Meeting George “the Animal” Steele!

Hey now.

So, a weekend wouldn’t be complete without attending an autograph signing. My usual go-to spot, the Wrestling Universe, didn’t have any booked and that’s with good reason: they held two amazing shows at the Elks Lodge in Elmhurst, Queens, NY, so they were a little occupied. I heard the shows were fantastic! Congratulations to them!

This time around, I wouldn’t be making the relatively pleasant trip to Queens; instead, I was going to take a VERY long trip to Fishkill, NY. For those of you who have no idea where that is: it’s VERY upstate New York. Luckily, my amazing girlfriend happens to live in the area and she graciously picked me up from the Beacon train station and drove me to Dutchess Marketplace where the legendary George “the Animal” Steele would be signing autographs from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

I hopped on a 10:43 AM train from Grand Central Terminal and arrived at Beacon at roughly 12:11 PM. My girlfriend then drove us to Dutchess Marketplace, which is a GIGANTIC indoor flea market.

Dutchess Marketplace (Photo Credit: Dutchessmarketplace.com)
Dutchess Marketplace (Photo Credit: Dutchessmarketplace.com)

Seriously, this place is something else. Vendors occupy the massive space and seemingly willingly to sell anything you can think off. Most of the stuff isn’t exactly brand new but you should be able to find something that piques your interest, like old action figures, DVDs, books, etc.

So, we finally find the spot where Steele is signing – The Collector’s Realm! – and there was a circle of people in front of his table. I quickly spoke with the vendor and handed him my $25 – a great deal, in my opinion. He quickly brought me to “The Animal.”

George greeted me with a hearty hello as I shook the legend’s hand. He immediately noticed my girlfriend, who was going to take the picture of George and I. “The Animal” looks at her and says, “You! Yeah YOU! What are you doing?!? Come here RIGHT NOW!” My girlfriend actually thought she offended “The Animal!”

Steele instructs her to sit next to him. He then looks at me and says, “You! Is this your girlfriend or wife?” I immediately responded with, “Uhh girlfriend!” He looks at me with a glimmer in his eye and says, “Alright. I’m gonna make you a hero today! Give me your left arm!”

I assumed he wanted me to put my left arm around my girlfriend but he stopped me with a loud, “NO!” I froze in place. He took my left arm and said, “Put it around my neck! And take your right arm and lock it up! Put me in a headlock!” Then Steele softly grabbed my girlfriend by the back of her head and the photo we took was AMAZING. I’m putting George Steele in a headlock!

George
George “the Animal” Steele signing his entry in the WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. 2

Afterward, he made sure the photo came out well – which I did! – and he signed his entry in the WWE Encyclopedia. I thanked him one more time and shook his hand before leaving. AMAZING, AMAZING GUY!

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