While researching my recent Rusty Wescoatt biography, I turned up an enormous amount of press clippings concerning Rusty’s wrestling days, as well as his football and swimming exploits, through both Newspapers.com (subscription, Ancestry.com, or Facebook account required for full access), and the free Australian newspaper archive site Trove. I thought I would share some of these through the Elsewhere series.
First, here’s a 1929 article and photo collage from the Ogden Standard-Examiner of Utah, describing a victory by Wescoatt’s high school football team over a Utah team. A picture of the young Wescoatt is in the bottom center of the collage:
Next, a crop from a 1930 Honolulu Star-Bulletin photo of the University of Hawaii football team, with Wescoatt in the center-foreground:
Next, here’s a 1936 item from the Honolulu Advertiser touching on both Wescoatt’s wrestling and on his celebrated 1935 swim across San Francisco Bay:
Next, a 1935 Brooklyn newspaper clipping about one of Wescoatt’s innumerable wrestling appearances:
Next, here’s a 1936 American newspaper photo reproduced in a 1937 Sydney newspaper, showing Wescoatt signing a contract with the famous Ed “Strangler” Lewis.
A 1936 Vancouver clipping referring to an encounter between Wescoatt and another wrestler who later went into the movies, Tor Johnson (Johnson’s name is slightly misspelled here, but other articles I turned up make it clear it’s the same one who later appeared with Bela Lugosi and others):
A 1939 Texas news item demonstrating that, even at this period, the “narrative” style of wrestling (with good guys versus heavies) was prevalent–the odd part, from the point of view of a serial fan used to seeing Wescoatt as a henchman, is that Wescoatt is fighting against a “heavy” rather than playing a heavy himself:
Finally, three clippings from various 1937 Australian papers–one describing Wescoatt’s “flying scissors” move (evidently his wrestling signature), one showing him utilizing it in the ring, and one general publicity photo:
Makes me wonder if he and Jack LaLanne knew each other. Looking forward to the book!