“I Ain’t No Pig Farmer!” by Dean Silverstone, edited by Scott Teal
“I suddenly felt the earth tremble, as if we had been hit by an earthquake. I began to wonder if a natural disaster would be my savior and help me escape what I thought would be my Waterloo. But, no. It wasn’t an earthquake. It was the wild-eyed, out-of-control human beings breaking the ring apart from the outside. The wrestling ring, which weighed close to 1,800 pounds, was being shaken back and forth and side to side by the angry mob.”
In an era when few people were allowed into professional wrestling’s inner circle, Dean Silverstone pitched the idea of publishing an arena program to Harry Elliott, the wrestling promoter in Seattle, Washington. Harry gave him permission and Dean’s career as a wrestling publicist began … when he was only 14 years old.
An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Dean wrote, created, printed, and sold the programs at Seattle’s Senator Auditorium and Masonic Temple for the next 11 years. During that time, he also would promote spot shows, referee, write and handle publicity for Elliott’s promotion, act as box-office manager, and run a few towns of his own.
Dean never wanted to be in the spotlight. He simply wanted to write about, referee, and promote the superstars of wrestling. When Elliott closed shop, Dean went into business for himself and formed Super Star Championship Wrestling.
Dean tells about putting together a roster of talent and struggling to build his company, despite opposition from other promoters, who considered him to be an outlaw. In the process, he faced anti-Semitism, unpredictable actions from his talent, crowd riots, warnings from the Hell’s Angels, collapsing rings, the tragic death of one of his top wrestlers, and even a Molotov cocktail. Through it all, he developed a rapport and trust between himself and the wrestlers he employed.
His story includes opening Golden Oldies Records — a retail business venture which would eventually grow to eleven stores in all parts of Washington state — hosting an annual reunion for veteran and retired wrestlers, and working on the board of directors for the Cauliflower Alley Club.
Finally, the story of Chris Colt’s time in Washington is told here for the very first time. The story fills an entire chapter and contains many of the sordid details of one of wrestling’s most eccentric characters.
This is the story of a self-made man, who, in his own words, was “born at just the right time in history.”
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