Brother Against Brother

written by Joseph A. Dellamano

One day Uncle Frank (Mario) Dellamano came to visit us at our house on Washington Street, Brattleboro, Vermont. We got talking and I asked him about his younger days when he first came to America from Italy. He said his fare had been paid by his older brother Antonio (my Father). After he was in this country a while he soon realized that if he wanted to get along, he could join one of the groups with nothing to do but get in trouble, or work out at the gym. He became good as a wrestler and soon he had a manager. Here is where the story begins

Frank Dellamano was working out one day when his manager came to him and asked if he would be willing to take the place of one of his other wrestlers, a Harry Hackensmith, who was sick and unable to got to Skowhegan, Maine for a scheduled match against the local champ. Frank agreed and the manager said he would have to appear as Hackensmith, as advance posters, etc. had already been printed. They were printed without any pictures, so no one there would know what Hackensmith looked like.

Uncle set off for Skowhegen and arrived there the afternoon of the big match. In order to kill time he went to the local barber shop to get a shave. The barber realized that Uncle Frank was a newcomer and asked him if he was going to be in town long. He told the barber that he was Harry Hackensmith, the wrestler from Boston and would be in town only for the day as he was going to wrestle the local champ that night

The barber said, "Would like to meet the local champ?"

With that he took the towel off the face of the man in the next chair, and who was it but his brother Harry (Aristede) Dellamano. Both men were surprised but had the sense not to show it. They shook hands and said they would soon meet in the ring.

The match was a sellout, and at one point as they were wrestling, they rolled over near the side of the ring and one of the women near the ropes said, "Why they look just like brothers." With that, they rolled over to the side and tried not to let their faces show. Frank won the match, much to the disappointment of the local crowd, and left town on the next train for Boston.

Uncle Frank said he always wanted to get the story published, but to my knowledge, it never has been.

This ad appeared in a newspaper
in the summer of 1923.

Thanks to Skip Barry for getting it to me!

Also thanks to Harry (Aristide) Dellamano's son,
Harry Amedeo Dellamano, who told me that when his father told him the story, his father Harry was the winner!

Frank (Mario) Dellamano went on to become manager for Ed Don George, a professional wrestler who fought for the World's Wrestling Championship in 1935. Here is a story that was found on the Internet:


Reprinted from the Boston Evening Globe, Wednesday, July 31, 1935

By Hy Hurwitz

Wrestling achieved a new high in attendance and dramatics as Danno O'Mahoney of Ireland became the disputed possessor of the undisputed world's wrestling championship of the 38 N.B.A. states, New England, Canada, California and adjoining precincts.

Danno, the broth of a boy from Ballydehob, was declared the victor in his meeting with Ed Don George before close to 40,000 skeptical spectators up at Braves Field last night, by James J. Braddock, the world's heavyweight boxing champion, who was refereeing his first professional pachyderm performance.

The bout was a real wowser by Papa Paul Bowser. It contained everything that one expects to see at a wrestling show. The climax of the chief collision left everyone in a baffled frame of mind, which is just the way it should, for now the insatiable wrestling pecan can still be undecided as to the logical owner of what passes for the world's wrestling championship.

It cannot be said that Danno won on a fluke. Actually, he won because Braddock did not know the wrestling rules, and it was essential for Ed Don George to tutor Jimmy in the finer points of the wrestling code before George was declared the loser.

This may sound a bit involved, but it is precisely what happened. George had heaved Danno from the ring on two successive occasions. On the second time Referee Braddock tolled 20 and O'Mahoney was still out of the ring. This, according to the rules, would give George the decision. Mr. Braddock, however, was not informed of such a rule.

The American Olympic heavyweight representative in 1928, being above all, a gentleman, explained the situation to Braddock. As he finished his explanation and started to leave the ring, he was seized from behind by O'Mahoney. Danno didn't know that, technically, he was the loser. The referee hadn't raised Don's arm as a token of victory.

So O'Mahoney, hearing opportunity knock, raised George over his shoulders and gave Don tit-for-tat or, if you prefer, he hurled Don from the ring. George still figured the bout was over. He thought that Danno was a bit worked up over his defeat and threw him (George) "overboard" in a moment of unconsciousness and therefore did not make any effort to climb back to the ring.

When he witnessed Braddock proclaim O'Mahoney was the victor he soared in and protested. So, too, did Frank Dellamano, Don's chief second. George, still the gentleman, launched his plea delicately, but Dellamano tried to rush and maul the heavyweight boxing champion. Jimmy naturally wouldn't stand for this and he promptly pumped his fists in Dellamano's elbows and Frank went down and out.

This was repeated two or three times while a minor riot of not too peaceful proportions loomed. It took almost a score of policemen to restore order and when this was accomplished, Whitey Kaunfer, the announcer, informed those who were interested that O'Mahoney was the victor in 1 hour, 30 minutes flat.

The finish to last night's bout was well staged. The crowd got quite a kick out of it, although many did raise a kick because George was not the winner.

Your correspondent was directly in front of Braddock as he counted on O'Mahoney. Jimmy, just as sure as he beat Max Baer, tolled 20 over Danno. Whether he knew what that meant is another story. Apparently he did not, for instead of naming George as the victor right then and there, he allowed O'Mahoney to climb back into the ring and throw George outside the ropes in retaliation.

According to George, this constituted a breach of constitutional authority. Braddock had no business allowing O'Mahoney to carry on as Danno did, and instead of belting Dellamano, Jimmy should, according to George, have dished out his terrific right handers on the beardless chin of the boy from Ballydenob.

Although George did not hand over his diamond-studded $10,000 belt to O'Mahoney, it will go down in wrestling history that on the night of July 30, 1935, the Irish immigrant of nine months ago was handed the undisputed title of professional wrestling in a manner that will be discussed for a good time to come.

Officially, the apple-cheeked O'Mahoney, less than a year out of the Irish Free State Army, has achieved heights reached by few, if any, wrestlers. Some credit must go to Jack McGrath, the astute Worcesterite, who discovered Danno, and additional credit must be placed on the stout shoulders of Papa Paul Bowser, who brought Danno along carefully and cunningly until today O'Mahoney stands as "tops" in his profession.

The O'Mahoney victory not only proved who was the wrestling champion (George's claims will be heard from at a later date), but also that Papa Bowser is the world's leading promoter. As Vic Jones has so often informed you, Paul is the greatest showman since Barnum. He has done what no other promoter has ever been able to, and if there are any loose $10,000 diamond studded belts around, it would be fitting and proper to hand one over to Papa Bowser. He really deserves one for settling the muddled mat situation, albeit in a muddled way.

As the situation stands today there is a lone champion. George can rightfully claim, however, that he was fenagled out of the title, by a referee who had no knowledge of wrestling rules as laid down by the American Wrestling Association, Inc. Ed Don plans to wage a comeback. He will take a vacation for a couple of weeks, but then will settle down to a steady campaign, which will eventually lead up to a return meeting with O'Mahoney. He is determined that such a meeting will take place and, whenever George is determined, you can rest assured that he'll achieve what he sets out to achieve.

When the excitement died down last night, Paul Bowser, who promoted the extravaganza and like the grand man he is, handed over 12 1/2 percent of a $50,000 house to charity, would not say much.

"If referee Jimmy Braddock awarded O'Mahoney the decision," stated Papa Paul, "that is good enough for me. I think that Braddock is competent to render a just verdict." Papa Paul declared he didn't hear Braddock count 20 over either George or O'Mahoney.

(ED. NOTE--The Daily and Evening Globe clippings, from Boston, circa 1935, are courtesy of Mr. Steve Yohe.)

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