Choosing someone to dedicate a book to is not an exact science, but for me, it’s always been about the heart. With the news that Dean Silverstone has died, my heart is hurting.
Steve Johnson and I dedicated The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Storytellers, which came out in the summer of 2019, to Dean and his late wife, Ruth, and we used a photo of Dean, Ruth and retired women’s great Joyce Grable.
Dean and Ruth were key figures in the Cauliflower Alley Club, to the point that it’s fair to question the short-term future of the organization without Dean. He was that involved.
I really can’t say enough about what Dean meant to me, and so many others.
He was a wrestling fan turned promoter, turned supporter of oldtimers, through his reunions at his Washington State home, through his commitment to the CAC. Dean was always there to answer a question, to share a laugh. In person, he could be sly with his comments, poking fun at you but never, ever making you feel like anything but his friend.
He always invited me and my CAC bestie Kurt Nielsen to sit with him at his table every year at the reunion, knowing full well that we weren’t always the best behaved in the room.
To truly understand what Dean meant to the wrestling business, along with a wild ride running record stores in and around Seattle, I can’t tell you strong enough to go buy his autobiography, with the bizarre title “I Ain’t No Pig Farmer!” — you need to read it to get it. Here’s my story on the book from 2014: “I Ain’t No Pig Farmer!” offers a rare promoter’s perspective.
Steve and I will treasure this email from Dean, which we received just after he got his copy of The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Storytellers:
I am so honored and humbled that the two of you decided to dedicate your book to Ruth and myself, that even though I momentarily was a journalist working for several legit daily newspapers, I am at a loss for words.
Without realizing it, your inclusion of Ruth’s name actually describes the genesis of my time in the wrestling business. Without her, I would have never pursued any significant role in honouring (as Greg spells it) or attempting to capture that one very special moment all of us will always remember.
I was so accurate some four years ago when I said in Pig Farmer that Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson have always been my Top 40 Radio Station, providing me with all the news, weather, and sports that any inquiring mind would ever want.
Thank you for your friendships, and for your kindness. Your dedication means so much to me.
No Dean, thank you for your friendship and kindness through the years.
Rest well, and say hi to Ruth for me.
Dean Silverstone died on March 26, 2020. He was 75. Here’s the announcement of his passing from the Cauliflower Alley Club.