Al Tomko - Gentleman WrestlerThursday, January 18, 2007
The past can seem rosy in some cases precisely because it was. I have never held a job in Vancouver but the closest I ever got to a 9 to 5 job was in the height of the 80s when I was virtually taking most of the pictures at Vancouver Magazine. Mac Parry's magazine was on the corner of Davie and Richards and looking back I can assert that it was a centre of all things cultural, musical, theatrical and sometimes, even, it was a circus. Vancouver Magazine then was a city magazine, our city magazine, during an era when city magazines mattered. Everybody knew this so those who were part of the city went over to Vancouver Magazine and asked to see the editor. More often than not they got their wishes. I remember a young man who walked in from the street with a collection of slides of people wearing Hawaii T shirts. A month later the magazine had a feature with just those pictures. On any given day (on one given day of a Christmas party Mac invited the local prostitutes in for drinks with us) you could bump into Max Wyman or in this case with legendary Winnipeg wrestler Al Tomko. Mac came up to me and told me, "Go home and fetch your lights. I want you to photograph this gentleman." A gentleman he was and my past on Davie and Richards was truly rosy.