Thursday, February 19, 2009

"SHE'S FROM PROVIDENCE"

My friend John Polak his friend Harry and I all went to the NCAA Men's basketball Final Four tournament held in New Orleans in March 1987. We stayed in a guest house called "A Creole House" located right in the French Quarter. That year the final four teams were Syracuse, Providence, Las Vegas, and Indiana to compete for the national championship.

The French Quarter is a lively part of the city with many bars and restaurants. John was impressed that you could walk right down the street with a 30 ounce beer with no problem from the local police. We strolled through the streets of the French Quarter on one evening when we ran across a "barker" standing outside one of the establishments calling out for everyone to come in to see a female wrestling show as the house champion would challenge any girl in a match and if the challenger won they would win $100.00. A crowd started to form to listen to the promoter and we decided to satisfy our curiosity and go in to see this show.

So, we walked in along with the rest of the crowd after paying a small admission fee and buying a beer; settled in to wait for the wrestling competition. There were rows of folding chairs that faced an elevated wrestling ring. After everyone was seated an announcer came out and greeted the crowd and introduced the house champion. Then, the announcer said, "And now let us meet the challenger Mary Jones, she's from Providence."

"Mary" was a skinny girl with tattoos on her arms and a spiked haircut and in no danger of winning any beauty contest. The girls commenced "wrestling" and the house champion ripped off "Mary's" shirt while they were attacking each other. The crowd was laughing and yelling "put the shirt back on" with some booing thrown in as well. The house champion won the match with "Mary from Providence" left penniless and shirtless from the encounter.

Providence College is a Catholic school based in Providence, Rhode Island. For some reason I don't think "Mary" was from Providence but to this day I remember that phrase "She's from Providence" and her valiant effort to win some cash.