Archive for May, 2011

A Piece For Peace

May 31, 2011

Monday May 30th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

Memorial Day – or as my grandparents used to call it ‘Decoration Day’. I don’t need any more sadness in my life right now, but how can it be avoided? I’m very thankful for every freedom I have as an American, but I never lose track that it comes with a gigantic price.

As I get older I find myself really tiring of needless stupidity, and war is at the top of the list. Maybe I’m turning into some retro hippie flower child, but that’s how I feel. I see the brevity of life and how delicate it is, and I feel bad for those who have to lose it in a war.

Believe me, I’m no pansy ass. There are plenty of people in this world I can’t stand, but I don’t plan on killing them. My strategy has been to completely avoid them and focus on those people I do get along with. So far it’s worked out pretty well, and nobody has died.

Not at my hands anyway. Yes, there are some idiots I’m not fond of that no longer exist, but I had nothing to do with that. They lived out their days and that was it. Hopefully they discovered whatever it was that made them repulsive to me, and they became better for it.

That theory goes both ways too. My sister Tammy hasn’t spoken to me in over 18 years now, and no matter how many times I’ve tried to patch it up, she wants no part of it. I get the message, and even though it’s not pleasant both of us are still alive to try to improve.

I just don’t think any wars should be necessary where innocent people have to die over an argument that’s not even theirs. Why does that have to happen? I know I couldn’t have any more naïve thoughts, but I want answers. Why do we humans like to kill each other?

I don’t get it. I don’t have anything against anyone in Iraq or Afghanistan. I don’t really care about those people at all. Let them live where they live and do what they do as long as it doesn’t mess with us here. If they want to be religious kooks, fine. But I like bacon. If I want to eat it three meals a day, I should be able to do that and they shouldn‘t care.

But it’s not like that, and it probably never was. There have been wars as long as we’ve had ‘civilization’, but how civil can it be if we’re slaughtering everyone? I know we have to defend ourselves, but how much? Can’t we just agree to disagree about whatever we’re fighting about and move on with life? No, because it’s all about money, greed and power.

My German grandmother used to tell me how she had relatives in both World Wars on both sides. She told of meeting her cousin from Munich who was a struggling farmer who was injured by our side and had a hell of a time making ends meet afterward. He wasn’t a Nazi killing machine, he was just a farmer who was called to serve his country of origin.

Life is hard enough without wars to rip families apart even more. We’ve been doing this killing thing long enough. Wouldn’t a few uninterrupted decades of peace come in handy so we can fix some problems here at home? My utmost thanks and respect to all veterans, but I’m for stopping the need to have them by stopping the wars that use them altogether.

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Sad To The Bone

May 30, 2011

Sunday May 29th, 2011 – Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

The sadness train keeps on rolling. Yesterday was painful enough having to say one last goodbye to the whole Vernon Hills Zanies experience and all the good memories that will live forever, today it was remembering and celebrating the life of the owner of the Zanies clubs Rick Uchwat. There was a memorial gathering at the Zanies in Old Town Chicago.

A big part of me didn’t want to go as I’m just not up for any more sadness, but I knew I had to out of respect to one of the biggest influences of not only my life but most of those who were lucky enough to know him. The guy was a true legend, and a mentor to many.

Most of the top comedians in Chicago were there like Larry Reeb, Tim Cavanagh, Tim Walkoe, Jimmy McHugh, Mike Preston, Vince Maranto, John DaCosse and a few more I am probably forgetting. There were also comedy people like Chris DiPetta who manages several comics such as Tim Wilson and Billy Gardell from the “Mike And Molly” show.

Andrew and Brian Dorfman were there, and I owe those guys a lot too. They owned the Vernon Hills Zanies when it first opened along with Rick, and they’ve given me a whole lot of work over the years from the Vernon Hills Zanies to Nashville Zanies where Brian lives now to a ton of work in Florida where Andrew lives and has owned various clubs.

These people were my bread and butter for a lot of years, and I couldn’t have missed an opportunity to pay respects even if it was uncomfortable, which it was. What does one say in that situation? What am I going to do, walk up to Rick’s wife and say “How ya doing?”

I tried to make the rounds and shake hands with those I knew, and I noticed quite a few more I didn’t know but that didn’t surprise me. Rick had a wide range of influence in the Chicago area and I’m sure there were all kinds of influential people there I didn’t know.

It’s all so damn sad. Zanies has been such a huge part of my life for so long, it’s almost easy to take for granted and think it will always be there. Well, obviously it won’t but it’s more than that. It’s a part of comedy history and Chicago history and I’m sad to see all of it happen the way it’s happening. We all have to go, but Rick was such a dynamic force.

