Monday, April 1, 2019

Memories of Toronto with Roger Baker : Don Leo

We are very fortunate to have Roger Baker contributing his vast knowledge and memories of Toronto wrestling to this site. 
This time, collecting photos and meeting Don Leo!

Don Leo vs Whipper 1960 

Having been a wrestling fan since the age of 12, I always was thrilled to come into the possession of wrestling photos, be they action or posed.

While on this subject, for the past prior years I'd been buying wonderful wrestling action 8/10 photos from two wonderful sources, Michael Burns, and Nat Turofsky, the premier sports photographers of professional wrestling at MLG. As a result I had built a good selection of wrestling photos.

I remember this day so well, it was in the year 1961, I had been downtown on King St. visiting Turofsky's establishment to pick up my latest batch of photos. They were very accommodating to me, and I felt privileged to be left alone with their negative files to pick and choose what I wanted them to print for me.

About an hour later I was parked in the St. Clair and Bathurst  area. I was driving a very compact Bedford van, my newly purchased photos right beside me, I happened to glance to my right and almost did a double take,who do I see, none other than one of the top wrestlers appearing at MLG at this time ''Don Leo Jonathon.''

I yelled and waved, and caught the big mans eye, I motioned for him to climb into the van, that I had something to show him, the big man had to hunch over in the van as the cab was so tight. I remember telling Don Leo I just picked up a number of wrestling photos that were taken at  MLG. and that he will get a surprise when he looks them over, he was downright pleased when he saw that several of the photos were of himself battling with the Whipper.

We had a great conversation, and he was very obliging in answering many of my questions, I asked him how he was able to balance himself on the top ropes of the ring and walk the length while dragging his opponent by the hand, his answer was that he was blessed with good strength and balance. And speaking of strength, I saw Don Leo body slam Eric Pomeroy, better remembered as Stanley Pulaski 15 consecutive times on a ring in Buffalo N.Y.

We both had places to go, and things to do, I let him know how pleased I was to have met him personally, and we shook hands,and he told me that he appreciated having the opportunity to see those great photos that I had with me.