Meet the Board
Nick Bockwinkel, President
A second generation superstar, Nick Bockwinkel is one of the most respected professional wrestlers of his era. Starting his wrestling career in 1955 after being trained by his father, Warren, and Lou Thesz, Nick traveled all over the country wrestling for various promoters until capturing the Georgia Heavyweight Championship in 1970. Nick soon ventured to the American Wrestling Association (AWA) where he formed a legendary team with Ray Stevens and captured the AWA World Tag Team Titles on three separate occasions. The first of Nick’s seven AWA World Heavyweight Title reigns began in 1975 and his in-ring skills, mic work and ability to present himself as a World Champion kept Nick on top of the Association for most of the next 12 years. Nick retired as an in-ring performer in 1987; however, made a return to the ring in 1993 to wrestle Dory Funk, Jr. at WCW’s Slamboree PPV. Nick has been inducted to the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame (class of 2003), is a member of the WON Hall of Fame (inaugural class of 1996) and was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007. He has served on the CAC Board of Directors for several years and was elected to the Presidency in 2007.
Jason Deadrich, Webhost
Born in Salt Lake City, UT, Jason grew up watching Verne Gagneâ??s AWA and learned to appreciate all aspects of the sport, from the athleticism of the performers to the skill of the production team to the promotional ability of the announcers. After moving to San Francisco to work for LucasArts, a co-worker invited him to an APW Gym Wars show where he met Roland Alexander. Jason quickly offered his assistance with their website and found himself enrolled in their boot camp. Jason continued working with APW until 2004 when he started his ChickFight promotion which has since spread to several locations in California, England and Japan. Jason is the acting CEO and Founder of Black Pants, Inc., the premier professional wrestling communications and production company in the San Francisco Bay area. Jason hosts the Cauliflower Alley Club website and provides his technical expertise whenever there is a need.
Chris Drake, Treasurer, Legal Counsel
Chris Drake served on the Alabama State Board of Education for four years under Governor George Wallace, representing an entire congressional district composed of 14 counties. She also served on the Advisory Board for the University of Alabama in Birmingham and on the local Cullman County Airport Board. Chris serves as the Clubâ??s Treasurer and rules the CACâ??s finances with a tight fist. Tom and Chris just recently celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary and have four children and four grandchildren.
Tom Drake, Vice President, Legal Counsel
Tomâ??s background is fascinating, having played in two college all-star games and wrestled at an elite level through college. Tom qualified for the 1952 southern Olympic finals in wrestling and went to the US Olympic Finals in Ames, IA. Tom holds both a Master’s degree and a JD (Law) degree from the University of Alabama and, while in school there, he also coached football under Bear Bryant and started the first-ever wrestling team while at Alabama. Tom served 32 years in the Alabama House of Representatives and was elected Speaker of the House for two terms. Also, during this time, Tom and his wife, Chris, opened up a law office in their hometown of Cullman, AL. They have now practiced law for 45 years under the firm name of, â??Drake And Drake, Attorneys At Law.â? Tom is active in the activities of CAC and the International Wrestling Hall of Fame (now named after Dan Gable) in Waterloo, Iowa. In June 2001, Tom was awarded the second-ever Frank Gotch Award at its annual banquet. Tom and Chris serve as legal counsel for the Club while Tom serves as Vice-President. In addition to this, Tom serves on the Board of Directors of Attorneys Insurance Mutual of Alabame, Inc. and he served for 30 years as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Peoples Bank of North Alabama.
Royal Duncan was born and raised in Illinois and received a Bachelors Degree from Bradley University. Royal has owned and operated the Peoria, IL based Royal Publishing Company, the nationâ??s leading producer of sports program books, since 1979. In 1984, Royal joined with Dave Coker to form Mania Productions which syndicated professional wrestling and roller derby television shows throughout the Midwest. Mania Productions also promoted live wrestling events in coordination with the World Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling, and the American Wrestling Associationâ??including the â??St. Valentineâ??s Day Massacreâ? of 1985 and the first closed-circuit Wrestlemania on March 31, 1985. Additional activities include publishing two pro wrestling books: â??Wrestling Title Historiesâ? (editions 1â??4) and â??Wrestling Real Names and Aliases.â? The former has been called â??the Bible of the sportâ? (New York Times Magazine), â??the ultimate argument settlerâ? (Cliff Ducey of Boston Herald), and â??the greatest reference work ever published on pro wrestlingâ? (Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer). Royal publishes â??The Ear,â? the official newsletter of the Cauliflower Alley Club and also donates our Reunion program every year. In 2004, Royal was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame.