Apparently he didn’t want any kind of funeral or memorial service, but I’m glad we got to have one anyway. We needed it. Rick helped a ton of people, and I heard stories I’d not heard before as I listened to others talk of their memories. Mike Preston was filming them and I got my chance in front of the camera to share a couple of my own. I’m glad I could.

At least there was a little bit of closure. None of us can believe he’s gone, as he was that much of a larger than life personality. Those that never knew him really missed out, and it sure drove home how little I’ve done with my own life seeing how big Rick’s tribute was.

I had to be in Kenosha by 8pm to be on AM 1050 WLIP for a ‘Mothership Connection’ program, but my heart wasn’t in it at all. My soul was aching and it still is. I need a hug.

Twenty Years And Out

May 30, 2011

Saturday May 28th, 2011 – Vernon Hills, IL

Not that it matters, but rarely have I ever been involved or associated with anything that lasts for generations so I can feel part of a tradition or legacy. Every school I’ve ever gone to has either closed its doors, been torn down or is something totally different than it was when I went there for example. Radio stations too – most I’ve worked for are off the air.

When I was in high school, I worked at a frozen custard stand on the north side of town in Milwaukee called ‘Town Pride’, which was torn down years ago, as was another joint I worked on the south side of town called ‘Rustler Steak House’. It’s a Taco Bell lot now.

It’s kind of like my entire life history has been erased and I was never even here at all. I feel like a spy, covering my tracks so if anyone looks me up in the future they won’t have a lick of proof that I ever existed. It won’t matter when I’m dead, but it feels hollow now.

Tonight a major chapter in my life closed, and I cried bitter tears in my car both on the way there and on the way home. Zanies Comedy Club in Vernon Hills had their very last show tonight, and I was the last comic on stage besides the host Mike Preston. It’s poetic justice, as I was the emcee and first comic on that stage when the club opened in 1991.

SO much has happened between then and now, but that club and everyone who worked there were more than work acquaintances – they were family. Everyone worked there for a long time, and we became part of each other’s lives. It was more than just a comedy club.

The manager Liz Long was there for the duration, as were many of the wait staff.  All of us have aged twenty years since the club opened, and life has happened for everyone from wait staff to comedians to regular customers. There have been marriages and divorces and babies born and everything else that happens with a real family. I truly love those people.

I was living in Milwaukee when the club opened, and I remember countless drives to do shows there over the years in all kinds of weather and in all kinds of rattle trap cars I’d try to nurse longer than I should have. I broke down more than once, and it became part of an ongoing soap opera that made things an adventure. I never knew if I’d get to work or not.

The northern location of that club made it easier for me to get there than many Chicago comedians, so I was called to duty frequently. I worked every position on the bill over the years, and got to work with some big time celebrities from Richard Jeni to Tommy Chong to Craig Ferguson. It was working with him that I eventually got a shot to be on his show.

It was a huge room, bigger than most comedy clubs. I worked it when it was packed and it was absolutely electric. I also worked it in front of a dozen people and it was painful for everyone. I taught classes there too over the years, and met all kinds of wonderful people.

Tonight’s audience was full and ready, and many comics went up for one last show. I’m honored to be chosen to go last, but my heart is heavy knowing a pillar of my life is gone.

Schlitz Getting Ready To Happen

May 28, 2011

Friday May 27th, 2011 – Milwaukee, WI

Time to make Schlitz happen. After thinking carefully about all the things I’m currently working on, this is the one project that I think needs to be developed first. Everything else can be put on hold, but this one needs to get some attention so I can get it off the ground.

The ultimate goal is to create a brand with this project, and market it to those who lived in or near Milwaukee before 1990. I’d like to have a website packed with content about as many Milwaukee themed topics as I can, even though Dave Mierzwinski has a wonderful site of his own called Retro-Milwaukee which is located at http://www.retromilwaukee.com.

Dave’s site goes way past where I’d even think of going, and is more for historians that want to look back at Milwaukee’s culture. I’m interested in getting laughs, and that’s very different. Dave has been extremely supportive of what I’m doing, and I always want to be respectful and mention his site whenever I can. When my site is up, his will have a link.

Another person who has my respect is John McGivern. He’s done several shows about his Milwaukee roots apparently, but we’re completely different people and I think there’s plenty of room for both of us. He’s an actor, I’m a comic. He grew up Catholic, I didn’t.

His take and my take are going to be completely different. I’m not trying to copy what he’s doing and I’m not trying to gun for him to put him out of business or anything at all like that. That’s not the right way to do business. I just want to make room for my show, and doing the best job I can will help do that. Having other shows like it will only help.

