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The WAWLI Papers, page 1


SPORTS DIARY: DR. PFEFER'S GROANER WARD

by Harry Farrar
The Denver Post, August 2, 1961


Jack Pfefer dropped into our glass menageries a few days ago.   The Little Doctor of wrestling promotion is in town to help Tom Zaharias apply the stomach pump to a production scheduled Friday night at Denver Coliseum.

"Dis is my spashlty," Pfefer said.   "Ven dese promoters need help, I come vit da know-how.   Ain't it? Vunce, dis guy in L.A. needs help vit da rasslin, so I'm leaving my office in Times Square.   I take avay a box full of money."Pfefer's erratic diction sounds like an affectation.   It isn't.   He's been too busy to polish his speech.   Anyway, writers long have exploited Jack's colorful, cracked grammar.   Furthermore, he likes to see reasonably accurate quotations in the raw.

Who is Jack Pfefer?

"Vel," Jack said, "I vas bornded in Varsaw, vich is der place in Poland, only ven I vas dere, it was part of Russia.   Not heckzackly like nowadays.   I vent vit a grand opera, music and ballet company to Siberia, China, Japan and Korea.   I come to der United Stats 'bout toity-eight yeahs ago.   Den I svitch from der concert promotion to der rasslin' promotion.   I hendle da big names.   You know dem.   Joe Stecher, Jeem Londos, Strangler Lewis, Jim Browning, Stanislaus Zbyszko, Deek Shikat, Gus Sonnenberg, Joe Savoldi, Leroy McGoirk, Charlie (Midget) Fisher, Everett Marshall.   Dey vas de good old boys."

"I am also da orginator of da freaks.   Whatcha call careactors.   I bring over Ivan the Terrible Poddubny from Russiam, Sergei Kalmikoff from Siberia, Fritz Kley from Germany, Ferenc Holuban from Hungary.   Also I am bringing in the original Blimp (Martin Levy) who weighs 650 pounds.And da original Swedish Angel, the ugliest man in da vorl -- unless you count me in da ugly contest.   Also the Lady Angel, dis bald- headed broad.   Now I am having for da nice pipple of Denver on Friday night some of my new vuns.   Like Big Splash Humphrey (762 pounds), Ali Singh, Haystack Muldoon, Big Daddy Siki."

"Da odder promoters call Pfefer crazy because I go widout da tee wee.   It is nutting.   I go against beeg promoters before and--yind up wit a box dis big fulla money.   I open Madison Square Garden in 1929 wit Jimmy Londos aginst Jim McMillen.   We do $76,000 at the gate.   No tickets anywhere five days before da show.   In nineteen-toity, I book Yankee Stadium.   We got Londos and Ray Steele.   We do $86,000.   Last year -- look at a New York newspaper clipping here -- I do $64,680 with Argentina Rocca and Zuma, bot of 'em from Argentina."

"Like I say, dis is my spashlty.   Some promoter in trouble, I come vit the know-how.   I don't predict what we do in Denver dis time.   Maybe we go beeg.   Maybe it ain't.   I get da calls from all over country.   'How ya doin' in Denver, Jack,' they say.   I say, 'How da hell do I know.   Call me nine o'clock Friday night.   I tell ya how I do.'"

This isn't Pfefer's first experience as medical consultant to an ailing Denver promotional patient.   About ten years ago, Dr. Pfefer did clinical work for George Zaharias who was running wrestling shows at Mammoth Garden.   "Vee toin 'em avay," Pfefer gloated.   "I put on der top het, put on der full dress soot and vee make like a ball.   Dat is my trademark.   You heard about me, ain'tcha?"

Who ain't?   Pfefer has been the Tex Rickard of wrestling promotions for almost 40 years.   He's jammed people into every major arena in the nation, using "careactors and original freaks" with the lavish hand of a Cecil B.   DeMille.   Modern wrestling's switch to the bizarre can be traced directly to Dr. Pfefer.

As The Little Doctor put it himself, "dis kinda rasslin is my spashlty."

 
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