Capt. Lou Albano, who died yesterday at the age of 76, was a wrestling legend. He was also a Westchester legend, having been born and raised in Mount Vernon. He later moved to Carmel in Putnam County.
He went to Stepinac High School in White Plains which also produced actors Jon Voight and Alan Alda and a host of other people. Albano was a bit of an actor, too.
I interviewed him twice over the years. At election time in 1998, I called to ask what he thought about Jesse “The Body” Ventura’s startling ascendancy to the governor’s mansion in Minnesota.
He was gracious. Ventura, he said was a “very capable wrestler,” who was “always interested in politics. I knew Jesse when he started in. His tag team partner was Adrian Adonis, who got killed in a car accident up in Canada some years back.”
Adrian Adonis– what a great name. The Albano era had a bunch of them– Haystacks Calhoun, Bobo Brazil, Gorilla Monsoon and on and on.
I first met Capt. Lou at a wrestling event at Iona College. There were a number of matches, including a dwarf tag team against female wrestlers. I seem to recall that one of the women threw the dwarf out of the ring. A fun time was had by all.
Outside, I also met “Killer” Kowalski, who developed the famous sleeper hold, which he painfully demonstrated to my chagrin. Kowalski has also gone to his great reward.