Bremerton Sun – July 28, 1936
by Jack Hall
This writer today proudly considers that he knows a deal more about the whys and wherefores of wrestling than he did a week ago.
And why not? Harry Listman, veteran referee of the grunt and grone sport, was in the office the other afternoon and we had a heart-to-heart talk about these lads who make their daily bread and butter by being bounced around on their necks.
The white-haired Listman will be well remembered by Bremerton folks who have followed the wrestling game here. He retired from the profession of pulling apart grappling behemoths about six months ago. His last bit of work was done right here in Bremerton at the Northwest Athletic Club arena.
And what a record Listman has behind him! In Iowa he wrestled, amateur and professional, for 20 years. And when the old joins became a bit too squeaky to allow him to continue the game, he decided to turn referee. For 21 years he performed in that capacity, being classes as the best referee in the Northwest.
Your correspondent asked Harry what he thought of modern wrestling as compared to that of 20 years ago.
“Well,” said Harry, “we’ll all admit that the game these days isn’t as much on the up-and-up as it was years ago. But, what the heck — it’s what the fans want. If a couple of grapplers got in a ring now and did pure wrestling without the usual colorful rough stuff, the crowds would boo them out of the arena.”
Listman, who now is international vice president of the Pressmen’s Union, told of some interesting takes concerning the “good old days” of the wrestling game.
He estimates that in his career as a referee he has refereed more than 1,000 matches, several of them being world’s championship events.
Yes, if anyone knows wrestling it should be Harry Listman.