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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News
November 12, 2015 Edition - ANNUAL TONYA BIRTHDAY ISSUE
(C) 2015 Portland Ice Skating Society
Welcome to our traditional annual birthday edition of "The
Portlandian". In this issue, we have an update on the museum
project, discover a Tonya reference in a local newspaper, cover
breaking news of yet another Olympic corruption scandal, and
as a special birthday treat, finish off with some pulp detective
fiction featuring many thinly disguised characters from the
skating world (including you know who).
This time of year marks a number of important anniversaries: not
only is today Tonya's 45th birthday, but last Friday was the 40th
anniversary of the very first gig by the Sex Pistols. And today
also marks the 40th anniversary of the finished edit being
produced of Queen's iconic music video for "Bohemian Rhapsody":
We're sure that there's some kind of connection between all these
things, we just can't work out what it is yet.
There's not much Tonya news to report, though in this instance
it's one of those cases of "no news is good news" - our sources
tell us that Tonya and her family are doing fine.
By the way, I wonder if anyone has ever skated to Bohemian
Rhapsody? Now that the ISU has ditched the archaic prohibition on
vocal music in eligible skating, there's an opportunity awaiting.
Of course, clocking in at almost 6 minutes, it really would be a
Long Program in the literal sense of the phrase...
Maybe one day we'll get around to writing "Tonyarian Rhapsody".
TONYA MUSEUM NOW ON AirBnB
Now you really can spend a night at the museum. In fact, several
nights, and days as well. Well, at least at the Tonya & Nancy
museum (which is the only one that really counts), as Matt &
Viviana have now listed their museum on AirBnB. As one person put
it, "a must stay for figure skating fans and people who want to
use 'I live in a Museum' as a pick up line".
They also made a surprise trip to Portland earlier last month,
and visited the Clackamas Town Center Mall, the location where
Tonya did most of her training. Unfortunately the rink was
removed several years ago, but to a Tonyaphile, it's almost like
visiting the site of Woodstock. No word on whether they took up
the invitation of a local to visit the Dockside Saloon, or that
science museum where Tonya can be seen studying a brain in a jar
in "Breakaway", but you can find a brief video of their trip to
the mall on their Facebook page:
TONYA MENTION IN KIWI NEWSPAPER
The impact of the events of almost 22 years ago continue to be
felt in ice skating, even out here in NZ.
A few months ago Disney on Ice toured out here. In an interview
with a local paper, one of the skaters, Josh Uster, explains how
he got interested in skating at the age of 11 after watching the
"I think everyone fell in love with skating in the 90s, with
Nancy (Kerrigan) and Tonya (Harding)," he says, "I saw it and I
just took to it."
You can read the rest of the article here:
No word on whether he finds the Disney factor "dumb" or "corny".
FROM RUSSIA WITH DRUGS
Hot on the heels of the FIFA scandal has been the news in recent
days of another massive case of sports cheating being exposed.
And this one is about as big as they come: the World Anti-Doping
Agency has accused the Russians of systematic doping on an
industrial scale, proving that nothing has really changed in that
area since the Soviet era.
Already the affair has claimed its first scalp, with former
International Association of Athletics Federations President
Lamine Diack resigning from his position on the IOC after being
placed under formal investigation by French authorities. Putin
has ordered an investigation, although the idea that anything of
this size could possibly have been going on without his
knowledge and approval is pretty hard to believe. And there is
now serious talk of the Russians being tossed out of the 2016
Events are still unfolding, but we'll be keeping a close eye on
this one over the next few months.
And now we move on to our special birthday feature:
THE PORTLAND ICE SKATING SOCIETY PRESENTS:
"THE BIG ICE RINK"
A Skating Noir
The scene: the interior of a badly-lit office, Portland, Oregon,
1994 - oops, I mean 1949. But we'll let our hero take up the rest
of the tale:
There's a million stories in the big skating rink of life - and
this is one of them.
The name's Boni. Sam Boni. I'm a private dick. Gumshoe. P.I. Call
it what you will. I run the Figure-skating Bureau of
Investigation here in Portland. As you've probably guessed, I
deal with ice skating crime.
