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Dayton diary: Bear wrestling

Dayton diary: Bear wrestling

Nick Thompson ’23 April 20, 2023

Bear wrestling

Sketch of a man wrestling a bear

On a cold Tuesday night my class mates and I were approximately 30 minutes into class in St. Joseph Hall. A discussion of what we did over the weekend was taking over. I was suffering from a lack of caffeine and the enthusiasm to survive a three-hour-long class.

As I began to doze off, I heard my instructor say, "You know Tim’s had bear wrestling?"

"Wait a moment," one of my classmates interjected. "You mean like actual, live bears?"

"Yes!" our professor responded. "There was a guy who would come around with this trained bear and you paid him like $10. Then if you successfully wrestled the bear into submission, you won around $1,000 bucks."

"Is the fact that the bear was 'trained' supposed to be reassuring?" another classmate asked.

Once class was over, I called my parents.

"Did you know Tim's had bear wrestling?!" I asked.

"They had what?" my mom responded.

My professor said there was bear wrestling at Tim's back in the day. Did you know about that?"

"Nope," I heard my dad reply. "But I can't say I'm surprised."

Later I discovered that no one ever did win that $1,000

- Nick Thompson ’23


“Dayton Diary” is a series of short, personal UD stories: quirky encounters, light-hearted moments or heart warming snippets. Why not write one yourself and send it (up to 300 words) to magazine@udayton.edu. Put “Dayton Diary” in the subject line.

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