Greenstein Puts Teeth To Work Pulling Cars
And, he says, he’s ready to do it again at 91.
In fact, the Surfside Houses resident says that he was ready to show his iron man stuff at Coney Island again last summer, but the show ran out of time.
Pulling cars with his teeth and other iron man feats is in Greenstein’s genes.
His father, Joe Greenstein, better known throughout the vaudeville world as “The Mighty Atom,” came to New York City from his native Poland in 1904.
The young man had tuberculosis and was told he didn’t have long to live.
He ran away with the circus when it came to town and came under the tutelage of the circus wrestler, who fed him and trained him to be a body builder and circus strong man.
Mike was born in 1920 and, as a young child, he trained with his father, travelled with him to shows around the nation and watched him as he did his act.
His father would amaze onlookers by pulling trucks with his teeth, bending steel horseshoes and driving spikes with his bare hands. He played some of the major venues in America, including the old Madison Square Garden. His father is in Ripley’s Believe It or Not 11 times.
Mike followed his father’s every move, learning many of his tricks.
And, while Mike never followed his father professionally, he began to do his father’s tricks – first in the Army Air Corps, where he served during World War II, and then afterwards, when he worked as a mechanic for Howard Hughes at Floyd Bennett Field when it was still a municipal airport and later, for TWA.
“I enjoyed doing shows for the guys at the air bases where I served,” he said. “They got a kick out of me pulling a truck with a bunch of guys in it with only my teeth.”
“It’s all a case of mind over matter,” he said.