Strange but true: Mark Hildreth never wanted to be a wrestler.
He wasn’t a fan as a kid, didn’t watch it as an adolescent. But given Hildreth’s proportions as an adult — 6-feet-6-inches, 290 pounds — the subject was bound to come up sooner or later. When it did, he became proficient and famous under the name Van Hammer.
Subscribers get total access to this story, and all our in-depth news, digital editions and exclusive content. Subscribe today, or try a 24-hour or 7-day digital pass.
All Day Access — 24-hour digital pass99¢ for 24 hours
All Week Access – 7-day digital pass$3.99 for 7 days
All Access, All the Time – Print & DigitalView Offers
Post Print Subscriber — I need to register my account for digital access.Access Digital
Registered Post Subscriber — Sign me in.Sign In
OUR PERSONAL JOURNEYS TEAM
Scott Eyman is the paper’s longtime Books Editor, as well as a respected author of many Hollywood biographies. He’s also a stone-cold pro wrestling fan. When he was taking a transatlantic ocean cruise earlier this year, he thought he recognized one of his fellow passengers. It turned out to be Mark Hildreth, and their encounter led to today’s story.
Gary Coronado is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist in photography. In 1996, he took his first photography course at a community college. Later, he began freelancing for the Orange County Register in California, and relocated to South Florida in 2001. He has been on the photography staff of the Palm Beach Post since Aug. 2003.
NEXT WEEK IN PERSONAL JOURNEYS
THE TOP OF THEIR FIELD
Meet Gavin Rumbaugh and Courtney Miller, who are not only married to each other but are both world-class neuroscientists at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter.
Barbara Marshall’s report, next Sunday in Accent.