Shirlie Alice Montgomery • June 9, 1918 – Nov 5, 2012

Shirlie always had her camera handy.
Shirlie Alice Montgomery was born on Chapman Street in San Jose on June 9, 1918. She was an only child. To her friends and neighbors she was a treasure trove of history. Shirlie remembered it all. She remembered the Great Depression as a child, the Second World War as a young woman, and eventually the transformation of the Santa Clara Valley from a moderately sized agricultural town to the hustle and bustle of modern Silicon Valley. The majority of her memories were supported by the thousands of photographs in her collection.
Young Shirlie Montgomery

Shirlie a few years ago from an article in the Rose Garden Resident.

She was the grandniece of San Jose’s forefather T.S. Montgomery. Shirlie lived a colorful life but professionally she photographed it with a 4X5 Speed Graphic in B&W. She was a celebrated photographer that shot Hollywood stars, U.S. Presidents and pro wrestlers. Although Shirlie did work for the S. F. Examiner and the San Jose Mercury her works remain some of the best representations of pro wrestling from the 40’s thru the 60’s. When asked about her penchant for shooting professional wrestlers she would answer “I always liked the big boys”. Such stories Shirlie had! She passed away quietly on November 5, 2012. She will never be forgotten. God rest her soul.

Obituary written by Shirlie's good friend and neighbor Joe Holt

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sandor Szabo & Lee Henning ... The Suplex Body Press



I was searching through some newspapers online for information on a cousin ... family history stuff ... and Lo & Behold! I found one of Shirlie's wrestling photos in a New Mexico newspaper in 1949! This is a photograph of Sandor Szabo applying his famous "front suplex drop" on a helpless Lee Henning. OUCH! This body press move was his patented maneuver. 

Sandor Szabo was one of the wrestlers we used to root for back in the 1950s. One of the "good" guys! This photo is not credited to Shirlie, but it is one of hers ... for sure. It was carried in the Deming Headlight from Deming, NM, August 26th 1949.


These are some other photos of Szabo ... and Henning too. All of these are from Shirlie's archives (now in a private collection).  

Sandor Szabo wearing his Championship Belt
Sandor Szabo and Ronnie Etchison ... West Coast Tag Team Champs

Henning saying "Enough" as Szabo has him in a choke hold

Szabo taking advantage

Szabo on top
Lee Henning ... always the culprit