Hatpin Mary

The nickname of Mrs. Eloise Patricia Barnett, a wild, bespectacled old lady who sat at ringside during wrestling events and took special delight in sticking wrestlers she did not like with a deadly “hatpin” during televised wrestling events in the 1950s.


Note: In 2011, storyteller Richard Price told a story entitled “Hatpin Mary” about his Jewish grandmother who was a big fan of wrestling. In 1955, she took her grandson to a wresting match where she pulled out a hat pin and jabbed it into the ass of a villainous wrestler named Carl Von Hess. He, of course, jumped 10 feet into the air. When the wrestler landed, he turned to the crowd to find the perpetrator, but Price’s grandmother acted like an innocent little lamb and was never discovered. However, many of the people in the crowd saw what she had done and when another unpopular wrestler name Nature Boy entered the arena, the crowd started to chant “Stick him! Stick Him! Stick Him!” but she never did.

For more about the wrestling phenomenon of the 1950’s, check out the paperback book “The Revenge of Hatpin Mary: Women, Professional Wrestling and Fan Culture in the 1950s” (2006) by Chad Dell.

See also – “Gorgeous George


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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