TIME OUT with Maurice Smith

Winnipeg Free Press – March 15, 1947

We have always been under the impression that any woman who would take up the sport of wrestling to make a living must be something of a freak.  It was with this belief in mind that we journeyed to Grand Forks on Wednesday to see a couple of the gal spine-benders – Kitty Duvall and Gladys Hild – in action.  And see them we did along with close to 1,600 North Dakotans and Minnesotans, many of whom had driven as far as 50 miles to be on hand for the show.

We had expected to see a couple of female amazons step into the ring and come up with a lot of hair-pulling and what have you – anything that would give the fans a laugh for their money.  But we got the surprise of our life.

Miss Duvall was a little on the hefty side but you still couldn’t class her as a big woman, while youthful Gladys Hild was as trim and neat as a new pin.  And she wasn’t hard to look at either, boys.

Both girls proved to our satisfaction that they knew what the wrestling game was all about.  Hair-pulling was strictly taboo.  They went in for straight gruntin’ and groanin’ using toeholds, scissors and even a bodyslam for good effect.

To be quite frank, we thought they put on a good show.  There was nothing revolting about the match and the fans went for it in a big way.  Personally, however, now that we’ve seen the women do their stuff we don’t care if we never see another bout.  We’re still old-fashioned enough to believe that a woman’s place is in the home.

After the match we interviewed both Misses Duvall and Hild.  The former, a 150 pound red-head, has been a grunting and a groaning for nine years.  She says it’s the greatest sport in the world.  “I’d wrestle every day of the week and twice on Sunday if they’d let me,” said Miss Duvall.

“There’s nothing wrong with women wrestling?  It’s a good clean healthful sport.  I have never been sick a day since I took up the game.

“The big trouble is,” said the red-headed Duvall, “most people think that because a woman chooses wrestling as a career she’s nothing but a tough character with no morals whatsoever.  Well that belief is all wrong.  I stay at the best hotels wherever I go.  I wear good clothes and I have never smoked or used alcohol in my life.  I just like to wrestle and I can’t see anything wrong about that.”

Miss Duvall told us that she makes around $11,000 yearly, and that she could earn more than that if she really wanted to work hard.  “Now that’s far better than being a waitress at $20 a week and taking a lot of insults and abuse from smart-aleck customers, isn’t it?”

Miss Duvall believes that in all there are 25 women professional wrestlers in the United States at present but that more and more are taking up the game.  She says that women wrestlers are in demand at wrestling centres throughout the country and in many cases they draw bigger houses than the men.

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