In this section, you will find 4 unsorted articles about the history of wrestling.
|Sportfolio - The Show Must Go On|
|There was Jack Sharkey, Sandor Szabo, Leo Numa, Oscar Swanson and yours truly in a city hall dressing room on Monday night. Sharkey was our reason for being there and the Chestnut Hiller was very obliging. But, unintentionally, and with a little pain, the ”rasslers” stole the show.|
It all began when an excited assistant to Promoter Oscar Maki came rushing on to the scene and announced that ”Strangler White hasn't shown up yet.” Numa, tired and exhausted following his hug-and-tug match with John Katan, looked over his shoulder, and it was pretty plain that he wanted to say, ”What's that?”
Here it was. Time for the main event to take place and Edouard LeBlanc (wasn't that his first billing here?) was nowhere in sight. Next to come bouncing through the door was Mr. Maki himself. His looks didn't disclose any signs of worry, Numa was now thinking.
We kept our eye on the Seattle Golden Boy because it was pretty obvious that he was the foreman of the troupe. In other words, he was pinch-hitting for Steve Passas, who usually pinch-hits here for Paul Bowser. It was Numa's show and he was stuck with it.
The Maki assistant was talking incoherently. It was a few seconds before Numa came across with a suggestion. ”I'll bet he's here in the movies.” Sharkey was taking it slowly. Just asking, ”What are you going to do?” His question was aimed at Numa. Now we were sure that Leo was the ”chief.”
Swanson mumbled something every now and then. Numa was angry. The Maki assistant was excited. Promoter Maki was making no visible motion of bewilderment. We wondered if he knew. Then it happened. He called Szabo outside the dressing-room door. Sandor had been making all types of suggestions to the group. But, alas, deaf ears.
They came back in. Oscar and Sandor. Then another conference. This time in a corner of the room with Numa doing all the talking. Was Sandor picking his opponent? At any rate, Numa's head came up out of the huddle and he told the Maki-assistant, ”Tell Jim Spencer to get ready to go on. Then, we'll wait a minute and see if White shows up.”
Sandor looked into the mirror. Sharkey made some crack to us about, ”You never knew that Sandor was a movie hero did you?” Numa said something about, ”If he (White) had an ounce of brains he'd be a half-wit.” These compliments were flying thick and fast.
The clock ticked away. But, no White. Sandor, as majestic as John Barrymore, wrapped his rope around his person and in true Shakespearian style strode down the staircase toward the ring. Sharkey, a veteran at this sort of thing, and a student of crowd psychology, stayed in the wings and heard the announcement being made.
If the customer reaction to the thing was not kindly, Sharkey, according to Numa, was then to put in an appearance and act as sort of a riot squad influence. The local Joe Humphries stood in the ring and told one and all that White wasn't appearing. Boos, cat-calls, cries of ”put Oscar in” and all else, greeted the declaration.
Perfectly timed, with plenty of the old big-time savvy, on came Sharkey. Of course, the crowd at the first sight of the very popular Jack, forgot their anger and greeted him with a fine round of applause. The magnetism of the Sharkey personality was ”putting the thing over.”
On came Spencer. Then the bout. Szabo the winner and all that. John Q. Wrestling Public was hood-winked again and loved it. Every here and there someone would say, ”Imagine this for one dollar and twenty-cents,” but, the shrieking co-lookers were drowning him out.
Today, just being curious, we contacted the Bowser office and asked for some sort of explanation of the White incident. We used our best official tones. ”What do you mean, White didn't show up? Wait, I'll check,” said the voice at the other end of the line. They then came back, ”He had a little motor trouble and was unable to phone that he was stuck.” We said ”OK” and hung up. But, we were thinking.
How in the name of ”grunt and groan” could White, who left Bowser's office Monday afternoon after asking directions to the North station have developed car trouble traveling by train? Or mayhaps he was waylaid on the path here. At any cost, if he doesn't show up soon, the bureau of missing persons might well be contacted – or else hire a better excuse bureau. Maybe, the B&M ran out of gas!