When I was a kid, I used to watch professional wrestling on television. This was before it went big time, before Hulk Hogan and the massive popularity of the WWF and big events on pay-per-view cable. I watched during the era of Bruno Sammartino, Gorilla Monsoon, Killer Kowalski, The Sheik, Ivan Koloff, Pedro Morales, Haystacks Calhoun, and other charismatic brawlers of yesteryear.
One of the events that I found mind-blowing — and happily recreated with friends on rowdy afternoons — was called a “battle royal.” While rules varied from match to match, essentially they would shoehorn about twenty wrestlers into a ring and the last man standing was declared the winner. They eliminated a wrestler either by pin or by hurling him over the ropes and out of the ring.
Good times, good times.
And that’s exactly what you’re likely to see at the 12th Annual Children’s Book Day at Sunnyside, in Tarrytown, New York, a veritable battle royal of sixty children’s book authors and illustrators. There will be petty jealousy, eye pokes, mule kicks, and plenty of blood (that’s right, I’m looking at you, Jean Craighead George).
This year the tag team of Susan Brandes and Beth Vetare-Civitello has put together a spectacular day-long festival for young readers, families, and friends. It’s a happy event in a beautiful location, and I encourage you to make the trip — meet authors and illustrators, get books signed, spend too much money, listen to music, watch performances, stroll the historic grounds . . .
. . . or simply fulfill your blood lust.
Come see Tony Abbott’s superkick . . . Katie Davis’s flying lariat takedown . . . Ed Young’s sleeper hold . . . Wendy Mass and her devastating forearm shiver . . . or the classic “El Kabong” as executed by Mark Teague.
Here’s some more illustrious names you’ll find in the ring: Pam Allyn, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Judy Blundell, Nick Bruel, Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Bruce Degen, Jules Feiffer, Dan Greenburg, James Howe, Susan Jeffers, Peter Lerangis, Gail Carson Levine, Rafe Martin, Jean Marzollo, Barbara McClintock, Lloyd Moss, Bernard Most, Jerry Pinkney, Marisabina Russo, Peter Sis, Rebecca Stead, Todd Strasser, Eric Velasquez — and many more. Holy wow.
I’ll be there, too.
The date is Sunday, September 27th, from 11:00 – 5:00. For directions, click here.
Yeah, Jean Craighead George, you better watch out! I’ve been practicing my flying … um…lariat…thingy.
IM OLD SCHOOL AS WELL , I USED TO WATCH WRESTLING WITH GRANDPA ON CHANNEL 41 IN NEW YORK FROM LOS ANGLES LUCHA LIBRE, THATS WHERE IS SAW HAYSTACKS FOR THE FIRST TIME HE WOULD SIT FRONT ROW IN 3 SEATS AND TOLAS AND THE OTHERS WOULD MAKE FUN OF HIM ONE DAY THEY DARED HIM TO TO GET IN THE RING THEY JUMPED HIM JONNY VALINTINE PIPER WHO WAS 17 YRS OLD GRODMAN @GOLITH ETC. AND HE BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF THEM TO A LESS THAN HALF FILLED ARENA THOSE WERE THE DAYS THEN HE HAD A FUED WITH KILLER KARL AND PAC SON FROM KOREA