George Webb is a Milwaukee based hamburger chain that has been around since 1948. McDonald’s came along later, but both have been successful for decades. I think this will be the same thing. I’ll go in with respect, and hope to meet with John and tell him exactly what I plan on doing so we’ll all be on the same page from day one. That’s what I’d want.

There are plenty of potential venues to choose and that’s why I went up there today. In a perfect world, I’d like two or three smaller venues to do semi regular shows on weekends starting in the fall. I need to work all summer to have a solid product when the actual gigs do come in, and I also want to have all the promotional legwork done by the time it starts.

I also called two major radio stations and asked for a rate card. I will have to let people know somehow, and radio would help. I’ll also hope to buy ads on ESPN 540, because of my regular appearances on The D List. They’ve been great to me so I hope to reciprocate.

I’m looking at this as a business, but also a labor of love. I had lunch with my long time friend Mark Krueger who sells ad space for the Shepherd Express newspaper. He’ll help me get bang for my buck with ads and coverage, and I hope I can be a regular customer.

I had dinner at Drew Olson’s house as I hadn’t seen him and his family for a while. We had a blast and also ran some ideas up the flagpole about all this. What a productive day.

Finding New Customers

May 27, 2011

Thursday May 26th, 2011 – Gurnee, IL

Pissing, moaning or bitching isn’t going to do me or anyone else any good. Neither will whining, complaining, bellyaching or sniveling. It’s a fact that times are tough and getting tougher by the minute, but the way to fight it isn’t with my mouth. It’s with my decisions.

I still think my ‘squared circle of Uranus’ theory can work tremendously well. I’m in an ideally central location between Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and Rockford, and I think there’s a living to be made in that squared off area. There are MILLIONS of people from every demographic in the square, and if I were to focus on it I know I could be a top dog.

I’ll still go out on the road, but only places I like and know. No more one night slugfests in far away tiny towns that don’t show up on Mapquest. I’m past that, and not sad at all to put it in my rear view mirror. I’ve got some great stories, but I don’t want to keep doing it now. I don’t need any more stories. I need to build a nest egg, but first I’ll need the nest.

At least I’m still able to have some options. There are still open comedy clubs out there I like, even though that number is dwindling. I really enjoy Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh, even if money isn’t great in either place. It’s still fun to go there and blow the roof off the joint on a Saturday night and feel like a real live comedian, even if it’s only for a week.

Right now, that would be enough. I have friends in those towns, and I enjoy visiting like a vacation once in a while Other than that, I don’t want to be out on the road every single week like I used to. I’m not sure if there even is a solid circuit of club work like that right now. That would take a lot of effort to get booked, and probably wouldn’t be worth it all.

I had a productive lunch today with Jayne Nordstrom from the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and that’s a very good start. They’re there to help make a connection with other businesses in Lake County so hopefully we can make each other money. That’s why I pay my membership fee, and I don’t feel guilty in the least for asking them to help.

Jayne has always been fantastic about helping me whenever I‘ve asked for it, as have all the others in the office. It’s a very helpful staff, and they care about people. Now I have to take the time to make the contacts Jayne suggested, and plant some seeds for future work.

Then, I hope to do the exact same thing in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and Rockford so I can be a presence in all those areas. I want to get hired to do comedy shows, teach my classes, emcee events or coordinate entertainment for those who may need it. Knowing as many people in high places as possible doesn’t hurt, and that’s where I’m going to focus.

I had dinner with Karl Newyear ‘The World’s Funniest Lutheran’, another Lake County resident. He’s working on getting booked in churches, and I think that could be a big time up and coming market. The main thing there is to be squeaky clean, which I can totally do if I have to. I wouldn’t mind doing any venue that is hungry to see comedy. It sure isn’t in comedy clubs, which is where one would think to look. It’s time to find new customers.

No World Order

May 27, 2011

Wednesday May 25th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

Will ANYBODY in the real world as we know it who’s doing well, please stand up? I’d be glad to hear some happy stories for a while, as it sure isn’t anyone in my inner circle of contacts. Everyone I talk to lately seems to be taking it in the shorts, with no hope ahead.

Why is this? I can’t figure it out, but I do see it happening all around me and it’s getting to be very depressing. Everyone is in a panic, and whatever was ‘normal’ just a short time ago is now ancient history. All things are getting shaken up in every field in every way.

