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Hollywood Jeanne Meets Hollywood Elvira

When I was still working on the Elvira Snodgrass biography, I started thinking about who I might ask to write the foreword for the book. Women’s wrestling has come a long way in recent decades, so much so that it is finally rising to the same level of popularity it enjoyed back in Elvira’s day. I considered some independent names, some legendary names, and a few working for one or more of the major promotions of today. One day, while working on the story about how Elvira went “Hollywood” and left her hillbilly image behind, I knew who to ask.

“Hollywood” Jeanne Basone is more than just one of the original Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling. According to creator David McLane, she was the original, the very first hire he made. And just as the Hollywood was willing to do anything to win in GLOW, the Hollywood version of Elvira turned from the sweet country gal into the ref abusing, do anything to win villain.

Jeanne is an accomplished entrepreneur, actress, stuntwoman, producer, and so much more. She’s also an avid fan of pro wrestling history, and the piece she wrote for The Ballad of Cousin Elvira is a wonderful introduction not only to the lady but the world of lady wrestlers. I’m thrilled to have partnered with her on this book.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had “Hollywood” Jeanne ever crossed paths with “Hollywood” Elvira in the ring. Would the old fashioned shooting skills of Elvira make Jeanne submit? Or would the Mando Guerrero-trained Jeanne have the edge? One thing’s for sure. The referee would be lucky to make it out of the ring in anything other than his underwear.

The Ballad of Cousin Elvira can be ordered now on Amazon.com. Signed copies can also be pre-ordered if you click here.

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Now Available!

Never heard of Elvira Snodgrass? Neither had I. She passed away in 1956, and most of the ladies who survived her seem to have simply forgotten her. In her prime she was the number two woman in professional wrestling, second only to Mildred Burke. She was beloved as the hillbilly babyface and hated as the nasty, rule breaking, ref abusing heel.

Elvira Snodgrass has been a fascination of mine for a long time. Her story will inspire you. More than that, it will entertain the heck out of you!

The Ballad of Cousin Elvira is now available on Amazon! Click here to order your copy.

If you want to pre-order an autographed copy, shipping mid-August, click here.

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Jim Mitchell’s Pipes: The Ultimate Collection

I’ve had a few people read The Original Black Panther reach out to me asking about purchasing memorabilia. I’ve parted with a few items as of late, but what I have in hand right now is being saved in the hopes that (a) I can put it on short term display in the Louisville area at some point, and (b) it can go on permanent display in a wrestling hall of fame or African American museum.

That said, there is ONE major piece of Black Panther memorabilia that has yet to be purchased from the original owner. Actually, it’s not one piece. It’s thousands. It’s Jim Mitchell’s pipe collection.

Mitchell loved his pipes. He collected them from all over the world. Some he purchased, some were gifted by friends, and some were gifted by fans. In the personal photos he saved, he is rarely seen without a pipe in hand or in his mouth. Even the art work he saved depicted him with his ever-present smoking pipe.

The gentleman who bought Jim Mitchell’s estate still has the whole collection in storage. He’s waiting on the right price. (No, he won’t even speculate on a figure.) If anyone wants to reach out to him and discuss, please email me at johncosper@yahoo.com. I’ll be happy to share the photos I have with you and relay any offers to the owner.

This is history that needs to be saved and displayed. Spread the word. Let’s do this for “Mitch!”

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When It Was: A Photo Journey Like No Other

When It Was: My Life On Both Sides of the Camera is the life story of Scott Romer, world renowned photographer. That’s a title he had emblazoned on the back of a jacket during his heyday, but it’s a title he earned, shooting athletes, celebrities, world leaders, sorority girls, mobsters, boxers, and wrestlers for nearly 50 years.

There are over 250 photos in the book and countless famous faces. Here is a very brief, partial listing of the people you will see:

Rip Rogers, President Gerald Ford, Tonya Harding, President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, Ox Baker, Andy Kaufman, President George W. Bush, Joan Rivers, Eddie Creatchman, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Lennox Lewis, Vice President Mike Pence, Randy Savage, Yassir Arafat, Bruno Sammartino, the Dhali Lama, Muhammed Ali, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Franco Harris, Dick the Bruiser, Yogi Berra, Frankie Valli, The Crusher, Jennifer Capriati, Baron Von Raschke, Andre the Giant, Tommy Lasorda, Kamala the Ugandan Giant, Kirk Douglas, Terry Funk, Jim Nabors, Nick Bockwinkel, Rita Cosby, Bobo Brazil, Alan Alda, George Hamilton, Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, Siegfried and Roy, Florence Henderson, and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini.

Folks, you gotta see it to believe it.

Order When It Was now on Amazon!

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When It Was: Scott Romer’s Life in Words and Photos

How do you tell the story of one of the world’s premiere boxing and wrestling photographers? You jam over 250 photos into 240 pages of stories.

Scott Romer’s new book is more than an autobiography. It’s a photographic journey through his amazing career told by Scott and many of his friends including MMA hall of fame Monte Cox, boxing promoter Fred Berns, international boxing star John Abu Lashin, and legendary grappler (and boxer!) Rip Rogers. Scott has worked as a photographer, wrestler, boxer, manager, and cornerman. He worked under his own name and the name of the nefarious Saul Creatchman. He has stories to tell and the pics to prove it all happened.

Not only will you see photos of legendary athletes, movie stars, and world leaders (including three presidents), you’ll find out what it was like to be Dick the Bruiser’s son-in-law as well as what it’s like being pulled out of line at the airport by Israeli security.

Order WHEN IT WAS now on Amazon.

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Covid-Con: The Virtual Wrestling Convention!

It started out with a Facebook message.

“What if we put on an author fair on Facebook for wrestling writers?” I asked Kenny Casanova.

What started innocently 15 days ago has blown up into a full weekend of wrestling talk. Wrestling Bookmarks Covid-Con is the first every virtual wrestling convention. All weekend long you can hear stories and do Q&A with wrestling authors, wrestlers, and other wrestling personalities on Facebook.

And it’s all 100% FREE!

The guest list includes Diamond Dallas Page, Hurricane Helms, Sunny the California Girl from GLOW, Dutch Mantell, ODB, Sid Vicious, Mad Man Pondo, Koko B. Ware, Kenny “Starmaker” Bolin, Justin Credible, Sabu, Joel Gertner, Typhoon, Gangrel, Mr. Hughes, Referee Danny Davis, Cowboy Scott Casey, and Duke The Dumpster Droese.

Authors scheduled to appear include Bill Apter, Greg Oliver, Mark James, Dan Murphy, Pat LaPrade, Bertrand Hebert, RD Reynolds, Brennon Martin, and of course… Kenny Casanova and John Cosper.

You can’t leave the house anyway, so grab some snacks, log on, and join us next weekend.

Click here to join the Wrestling Bookmarks Covid-Con Facebook Page.