Inhabit is a series by local photographer David Lawrence (Website), that shares stories about the people who call Orlando home. It is an exploration of where people live and spend their days, whether at home, in an office, the streets of downtown, or anywhere in between. Lawrence explores who people are and how you ended up where they are at the time of the interview.
Every other week we will be sharing interviews with a different Orlandoan and telling the story of the places they inhabit.
The following interview was transcribed from an audio file, recorded by Lawrence in the home of Richard Steinborn, a retired professional wrestler.
David Lawrence: Who Are You?
Richard Steinborn: “My name is Dick Steinborn. You can look me up on Google. I was born September 28th, 1933. I’m 83 years-of-age. I weigh 161 lbs and at one time I weighed 230 lbs. Why? Because I trained myself to gain weight because I needed body weight and strength, and it was called wrestling. After being an amateur wrestler in New York, I eventually turned professional in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1951. From there I went to Europe for about three or four months and traveled all across the United States as a professional wrestler; 6,000 matches in 44 different states. I also went to Australia and Japan.”
Currently, you’re [photographing] where I am now living. I like to nickname it as “Milo’s Museum” [after his father, Henry “Milo” Steinborn, more on him HERE]. The reason for that is because on these walls, there’s so much history. Not only history of paintings, but history of ships, the old five-mast ships, and the weight lifting world of dumbbells and barbells.
Editor’s Note: Steinborn wanted us to mentioned that his ships are for sale. If you would like to purchase one of the models photographed, please let us know.
“Milo’s map was one of my wrestling magazines I used to put out. I did the photography for it. Then my dad used to collect all these wrestling magazines. Strength and Health magazines. In fact, his collection of all the books, bound in a museum of a porch is really something to see.”
What is the most valuable thing in the place you inhabit? It doesn’t have to be of monetary value, but to you personally.
There’s a couple of them. When my dad wrestled years ago, he had a nerve in his neck destroyed and he had to have an operation so his hand would work. There was a guy in New York making a statue of him and my dad had him be sure to put his deformed hand into it. This move here is what we call a “Short armed Scissor.”
Richard also owns a grand piano- on the monetary side- He thinks its worth about 20,000, but when ever hes tried to sell it, people have tried to lowball and take advantage of him because hes old. I saw the piano with my own eyes- its actually pretty freaking pristine. He says he would part with it for 11,000 or 12,000.
He hasn’t played in years as his fingers are severely disabled. Steinborn also used to play the violin as a child and remembers performing the national anthem.
“Years ago my dad had all these pictures. He got in touch with his sister in Germany. His sister’s name was Annie. Shes in Google too. Sedoff, spelled S-E-D-O-F-F. In 1938 my dad went to wrestle in Europe. He took my brother and myself and then World War II broke out. We were stuck there. We went to Castle Germany where his sister lived. I remember in the basement, there was a painting. My dad told me there were ten people who had won awards and then were asked to go paint the Führer’s picture. She was one of [the selected artists]. My dad says that his sister told him she went and spent two hours painting [Hitler’s portrait]. Her picture wasn’t chosen though. So it was in the basement. I remember it hanging in the basement.”
“I went back in 1951 to Europe to wrestle. I went back to Castle and went to my aunt’s house with my father. My aunt told my father that when the military came through they kicked open the door in the basement. Hitler’s picture was hanging there and they machine gunned it, and ripped it to pieces. So the remaining pictures that my aunt had, my dad bought them. So they’ve been sitting around. All these pictures are what she had done. I’m an artist as well and my dad said to me, which ones do you want? So, these are hers. These are the ones I picked out.”
“The reason I am so limber is because of the stick. I would use it to stretch”
He does this every day and has since he was young. He used to give these sticks to people as Christmas presents.
“My dad had this one made”
Here’s a great interview that was done by Style Weekly in 2011.
About the photographer:
David Lawrence is an Orlando-based photographer with a passion for people and storytelling. Lawrence lives in Colonialtown with his wife, Dawn and when he’s not taking photos, he occasionally attends church, drinks a lot of coffee, and overall just tries to be a kind human.