Comedy is no exception. I see the handwriting on the wall, and if I don’t find the way to reinvent myself in a hurry, I’ll be standing behind a deep fryer with a paper hat wondering whether to dive into the grease pit to end my suffering. It’s getting tougher to survive in a world that’s getting colder by the day. It’s trickling down to the masses, and I’m worried.

I know it’s not good to worry, but I can’t help it. I feel insignificant and powerless in an insane world that isn’t trying to better itself as a whole any time soon. Watching the news is pure torture. If it isn’t sadness and disaster, it’s stupidity and mankind’s foibles shown.

Some happy news would really be nice. How about instead of a 20 or 30 something cop getting shot and leaving a wife and young kids, one wins the lottery and is able to provide a great life for a family who in turn all grow up and use that example to perpetuate it into the next generation. Society is rotting at the core, and it seems to be too far gone to fix it.

My little Pollyanna hopes and dreams seem very unimportant compared to what I see all around me every day. I talk to people in all walks of life who have had to take hits in their professional lives which in turn turns up the stress in their personal ones. It’s not pleasant.

I’m just not finding things very funny these days, even though that’s allegedly what I’m supposed to be doing for a living. I want people to be happy, even if it would cause me to lose my job. If people were happy and laughing by themselves, they wouldn’t need me or all the others who have sacrificed our own happiness in order to hopefully build a career.

That’s another part of the problem – there are WAY too many horrible comedians in the way of those precious few that are truly gifted. I’m sure it’s that way with any creative art, but it sure makes it tougher to survive when incompetent mooks smell an easy buck in it.

Everyone stinks at the start of any creative endeavor, but a process begins where we all build our level of skills through constant working on them and like a flower, it eventually blooms and can be enjoyed by everyone until its run is over. I want my run to be noticed.

Right now, I’m not sure what to do. I know I have a gift of making audiences laugh, but I’m not exactly sure how to use it to the fullest. What used to be is no more, and clubs are no longer the prime venue for what I do. But, with all these people suffering who has time to come out and see live entertainment? They’re all too busy trying to stay above water.

Two True, Too Few

May 25, 2011

Tuesday May 24th, 2011 – Milwaukee, WI

Today was yet another diversion from my intended path, but it was worth it. I’m already off my targeted work schedule by so much I’m not even sure what it is. The good news is, nobody else knows or cares a flea’s fanny about any of it – so if I decide it‘s ok, then it is.

My friend Corey Scholtka invited me to a Milwaukee Brewers game and tailgate party, sponsored by GMAR – Greater Milwaukee Area Realtors. His dad Roy hired me to speak for their group years ago and he and Corey have always been great supporters of my work wherever and whenever I’ve appeared in the Milwaukee area. I can’t thank them enough.

I met Corey years ago at a sports card show, and he’s a wheeler dealer to the max. He’s got entrepreneur written all over him, and we’ve always gotten along very well. He takes calculated risks, and isn’t afraid to have something blow up in his face, which it has from time to time, just like it has with me and anyone else in life who has guts to chase dreams.

Corey and I have kept in touch loosely over the years, because we’ve both been all over the country working on whatever it is we were working on. I was looking very forward to catching up with him, but his grandfather passed away, and the funeral was tonight. I felt bad, but that’s how both of our timing tends to go. Still, I didn’t want to waste the tickets.

As luck would have it, I was able to contact another one of my long time valued friends Greg Chadwell. Greg is in a league by himself when it comes to hard workers, and he has been my friend for going on thirty years. We first met up at a restaurant called the Rustler Steak House in Milwaukee where we were cooks in about 1982 and have stayed in touch.

Greg is like family to me, and I owe him so much I’ll never be able to pay him back. He talked his future in laws to take me in when I needed a place to live, and I lived with them for a few years in my early 20’s when I was just starting out in comedy. They took care of me and supported my dreams and encouraged me like my own blood relatives didn‘t do.

That whole situation came at exactly the right time, and I don’t know how I would have survived had I not met Greg who in turn introduced me to his in laws who in turn all took me in as one of their own. I always wanted to hit it big just so I could pay them all back.

That’s not why they did it though, and that’s what makes them such sweet people in my eyes. They did it because it was the right thing to do. Period. That’s how life is supposed to work, and they all know it. Their kindness is still fresh in my mind all these years later.

I read where Prince had a similar situation when he was a teenager, and he’s taken care of those people as well. I see why. There are times in life when family doesn’t or can’t or won’t come through, so it takes strangers to come along and take up the slack. Thank you.

Again, I’m lucky to have such magnificent friends. I’m grateful more now then ever for people like Corey Scholtka and Greg Chadwell who like me for me. They’re true friends.

