This Week in Milford

July 5, 2013

All Man And a Yard Wide


Wait just a minute Gil. You knew Harry “Hairy Hercules” Herkelshimer but you never knew that his father was Herk the Mauler? It’s safe to assume at this point that Gil knows Hairy from some sort of wrestling context. Well, Gil never was all that good at connecting the dots.

So, it’s hairy knuckles, crazy moustaches and pro wrestling this summer? Cool.


In case you slept through the Fourth, we bring you a repeat of the gears in Gil’s brain slowly meshing, then on with the exposition.

Pop was part of the regional pro wrestling scene, Gil. Shall we explain “regional” to you? That means the country is segmented into several areas, or “regions”. Pro wrestlers of the day performed as different “characters” in different regions in the service of storylines which may or may not have been crafted to appeal to the fans of that area. Got it, Gil? Okay, shall we move on?

Around “here” Pop was Herk the Mauler, where he basically mauled people. Out west, though, he was good guy Sheriff Johnny Blaze, who basically mauled Mexicans (like El Jarbo, depicted here) and then escorted them to the border if they couldn’t produce their papers.

Regional pro wrestling has come up on this blog many times as we’ve reached back into out past and pulled out phrases like “the squared circle” and crimson mask” and kicked around names and places associated with the “sport”. I grew up in Florida where we had weekly televised wrestling primarily under the banner of Championship Wrestling from Florida with host Gordon Solie. I confess that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the stuff, but you kind of had to at least know who the good guys and bad guys were or you’d be totally lost when their exploits were retold at school. Everyone had to have a dog in the fight when Bugsy McGraw fought Dusty Rhodes for the Florida television championship (which most likely took place in Tampa at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory). Then, when Bugsy and Dusty teamed up, are you kidding me???




  1. I’d give Lily Doris a harder time about mangling Nikolai Volkoff’s name, but the poster got it wrong too, so…

    Comment by TimP — July 5, 2013 @ 6:29 am

  2. Heh heh….I never heard much about Winona Little Heart defeating the Fabulous Moolah.

    Comment by nedryerson — July 5, 2013 @ 6:35 am

  3. Has Marty Moon ever broadcast professional wrestling?

    Comment by Dood — July 5, 2013 @ 6:57 am

  4. Awesome trip down memory lane, Sir Ned. My recollection – the Fabulous Moolah wasn’t all that fabulous
    O tempora O mores!

    3. Dood: What Marty did broadcast was when Milford had drive-in movies he’d go from car to car and give a play by play of the wrestling matches going on into his tape recorder.

    Illogical that Herkelshimer would ask Gil for help… yet call him ‘Thorp.’ Yeah, what else is new…

    Comment by semperfi4evr — July 5, 2013 @ 7:52 am

  5. At this point, we don’t know who, if anybody, has been arrested. I keep hoping that Chief Lind is looking for a way to have the damages paid for without Gil’s punks getting a record.
    More likely, Pop Herk has some rage control problems. Gil will take him on as an unpaid assistant at the summer camp for kids with disabilities.

    Comment by Dale — July 5, 2013 @ 9:46 am

  6. If you’re talkin’ old-timey wrestling, I must mention Pampero Firpo, the Wild Bull of the Pampas. You want a hairy wrestler, he was your guy. Here’s an old promo ( where he BENDS A STEEL BAR WITH HIS TEETH!!!1!!1!!! Today, hmmmm, he’s retired from wrestling and living in California at the age of 83. Dunno if he’s kicking any asses as his local sub shop, but he may well be the real-life inspiration for Herk the Jerk.

    Also, Ned, I wouldn’t give Gil too hard a time for his befuddlement. After all, he’d just had a couple tall, cool “lemonades.”

    …and then got in his car and (cough) drove to the (cough) police station. But then, Gil Thorp is a law unto himself in Milford.

    Comment by John Walters (@johnswalters) — July 5, 2013 @ 10:49 am

  7. I’m sure by soufflé the newswriter meant Suplex, or Suplay as Solie would effortlessly describe the maneuver. As a wordsmith, Solie, with the accurate terminology of the anatomy commingled with rapid-fire commentary, made Howard Cosell look like, well, Marty Moon. “Solar plexus”, “trapezius muscles”, “a real pier-sixer”. They don’t make them like that anymore.

    Comment by southmauldin — July 5, 2013 @ 11:02 am

  8. Good catch, southmaudlin! “Mr. Saito muffed a soufflé on Jim Garvin” (and we all know how painful that can be!)

    I find it very interesting that wrestling was reported in the newspapers and that people like Gene Taylor and Lily Doris actually covered these events.

    Comment by nedryerson — July 5, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

  9. Championship Wrestling from Florida with host Gordon Solie

    Oh man, I remember that. Good times.

    Comment by Spencer — July 5, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

  10. Gordon Solie was also the announcer for Smoky Mountain Wrestling when I was growing up in Knoxville, TN. He was known for exclaiming, “He’s in a world of pain!”.

    Comment by gwilo — July 5, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

  11. Like Ned, I find it remarkable that the papers used to cover pro “wrestling,” and wonder if the reputation of the pro version has anything to do with the fact real wrestling is being dropped from the Olympic games. The ancient games consisted of track and wrestling, period. Now we have corrupt sports such as soccer and cycling, and silly sports such as badminton and beach volleyball, and elitist ones such as sailing and polo, but they’re dropping wrestling? Give me a break.

    Comment by vaganova — July 5, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

  12. All I will say further on the matter is that this post led to me reading way too many pro wrestling articles on Wikipedia. I’m not sure what that says about me or what it says about the wonderful people who have so meticulously documented the industry, including the Fabulous Moolah….

    Comment by TimP — July 5, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

  13. Taking you back to the “Al Franken decade”!

    Comment by nedryerson — July 5, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

  14. For me it was Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling with a dash of Georgia Championship Wrestling on nights with clear reception. Kind of a fan of the heels myself: Ernie Ladd (“The Big Cat from the San Diego Chargers!”), The Wild Samoans, and Baron von Raschke with the “brain claw.” This summer’s arc holds far more promise than the lame-ass golf arcs.

    Comment by teenchy — July 6, 2013 @ 8:01 am

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