Paperback: 162 pages
Publisher: Crowbar Press
Programs: 39 b&w
Cover: Full color
Item #: 78-cap22
"Classic Arena Programs #22: Jacksonville, volume 1 — July 1976-July 2, 1977" is available exclusively from Crowbar Press.
All books will be shipped via Media Mail (U.S.), Priority Mail, or International Priority Mail (Canada/overseas).
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR —
In 1973, along with a group of wrestling fans who lived in various parts of Florida, I made my first, and only, trip to Jacksonville for a wrestling card. In hindsight, I wish I had taken the opportunity to visit the Jacksonville Coliseum many more times. However, my time was taken up between attending junior college, working in a restaurant, and shooting pictures at spot shows in the area surrounding Bradenton, Florida, my hometown. On that one night, however, I bought a copy of the Championship Wrestling ACTION program. It has since disappeared from my collection, but the memories of shooting pictures in that big Coliseum remain with me.
It is now almost 50 years later and I always thought the programs were created and written by Jerry Prater, who published the arena programs. But what I didn't realize until a week before I sent this book off to the printer is that the promoter, Don Curtis, was actually responsible for writing all the content in those programs. Not only that, but he shot the pictures at ringside, developed the film, and prepared everything for the printer. That's not something you normally find in the resumé of a wrestling promoter. Amateur wrestling, professional wrestling, promoting, teaching ... Don did it all!
These programs chronicle an amazing amount of wrestling history, including classic feuds such as Dusty Rhodes vs. The Missouri Mauler, Superstar Billy Graham vs. Joe Leduc, Ox Baker vs. Ernie Ladd. Other talent included Bob Roop, Bob Orton Jr., The Assassin, Steve Keirn, Buddy Wolff, Ivan Koloff, and Pat Patterson. Each issue contained stories, interviews, and photos, both posed and action.
One can find copies of programs from Tampa and Miami Beach fairly easily, but copies of programs from Jacksonville are extremely rare and only a few wrestling enthusiasts have more than a handful in their collections. Now, thanks to Don's wife, Dotty Curtis, who opened up her files to me, they are being offered here in book format with each program being re-printed in its entirety. Every page has been brightened, sharpened, cleaned, and presented in a condition that looks better than the originals.
This project, "Classic Arena Programs," has given me the opportunity to experience, virtually, the matches that took place in the Jacksonville Coliseum These copies of Championship Wrestling ACTION are shining examples of what wrestling programs were during the golden age of wrestling. Each issue contains news, stories, photos — both posed and action — and an amazing treasure trove of history.
This is the first of three volumes of programs from Jacksonville. This volume features 39 programs dating from July 15, 1976, to July 2, 1977, most of which can be found nowhere else. Enjoy this trip down memory lane.