Karl Lauer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Executive Vice President
After first being exposed to wrestling 60 years ago, Karl was hooked. Karl spent 32 years as a fan of the mat game until being introduced to Gory Guerrero and starting his direct involvement in 1980. Karl promoted wrestling in the Los Angeles area for 14 years and Las Vegas for almost five years into the 1990′s. Karl started WLW (World Legion Wrestling) in 1994 and later sold it to Harley Race in 1998. Karl’s involvement with the Cauliflower Alley Club also started in 1979, he was asked to serve as Business Manager in 1981 and assumed the role of Chairman of the Board, the position which he still holds, when Lou Thesz was elected President. Karl is the main contact for the Club and will spend many (if not most) evenings on the phone with various members or Directors of the Club making sure that operations continue. Karl is semi-retired; however, still serves as an inspector for the Missouri State Athletic Commission and helps to oversee wrestling in that State. Karl can be seen at each Reunion, frequently working the reception table.
Bob Leonard, Director of Canadian Affairs
From Regina, Saskatchewan, Bob has worn many hats during his 50-year involvement in professional wrestling. Having worked as a promoter, publicist, journalist, photographer, ring announcer, referee and TV commentator, Bob has an inside knowledge of all facets of the business. Bob was honored by the Club at the 2007 Reunion Banquet and was one of the few non-combatants to have been so recognized. He was elected to the CAC Board of Directors later in the same year and serves as our Director of Canadian Affairs. With Bob’s dedication and service to the CAC he was elected to the Executive Board of DirectorsÂ in 2010.
Bishop Jason Sanderson, Recording Secretary
Bp. Jason Sanderson is also known as “The Wolfman.” He began wrestling in 1995 for Ringside Wrestling, based in Nashua, NH and eventually opened his own promotion, All-Star Wrestling Association, styled “AWA” after the former Paul Bowser promotion in Boston. While working mostly in the New England region, he did some work for Mexican wrestler Alma India in Tijuana and has made some appearances with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. Due to the demands of the priesthood, he retired from active wrestling and promoting in 2006. He has been a life member of the CAC since 2000 and was elected to the Board that same year. In addition to supervising several African missions, Bp. Sanderson is also active with “Jobs for America’s Graduates” and their New Hampshire, serving on their Board of Directors.
Dean Silverstone, Newsletter Editor
Dean is the former Pacific Northwest wrestling promoter and current Executive Director of the Cauliflower Alley Club. He began working in the Northwest area in 1958 and left the business in 1976 after promoting in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska. He became a CAC Director in 1995 and was named to the Executive Committee in 1999. He and his wife, Ruth, are co-editors of “The Ear,” the official newsletter of the Cauliflower Alley Club.
Teddy Speas (Morgan Dollar), Webmaster
Born (and still residing) in North Carolina,Â Morgan became a wrestling fan at a very young age. As a fan in the early 70′s, he enjoyed Carolinas’ Jim Crockett Promotions of the NWA. Some 20 years later, he became associated with Jimmy & Angel Valiant and, with the knowledge Valiant provided,Â Morgan became Referee Morgan Dollar.Â Morgan promoted indy shows under the Southern Wrestling Alliance banner with Partner Garry Stevens.Â Morgan owns and operates the successful, award-winning Rural Hall Taxidermy studio in his home town of Rural Hall, NC.Â Morgan’s artistic skills has prompted a local community college to hire him as a Taxidermy Instructor.Â He is a life member of the CAC, elected to the Executive Board in 2008,Â and maintains the website.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dick Beyer (The Destroyer)
An outstanding amateur athlete before turning pro, Dick was a member of both the varsity football and wrestling teams at Syracuse University and played in the 1953 Orange Bowl. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Education, Dick went on to pursue a long, successful career in wrestling. Debuting in 1954, Dick donned a mask in 1962 as “The Destroyer” and made his first tour of Japan in 1963. In addition to his “Destroyer” persona, Dick also wrestled as “Doctor X” for the AWA from 1967 to 1972. Dick is a legend in Japan and still makes annual tours of the country. Dick retired from the ring at Tokyo’s Budokan Hall on July 29, 1993. He spent 11 years teaching Physical Education in New York where he also coached football, wrestling and swimming. Dick is on the CAC Benevolent Committee and is also active in the CAC’s Scholarship Program, working with the Ilio DiPaolo Scholarship Committee to ensure that outstanding wrestlers from the New York area have the opportunity to pursue their education.
