Looks like the 2013 New York Sportsman’s Expo at the New York State Fairgrounds will be a family reunion of sorts. The Boushie boys will be heading home to Mom’s good cooking to attend the Expo on Saturday, January 26th. The Expo may never be the same.
Last time I attended was when Katie and Maddie were just little pumpkins and the Expo still had bear wrestling. That’s right, bear wrestling. It was a fantastic show and probably about as safe as feeding bears at the dump (below). That didn’t always end well either.
|Feeding the bears outside Tupper Lake|
The Expo had a big black bear who would wrestle all comers. The bear got a half a head of cabbage if it won – with which the bear seemed pretty pleased. I don’t recall what the prize was for the human wrestler if he won, although it never mattered.
These big guys would get up on stage and rush the bear (who was already on its back legs, like the picture above). As the guy would get near the bear, the bear would just swat him and toss him off the stage – usually ripping the guy’s shirt in the process. As I said, great fun to watch. No human came close to winning or came close to actually wrestling the bear. All for half a head of cabbage. I’d understand wrestling for a donut, but for a vegetable!
My wife, Karen, thought she could beat the bear. Her idea was to slowly walk up and start scratching the bear’s stomach. She was convinced that the bear would just sort of lie down on its back like the family dog. That might have worked on the bear wrestlers, but I’m not sure it would work on the bear. Remember, the bear did get half a head of cabbage if it won.
Sad to say the bear no longer works the Expo. Perhaps it is a good thing, otherwise I’m sure one of us brothers would dare the other to go wrestle the bear. It would make for an interesting article or post.
I’ll be sure to take some photos while I’m there, but not of the bear.
Happy days afield or inside at the NY State Fairgrounds.