington NZ - Lithograph by Richard
Lewer, Tonya Harding, 2020. 760 x 560 mm, $2100NZD unframed.
Not bad, but I wouldn't pay that much for it - it's no better
than a lot of the fan art that's here.
"Tonya Harding was an impressive ice skater with unmatched
athleticism. She was the first woman to attempt and land a
triple axel but was pitted against her fellow competitor Nancy
Kerrigan who was the darling of 1990's American ice-skating.
In January 1994, Tonya Harding's ex-husband hired a hit man
to club Nancy Kerrigan's knee during practice for the U. S.
Women's Championships in Detroit. The injury temporarily took
Kerrigan out of competition but Harding was banned from
competing for life - she has always maintained that she did
not know about the attack before it happened."
Kanon (kanon.n0n) - see final frame
Anna Buntin (anna.l.buntin) Nashville TN. Nancy looms over Tonya
in this role-reversal print.
Gigi Ortega (gigisantosortega) - a Margot montage, featuring
atelier_de_julien - pixelart
Pop Culture Prints (popcultureprnts) - triple axel
treasurehuntingpdx - a Tonya/Bob Packwood t-shirt from 1994.
Packwood was a sleazy Oregon politician who was accused of sexual
Melissa Figueira Ferreira (_themworld) - Lisboa, Portugal
Swipe to the legendary Tonya Harding's design.
@therealtonyaharding No other skater can hypnotize me as
much in the rink as she can, spend the years that pass and no
matter what. Nor the athletes of today. I would love to be
able to send you this drawing one day! The curly girl, on the
right, is my childhood friend @sandambi
Hayze Taylor (rockymoon.ht)
margot robbie as tonya harding in "I, tonya", september 2020,
a gift for a friend
pixie_marmalade - Azerbaijan - triple axel
Nomura (nomura2054) LaVona & parrot
Laura Bielaczyc (laurabielaczyc) Nashville TN
"That moment you realize you've done the work, but you have
idea what the work has done to you. I had such a great time
attempting to be @therealtonyaharding working the I, Tonya
scene in @nashvilleactingstudio class! I can't wait to work on
it again next week! That first pic is me about to get my head
slammed into the table. Keep scrolling for all the intense cry
pics! I didn't want to post the video, because it's pretty
intense and possibly hard to watch."
Miranda (younggrandma_) Michigan
"Growing up I used to watch figure skating and remember
hearing about Tonya Harding, so I was excited to create my
twist on her portrait based off of Margot Robbie in I,Tonya.
Sarah Jane (saroj_little_scars) Modi`in, Israel
c_a_t_s_enterprises - Devotion t-shirts "Very pumped about
hitting up the su-su-studio to make more of these gems"
Joe Perry (the frackymack) Fresno, CA. Tonya/Nancy flip-flops
Syd's film Journal (journal.by.syd) "I, Tonya" collage
Earl Gary Art (earlgaryart) - coasters
Dustin Pilkington (grovvybabyyah) 90s tabloid t-shirt
Alice (squarecowpainting) - "I, Tonya" poster
"humbled to exist in the margot robbie cinematic universe"
Angel Cardoso (lench214) Tonya montage
"to me you should have gotten the gold medal you are
underdog you are the Cinderella of the figure skating world it
was wrong how the way they treated you and you never back
down. Much love and much respect to you."
tonya_hardingfan - Tonya practicing for the ESPN Classic in
Huntington, WV. in October 1999:
Todd Herzog (toddspopshop toddherzog) - a cute Tonya doll
"The fabulously big bangs era of the 90s Tonya Harding
USA Winter Olympic uniform!"
And last but definitely not least, it wouldn't be a Portlandian
art roundup without a contribution from Gisa - three in fact this
gisafrog - another Tonya collage
"Yooptzah everybody (especially fellow Tonya Fans)
, Here's a
little Collage with a Portrait of the amazing
@therealtonyaharding, still my favourite figure Skater
forever. I used sparkly washi Tape, holo Cardboard and foam
Rubber Stars and of course a Lot of glitter paint. Tonya, If
you See this: Wish you an awesome day and I Hope it isn't too
hot now where you live"
https://www.instagram.com/p/CR6T1mrsfCZ/ and a few more scrunchies
Gisa - nylon flowers
Yooptzah everybody (especially fellow Tonya Fans) ,
Here are more Nylon flowers, this time inspired by the famous
costumes of the amazing @therealtonyaharding.
The pink one was of course inspired by Tonya's costume for the
Short program at Skate America 1991 and I did the white-and-
golden one after her free Skate costume.
For those of you who didn't See the pride Rainbow flower:
Those Nylon flowers were all the rage in the late 70s and
early 80s, but I think the technique shouldn't be forgotten.