Scott became a pro wrestling fan at a very young age and this interest prompted him to join the CAC where he ultimately became a lifetime member and currently serve on the Board of Directors. In addition, he has promoted many independent wrestling events in the Las Vegas area, working with several professional wrestlers that included former legends and current superstars.
Scott currently promote sports collectibles & celebrity conventions, including autograph sessions with many professionals. In the past 20 years, he has promoted more than 300 events and has hosted many celebrities, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Sports Collectors convention.
Bob Kelly, Gulf Coast Wrestler’s Reunion President
After his 1958 start in wrestling, putting up rings for Wee Willie Davis in Louisville, KY, Cowboy went to Mobile, AL wrestling for Lee Fields’s Gulf Coast Wrestling in 1965, where he stayed as the booker until Lee sold the territory in 1977. In his years in the business, Bob has worked as a ring boy, ring announcer, referee, wrestler, promoter, and booker. Currently, Bob serves as the President of the Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion in Mobile, AL, a position he has held since former President Fields passed away on June 4, 2000. Bob was introduced to Dean Silverstone and the CAC by his dear friend and CAC Lifetime Member, the late Eddie Sullivan. In addition to being on the CAC Board, Cowboy was honored by the CAC in 2007 and serves as the official link between CAC and GCWR.
Charlie Smith was born in Atlanta, GA in 1930 and was first exposed to professional wrestling by his father who used to take him to the matches. Before too long, Charlie got a non-paying job as an usher so that he could see the matches for free and then was offered a job selling Coca-Cola. He continued this, trying to break into the business until being invited to the Lakewood Boys Club in Atlanta one night where he ended up breaking into the business. Charlie bounced around referreeing from one group to another, until, in 1957, when he got the call from ABC Booking in Atlanta. Charlie began carrying the ring and refereeing for $25 per night ($15 to referee and $10 for setting up the ring). Charlie continued to referee in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee for over 30 years. Charlie has been married to Louise for 52 years and travels throughout the South to sell t-shirts and souvenirs at college football games. Charlie first became active in CAC in 1990 and was elected to the CAC Board of Directors in 2007. You’ll see Charlie each year at the CAC Reunion, near the registration desk selling t-shirts.
Red Bastien, Immediate Past President, President 2000 – 2007
“He’s a great guy!” is the most common response you will hear when people are asked to comment on Red Bastien. Many people will talk about how good Red was in the ring, others will mention what a tough guy he was and still others will talk about his time promoting; however, the one thing that everybody agrees on is that Red is just an all-around great person. Red has a long history in wrestling, starting out as a carnival wrestler taking on all comers before moving into the professional ranks. He built a reputation as one of the smoothest workers in the business and one of hte original high fliers. Red has held belts all over the country including the NWA US Tag Titles (Capitol version) with his “brother” Lou (the late Lou Klein) and held the AWA World Tag Team Title with Hercules Cortez when they were involved in the fateful car wreck that claimed Cortez’s life and caused Red to adopt a stiffer, more mat-based style. As a promoter, Red introduced Konnan and Rey Misterio Jr. to US rings, and, as a trainer, broke Sting and Ultimate Warrior into the business. Red will be inducted to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in 2007. Red served as the CAC President from the time Lou Thesz stepped down until 2007.
