Here’s To You, Maria!

On Friday evening, October 13, 2006, a group of Cauliflower Alley Club members and friends got together at the Sportsmanâ??s Lodge in Studio City, CA to celebrate the â??Ring of Friendshipâ? and to raise a toast in memory of our recently departed First Lady of the CAC, Maria Bernardi. As most of you know, Maria was one of the founders of the CAC (carrying lifetime membership #003). Further adding to the nostalgia of the evening was the fact that the Sportsmanâ??s Lodge was home to many CAC reunions and informal get-togethers over the course of the years.

“The Gathering”

“Art Williams and Tony Rocco posing for the camera”

Among those gathered were Jack Armstrong, Scott Schwartz, Tony Rocca, Pepper Martin, Art Williams, Jeff Walton, Scott Walton, Mr. & Mrs. Ric Drasin, Mr. & Mrs. Jake Shannon, Clare McCoy, Rock Riddle, Mr. & Mrs. Karl Lauer, Bill Snyder, Bill Balch and Wes Daniel. Karl and Babs Lauer planned the informal dinner as they were going to be â??back homeâ? in Southern California for another event.

Jack Armstrong, Scott Schwartz and Randi Drasin (Ric’s wife)

Rock Riddle, Pepper Martin and Wes Daniel talking “wrasslin”

I think we were all quite surprised at the size of the turnout, but nobody was surprised at the stories that were told, the bonds that were renewed and the new friendships that were made. Jake Shannon brought several copies of his book, â??The Sport of Catch Wrestling: The Certified Catch Wrestler Handbookâ? which were passed around the table and many names from the book were discussed. Jack Armstrong, Scott Schwartz and Rock Riddle all reminisced about their days in professional wrestling with Scott wondering aloud, â??Why would anybody leave this business to be something like a lawyer or a doctor?!?â? Rock Riddle made sure to rib Jeff Walton about publishing a 2nd edition of his popular book, â??Richmond 9-5171, A Wrestling Story.â? Pepper Martin, as always, kept many people enthralled with stories of his days in wrestling and his days in Hollywood

Scott, Karl and Ric. Karl acting like he isn’t scared!

Scott, Jack, Karl and Ric (notice the look of relief on Karl’s face since Jack Showed up)

The evening ended with those in attendance each taking a drink from the â??Cup of Friendshipâ? (containing scotch on the rocks, of course) in memory and honor of Maria

It was, once again, an excellent evening. If there is ever a gathering of the Cauliflower Alley Club in your area, it would be well worth your time to make the trip. You will leave understanding what the â??Ring of Friendshipâ? means.