One day this dame walked into my office. Said her daughter, a
skater by the name of Nicole, had gone missing. She showed me a
picture. Blonde. Nice rack. Legs up to her armpits. A real class
act. I was smitten. I immediately decided to take the case.
Little did I know it would lead me on a wild goose chase halfway
around the West Coast.
I'd need some information, and I knew just where to get it. My
favorite snitch, a reporter called Christine. A broad with the
inside edge on the sleazy underbelly of the sordid cesspool of
vice known as ladies' figure skating. She knew nothing, but she
gave me a lead, a skater known as "Ice-T".
I found her down at Morry's bar. That's a seedy dive over in
Clackamas County - the rough side of town. I knew she was there
because her pick-up truck was parked outside. "Ice-T" was a real
tough cookie. When I went inside the joint, she was shooting some
pool with the local hustlers, and taking them to the cleaners,
too. A sassy blonde with a pack-a-day habit, she was the type who
knew a truck axle as well she did as a triple axel, but she had a
heart of gold. She didn't know anything either, but she told me
to talk to a slick customer known only as "the Fat Man".
Fat Man, it turned out, was in the protection game. The "Mr.
Big" of the deal, in every sense of the word - he weighed 300
pounds. He ran an outfit called the World Bodyguard Service, a
security agency for skaters. At first he wouldn't squeal. But
then I turned on the heat, and he folded like a cheap accordion.
He spilled his guts. Literally. All over my trenchcoat.
But Fat Man did give me another lead. A clown who operated the
biggest numbers racket in figure skating. A man who "knew the
score". Actually, he knew all the scores for the skating
contests, because he made them up beforehand. A skating judge
named Yuri, and his sidekick, a saucy little French minx called
Marie. "Yuri". Sounds kind of Russian. I might have known some
dastardly commie was mixed up in this caper. After dropping off
my trenchcoat at the dry cleaners, I decided to pay him a visit.
He didn't know anything either, but he gave me another
I had to take a detour down to Frisco - Chinatown, to be precise.
My contact there was a shapely Oriental babe known as "Madame K",
who was also reputed to control most of the city's opium dens.
She couldn't help, but did give me the name of a suave Italian
nicknamed "The Speedskater", who was rumored to be the Godfather
of the international skating scene. Perhaps he'd know something.
Russians, Orientals, Italians - this case was turning into a
regular League of Nations.
As I exited Madame K's joint, I was to have an unpleasant
encounter - with a thug known as "Jeff the Knife". Ice-T had
warned me about this guy: a dangerous unstable psychopath with a
penchant for violence. And she should know - he was her ex-
"I hear you've been getting nosey" sneered Jeff, as he poked his
"heater" into my ribs. "Sticking your schnozz into other people's
business. Well, here's a warning about what happens to nosey
The pain was excruciating as Jeff stabbed my nose with an ice
skate. But I now knew one fact: Jeff must have been sent to
scare me off - and that meant I was getting too close for comfort
for whoever was behind this thing.
The Speedskater fancied himself to be a bit of a Ladies man. And
Mens, Pairs & Dance as well. I never liked these foreign Romeo
types. Speedy turned out to be a total chump. This guy was so
dumb he couldn't empty booze out of an ice skate if you told him
the instructions were written on the sole. I was going nowhere.
It looked like I was skating down Christopher Bowman Boulevard -
in other words, a dead end street.
But I did get another name, a character called "Max the Pimp",
based in Lake Oswego. Max's line was selling pictures of the
stars. Not movie stars, like Bogey or Bacall, but actual stars -
astronomy photos. But that was just a front for his real
operation. You see, Max was actually one of the biggest wheels in
the smutty picture business. Here I finally struck paydirt.
I showed Max the photo. "Yeah, I've seen her. A real doll. But
she wasn't blonde - she had dark hair, and she didn't use the
name Nicole. Instead she called herself 'La Azalea Noir' - 'The
Black Azalea'. Most of my stuff is fairly mainstream. But
occasionally I get a customer who wants something, well, a bit
different", he said. "A bit out of the ordinary".
