The Stapleton Wright Orchestra played in Columbus during and after the World War I. According to Earl Hood, Stape Wright brought the first saxophone in the U.S. after the Spanish American War. Pictured in the group are Harley Baker, piano, Joe Hickman, drums, Dorrance Stewart, banjo, George "Smut" Smith, violin and Stape Wright, saxophone. Arnett Howard
Sammy Stewart, a pianist, was born in Circleville, Ohio, in 1891 and spent most of his early life living on Columbus' Mount Vernon Avenue. Local booking agent and violinist Charlie Parker apprenticed young Stewart and allowed him to become a member of Parker's Popular Players. Sammy was to carry away many of his sidekicks from the Parker band to start another unit, the Singing Syncopators, in 1918. In this photograph the band is playing a date at Columbus' Southern Hotel. The band played their last show in 1933 in Quogue, Long Island, New York and Sammy lived there until 1961. Arnett Howard
Al Haft's Acre opened at the southwest corner of Park Street and Goodale Boulevard in 1927. Al Haft cut a wide swath through many years and venues in Columbus. After his own start as a wrestler, he became a wrestling trainer and promoter of wrestling and boxing. He owned a gym called the Quality Athletic Club on Broad Street, he had a restaurant and arena on Main Street in Reynoldsburg, and he had an arena at the site of Olentangy Park (now Olentangy Village). He would start training young men as young as thirteen or fourteen.
Names in professional wrestling associated with Haft were Frankie Talabar, Mildred Burke, Stacy Hall, Don Eagle, Farmer Brown, Whitey Walberg, Juan Sebastian, Don Fargo, Great Scott, the Swedish Angel, Lord Landsdowne, Gorgeous George, Handsome Johnny Berend and “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers. These are just a few, as Haft was a trainer/promoter from 1919 into the late 1960s. The Short North/Flytown arena operated from 1927 to 1957. Christine Hayes