I used Pantyhose fabric and Wire for the petals, metallic
chenille wires for the centers and (of course) glitter paint
for the decorations. Hope you like them.
ABBASOLUTELY TONYALOUS - DIGGING THE SKATING QUEEN
We started off by mentioning ABBA, and I think it's appropriate
to finish by noticing that there's more than a few similarities
between ABBA and Tonya:
- both were brilliant at what they did;
- both were popular with the public, but were never considered
"cool" by the establishment in their respective fields. ABBA sold
billions of records, but nobody with any pretensions of musical
hipness would have ever admitted to liking them, even if they
were secretly fans, as they were considered too white-bread,
middle class and mainstream. The posers with their narrow ties,
stovepipe trousers and copies of the New Musical Express would
snort down their noses at ABBA while hiding their LP of "Voulez-
Vous" in the sleeve of a Lou Reed album or suchlike. In Sweden,
their work was dismissed as "schlager", a derogatory German term
for lightweight pop music. Similarly, the skating snobs at the
USFSA or on rec.sport.skating.ice.figure hated Tonya for the
opposite reason, seeing her as an embarrassment because she
wasn't middle class enough. In a way, being an ABBA fan in the
late '70s was actually more subversive than being a fan of the
Sex Pistols, in the same way that being a Tonyaphile in the early
'90s was subversive in skating.
- neither ever completely fell off the radar. Even after they
fizzled out in the early 80s (they never formally broke up), ABBA
albums remained in print, and indeed got a boost from being
reissued on CD in the mid 80s. The two guys, Bjorn & Benny,
continued to have success with other projects such as the musical
"Chess". Likewise, Tonya continued to be in the news with
comeback attempts, singing, acting, boxing, a book, operas and
- in both cases, it's been Australia that has led the way in
terms of rehabilitation of their image. One of the first ABBA
tribute bands, Bjorn Again, came out of Australia, and it was two
Aussie movies, "Muriel's Wedding" and "Priscilla, Queen of The
Desert" in 1994 that also helped to revive interest. In the case
of Tonya, it's been two Ockers, Craig Gillespie and Margot
Robbie, who have led the charge in the Tonya revival.
- both have been embraced by the LGBT community, perhaps because
ABBA fans and Tonyaphiles were at one stage also outcasts who had
to live a closeted existence and they recognize that both artists
have been treated unfairly and not properly appreciated for their
talents. There was a time in the 1980s where the only acceptable
way you could be an ABBA fan was in an ironic, mocking sense,
making fun of their cheesy costumes and Swedish accents.
Similarly, no "respectable" skating fan could dare publicly
defend Tonya in the wake of the Incident for many years without
attracting similar odium.
- both have seen new waves of fans come in over the years - in
ABBA's case, following after the release of the "ABBA Gold"
compilation in the early 90s and more recently in the wake of the
musical "Mamma Mia" and its sequel. With Tonya, her fan club
membership skyrocketed after The Incident, and in recent years
has been bouyed by 20th anniversary documentaries such as "The
Price of Gold" and Sarah Marshall's article "Remote Control". "I,
Tonya" has seen yet another wave of fans discover her, with her
Instagram account now clocking up more than 47,000 followers.
ABBA will perform next year in a virtual concert featuring CGI-
generated "Abbatars", based on how they looked in their prime at
the end of the 1970s. It's perhaps fitting that this technology
was developed by ILM, a company spawned by "Star Wars", the only
pop culture phenomenon of that decade that was even bigger than
ABBA and which has also endured such unexpected longevity. No
doubt other aging acts will be closely watching to see how
successful this technology is - could we eventually see the
Rolling Stones continue to roll on, complete with a digitally-
resurrected Charlie Watts on drums again? After all, why let a
minor problem like death get in the way of continuing a hugely
successful money-making franchise? And there's no reason why this
same technology can't be applied to other fields like figure
skating. Perhaps one day, future generations could enjoy a
digital Tonya landing triple axels just like she did in '91. And
if something as seemingly impossible as an ABBA reunion can come
to pass, could even Tonya's life ban being rescinded and her
induction into the Hall of Fame be completely off the table any
Sure, it's probably about as likely as ABBA putting out an album
of Swedish death metal, but it's an interesting idea to be
pondered as we head into the third decade of the 21st Century, a
time when it seems that the only thing we can expect anymore is
VISIT THESE GREAT TONYA WEB SITES:
PortIce - http://www.pdxiss.org
David House - http://www.tonyaharding.org
Charlie Main - http://www.charliesweb.com/tonya/tonya.html
Puppetboy - http://www.usapaul.net/tonya/
Valerie Smith - http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/LilHam.html
Swan Lake - http://members.tripod.com/~TonyaHarding/index.html
Blades of Gold - http://members.tripod.com/tmhfan/index.html