He paused, and drew back on his cigarette. "There are some guys
who like... the kinky stuff".
I slipped him a few pictures of George Washington to help loosen
his tongue a bit more. "Gimme some names", I asked.
"There was this one guy. I only know his first name - 'Chuckie'.
He paid me big bucks to take photos of this Nicole broad spanking
him while dressed in her skating costume. That's Chuckie who was
dressed in Nicole's skating costume, not Nicole - she was wearing
high-heeled boots and a gas mask. He asked me to send the
pictures to this Post Office box in Sacramento. That's all I've
The next morning, I was on the train down there. It wasn't much
of a lead, but it was all I had. I sat outside the Post Office
for hours, staking it out. I was giving up hope. It looked like
Max had given me a bum steer. Then it hit me, like a nightstick
on an ice skater's kneecap. I was such a mug. Perhaps Max was
actually Chuckie, and this was all just a cheap ruse to get me
out of the way. I suddenly realized - this wasn't going to end
like a Sonja Henie musical. I had to get back to P-town - and
By the time I got to Portland it was almost midnight. I went back
to Max's, but he wasn't there. But then I had a stroke of luck. A
discarded book of matches with the name of a now defunct ice-
skate factory on the back. Could this be where he'd taken Nicole?
I gunned the car hard and put pedal to metal - time was running
out for "The Black Azalea".
When I entered the factory by the back door I found Christine, or
rather, what was left of her. She'd been "whacked" - bludgeoned
to death with a baseball bat, then crudely cut in half &
dismembered. It wasn't a pretty sight. I guess she'd stuck her
nose into one too many skating scandals. She must have sensed the
Nicole story would be a big scoop and been on my tail ever since.
It was obvious I was dealing with a real psycho here.
Then I saw two shady-looking characters. I immediately recognized
both of them - the first was Max and the other was "Jeff The
Knife" - he was probably responsible for what happened to
Christine. Together they were hauling something up a flight of
stairs. There was no mistaking that curvaceous form - it was the
unconscious body of Nicole, bound and gagged, and they were going
to dump her into an ice-skate sharpening machine. Nicole was
going to be "iced", hurled into a death spiral that really was
deadly. A triple-toe-double-toe-loop combination into oblivion, a
double Salchow into the great hereafter if I didn't act quick.
But then I made a horrible discovery. I was unarmed! I'd left my
"piece" in my other trenchcoat when I dropped it off at the dry
cleaners. Curse that Fat Man! There was no time to go back to my
office to get another gun. I decided there was only one option: I
was going to have to bluff it out.
"Okay Max!" I yelled, "The jig is up! This place is surrounded by
coppers with Tommy guns! Surrender now, or I'll give the word and
they'll pump you so full of lead you'll look like Swiss cheese!"
"You don't fool me, you two-bit punk!", sneered Max. "I know
"Not quite!" A woman's voice came from above and behind me. It
was Ice-T. And she had a crossbow. The bolt struck Jeff straight
between the eyes. He dropped Nicole and fell down the stairs. It
was obvious that he was now where he belonged, and it was a place
that would be way too hot for any skating.
Max immediately panicked. Like most bully-boys he was gutless,
and with his muscle-man gone, he turned into a quivering
jellyfish. As he ran along the gantry to try and escape he
slipped and fell into the skate-sharpening machine, making a
ghastly shriek as he was processed into a human toe-pick.
"After you left", said Ice-T, "I realized that Jeff would
probably be mixed up in this. So I followed him". We untied
Nicole, who was none the worse for wear after she came around.
Once again, I had cracked the case - with a bit of help, of
Afterwards, I married Nicole, and made an honest woman out of
her. I think I'll quit the P.I. game, but I can't completely
escape from skating. It's in the blood. Perhaps I'll settle down,
start a family, maybe set up a nice little business sharpening
ice skates. Because at the end of the day, there's only one thing
you can say about this tawdry affair:
"Forget it, Sam, it's figure skating."
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
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