Bill Bowman (Bill Sky)
Bill Bowman was born in Mobile, AL on July 1, 1933. His father ran the local YMCA and, through this connection, Bill was introduced to wrestling in the mid-1950â??s. After training with Charlie Carr and Buddy Fuller, Bill had is first professional match, wrestling as a heel, in 1958 against Ken Cooper. Bill enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1959 and was stationed in Southern California at Camp Pendleton for two years. Upon being discharged, Bill returned to wrestling in 1961 and spent the next 14 years traveling throughout the south including stints in Louisiana, Mid Atlantic for Jim Crockett, Florida for Cowboy Luttrall and Eddie Graham and he was in Georgia during the infamous split and worked with Ann Gunkelâ??s promotion there. Most famous for his tag team with Joe Turner wrestling under the names Bill and Joe Sky, Bill also had a tour of one year working for the Mobile office as an Intern under the guidance of manager Dr. Jerry Graham. Billâ??s last match was in Ponce, PR in 1975 and, after retiring from the ring, Bill worked in management for auto dealerships in Atlanta while wife Ann worked in property management. Both tired of Atlanta and moved on to Pensacola, FL where Bill opened and still operates a full-service Janitorial/Lawn Maintenance company. Bill and Ann were active in the Gulf Coast Wrestlerâ??s Reunion from the time of its inception and one can hear the passion Bill has for the organization when talking to him. Billâ??s wife of 38 years, Ann, passed away on December 24, 2006 after a battle with cancer and she is sorely missed by all those who knew her. Bill continues to serve as Secretary for GCWR and is one of the organizationâ??s most ardent backers. Billâ??s involvement with CAC began when the reunions were moved to Las Vegas and he was elected to the Board in 2004.
Juan Hernandez is an international karate champion, a five-time national karate champion and holds a 6th degree black belt. After a very successful career as a martial arts competitor, Mr. Hernandez turned his attention to professional wrestling. As a wrestler, he defeated Ivan Koloff for the CIW United States Heavyweight Championship and also held their version of hte world title. After breaking his neck in a February 1993 fall, Juan took the time to examine life’s priorities and rededicated his life to God and is now an ordained minister. In 2001 Mr. Hernandez and his wife, Stella, started Alicia’s House, a non-profit food pantry, in honor of their late granddaughter, Alicia. To date, Alicia’s House has fed over 50,000 people and distributed over 1 million pounds of food. In September 2004 The United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) honored his community service by naming him on of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. Today, you can find Juan Hernandez sharing his testimony at churches, youth groups, schools and various other community and corporate events throughout the country.
Born in San Francisco, Kurt started watching wrestling in 1978 with the Roy Shire promotion. Kurt’s father (nearly 60 when he was born) was a wrestling fan dating back to the 1940s, and would give him historical insight that only added to the experience. Kurt started doing camera work and assorted odd jobs (ring crew, office work, gimmick tables, etc.) for Roland Alexander’s APW promotion in the late 1990s, and eventually was trained in the ring, though his bad back prevented him from ever furthering this end of things. Kurt created many wrestler web sites over the years for stars such as Percy Pringle III, Plowboy Frazier, Playboy Buddy Rose and others. He also is developing the animated series Ned Noodlebody, which looks at the wrestling territories in the mid-1970s.
Born Elsie Schevchenko in Custer, WA, Ella started her professional career as a performer in roller derby and moved on to professional wrestling in 1952 after a friend took her to see the matches. Ella began her career in Chicago and adopted the name Ella Waldek because, as she said in â??Lipstick & Dynamite,â? â??Who could stand in the ring and autograph an eleven letter last name?â? Over the course of her career, Waldek held several titles including the NWA Florida Womenâ??s Championship, the NWA World Womenâ??s Tag Team Titles with Mae Young and had two reigns as NWA Southern Womenâ??s Champion. After almost twenty years of wrestling, Waldek ended her career in 1971 and become a private investigator before opening her own security firm. Waldek was featured strongly in the movie Lipstick & Dynamite and was reunited with several of her colleagues during the filming of the movie.
