April 23, 2010

YOU MAY NOT REMEMBER HIM, BUT YOUR GRANDMOTHER LOVED HIM:

Former pro wrestler from York “Gorgeous George” Grant dies at 85 (Andrew Dys, 4/22/10, heradonline.com )

The year was 1952, in a smoky hot arena in Marietta, Ga. The event was 'rasslin'. The crowd, beehive hairdos, overalls, chewing tobacco and Lucky Strikes, screamed for blood.

Professional wrestling in the South was huge in those days, and wrestlers rode a circuit and played before barbarous sell-out crowds of red-clay farmers, textile mill workers and their women. All wanted carnage.

George Grant had just taken a thrashing from the masked "Green Hornet." The defeat meant Grant's beard would be shaved right there in the ring. Grant, a big burly guy, well over 6 feet and 200 pounds, was left with a face as soft as a baby's bottom.

"Sissy!" the crowd screamed.

"You sweet thing!" came more catcalls -- this time from other wrestlers in the dressing room.

But Grant was on to something. A promoter gave him a woman's robe, size XXL, and his long hair at a time when no man wore long hair without a look of arched eyebrows from others -- unless he was in show business.

At the next match, the crowd howled "like a pack of wild dogs," recalled Grant in a 1989 interview. George Grant, a wrestler who got his start in his hometown of Honey Grove, Texas, in 1939, was destroyed by a traveling wrestler for the princely sum of $1.25 for losing all three falls. Grant played second-fiddle to Daniel Boone Savage and other wrestling stars right after World War II. The U.S. Navy veteran of World War II was alive but hidden. "Gorgeous George" Grant, a star at age 27, was born.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 23, 2010 3:04 PM
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