“Iron” Mike Mazurki, President 1965 – 1991
Mike Mazurki was born in 1907 in the area now known as the Ukraine. Mike was a successful professional wrestler, but was probably best known as an actor, having appeared in over one hundred movies between 1930 and 1990. His acting credits include both the 1945 and 1990 versions of “Dick Tracy,” “Some Like it Hot” and several appearances on TV shows such as “Fantasy Island,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Gunsmoke.” Iron Mike held a Bachelor’s Degree from Manhattan College and played minor league football in the years before wrestling. It was over 40 years ago that Iron Mike started the Cauliflower Alley Club as a weekly luncheon where wrestlers, boxers and actors could gather and enjoy fellowship. Today, the CAC’s highest honor is named after him and is given, yearly, to an individual who has found success not only in wrestling, but also in another field. The “Iron Mike” award is one of the most respected awards in the world of professional wrestling.
Archie Moore, President 1991 – 1992
Born Archibald Wright in Benoit, MS, Archie Moore fought for 27 years and had a career record of 194-26-8 with an amazing 141 (or 145, depending on your source) knockouts. Moore turned pro in 1936 and in 1952, at the age of 39, won the Light Heavyweight Championship which he held for nearly a decade. Nearly unbeatable as a Light Heavyweight, Moore also boxed several men in the heavyweight division, including being the only man to fight both Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. Moore passed away due to heart failure in 1998 in San Diego, CA. One of boxing’s all-time biggest stars, Moore was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2002 and the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006.
Lou Thesz, President 1992 – 2000
Lou Thesz (Aloysius Martin Thesz) was born 4/24/1916 in Banat, MI, and raised in St. Louis. His father, Martin, taught him the fundamentals of Greco-Roman wrestling and took him to watch professional matches, and, at age 15, Lou began to wrestle semi-pro, turning full professional at 17. He was trained and mentored in the arts of submission wrestling and professional wrestling performance by outstanding wrestlers like Ad Santel, George Tragos, the legendary Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis, and Ray Steele, and in 1937, at age 21, became the youngest world heavyweight wrestling champion in history, capturing the National Wrestling Association world heavyweight title for the first time. He would hold it twice more, and after serving as a dog trainer and hand to hand combat instructor in World War II, would become a silent partner in the St. Louis promotion and hold the National Wrestling Alliance title three more times, the first reign lasting over 8 years, the final reign ending in 1966. Lou traveled the world and was instrumental in the establishment of professional wrestling in Japan, where he was known as the ‘Eternal Iron Man’. Lou continued to perform at top form well into his 60s, and had his final match at age 74 in Japan, losing to his protege, Masahiro Chono. After retiring he continued to represent professional and amateur wrestling as a spokesman, and in his final years made a connection with a new generation of wrestlers and fans via the Internet and his association with the Cauliflower Alley Club. Lou stayed in peak condition his whole life until his heart failed him and he passed away in 2002. He is and always will be remembered as one of the top legitimate wrestlers and performers in the history of the professional wrestling business, and perhaps its greatest ambassador.
Art Abrams (RIP)
Irv Abramson (RIP)
Al Baffert (RIP)
Penny Banner (RIP)
Maria Bernardi (RIP)
Fred Blassie (RIP)
Lord James Blears
Ray Borucki (RIP)
Vic Christy (RIP)
Don Curtis (RIP)
Ilio DiPaolo (RIP)
Leo Garibaldi (RIP)
Bert Goodrich (RIP)
J Michael Kenyon
Walter “Killer” Kowalski (RIP)
John Philip Law (RIP)
George Luckman (RIP)
Billy Mahoney (RIP)
Robert J. Marella (RIP)
Bob Massick (RIP)
James C. Melby (RIP)
Michael Neporadny (RIP)
Lou Nova (RIP)
Joseph Palumbo (RIP)
Willie Pep (RIP)
John Peterson (RIP)
Timothy O’Sullivan (RIP)
Russell Rodriguez (RIP)
Gordon Solie (RIP)
Charles Tuzzolino (RIP)
Harry Warren (RIP)
Stanley Weston (RIP)
Marshall L. Wright (RIP)