Producing Results

May 24, 2011

Monday May 23rd, 2011 – Chicago, IL

I’m working every day on projects, and feeling good about them all. Standup comedy as I know it is evolving, as am I. I think I’m headed left on the monkey chart, but at least I’m going somewhere. My knuckles are scraping the floor, my back is getting hairy and I have the strangest urge to get an extra large banana milkshake. I’m getting simpler, but it’s ok.

I really like what I’m doing, and that’s a major positive. I’m loaded up with trying to do six things at once, but what’s really added new excitement to all of it is my experimenting with producing other people. I’m finding I love it, and I have MUCH clearer direction for them than I do with my own stuff. I have a different perspective, and I feel comfortable.

George Clinton has produced all kinds of other projects in addition to putting together a lengthy catalog of his own work with Parliament, Funkadelic and his own solo albums for the last thirty years. He’s produced very successful outside projects for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bootsy Collins, The Horny Horns, The Brides of Funkenstein, Parlet and more.

If he can find the time to do all that, I can find the time to do what I want to do as well. I’m currently working on a new DVD release for James Wesley Jackson which we’ll call ‘21st Century Enviromedian’, after discussing it at length. James thinks it fits his personal style, and I have to agree. We’re communicating regularly, and everything is going well.

I’ve hired Pedro Bell of Funkadelic cover art fame to handle the artwork for this project just like he’s done for both my current CD ‘Hard Luck Jollies’ and my next one which he totally nailed called ‘Comedy Skeletons In The Closet’ after George Clinton’s classic CD cover ‘R&B Skeletons In The Closet’ from 1986. It’s all costing a chunk, but it’s worth it.

I didn’t skimp on the product or the packaging, and that’s never a bad investment in my opinion. James has a very unique style, and has had fans from his days touring with all of the madness that went with the Mothership years. He’s part of the history of a cult band.

In my limited entrepreneurial experience, that’s something I think I can sell and I’ve put my own time, energy and money toward it to prove I’m right. Maybe I’m not, but it really feels right and the more things I do the more it confirms I did exactly the right thing. I am a fan of James both personally and professionally, and I know we can pull this project off.

Another project that’s gaining legs is a combination tour with my friends Dan Still, Don Reese and Dwight York. They’re all great guys and very funny, but not necessarily how a majority of the mainstream would picture funny. They’re all very smart, and yes they’re a little dark but absolutely hilarious to the right audience. I’m going to coordinate their tour.

These are both giant left turns, but I know exactly what I’m doing as far as what to do to start both projects in a positive direction. I already have, and have put minimal effort into either one. It’s incremental growth, but both are sprouting quickly. I don’t mind delaying my own stuff right now, because I’m learning a lot doing all this. And, I can feel results!

Friends Without Ends

May 24, 2011

Sunday May 22nd, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

One thing I’ve been super blessed with in life is a stellar lineup of friends. I can’t be any more grateful for all of them, and I never want to take advantage of their kindness. I know how I try to be kind to people whenever I can, but sometimes there are those that abuse it.

I don’t want to be one of those people. Lately, my friends have been coming through for me when I really need it, and I appreciate it. I feel like I owe them, but they don’t expect a score to be kept. They do it because it’s in them, just like it’s in me. It’s how it should be.

My friend Richard Caan has really helped me unload my sports card collection. I bought it at THE worst time, and it was a mistake. I thought I could spin it and turn a buck, but it turned out to be a total waste of time and money. He sells cards for a living, and has taken it upon himself to go out of his way to package the bulk of my stuff and get a return on it.

He totally didn’t have to do that, and he’s put time and energy into it that’s taken focus away from his own business. He’s managed to get back the most return possible in these times, and hasn’t complained once. Friends like that are special, and I won’t forget this.

Another friend who has gone out of his way to show kindness to me lately is Bert Haas from Zanies. Bert has always been good to me, but lately he’s been extra kind in booking me to work at all the Zanies in the Chicago area. I’m one of their boys, and I never take it for granted. I’ve been loyal to them, but they’ve been loyal to me in return for 20 years.

I went over to Bert’s house today to talk about the continuation of comedy classes at the Chicago location. Zanies has made me their exclusive comedy teacher for many years and they didn’t have to do that either. Now that the owner Rick is gone, Bert and I need to get on the same page to see if classes are even feasible, and that’s what we discussed today.

The good part about Bert being a friend is that I didn’t have to keep selling him on what I’m trying to do. He gets the concept, and wants it to work just like I do. It’s a lot easier to move forward that way than if I’d have to keep trying to convince him of the class merits.

We mapped out a plan for the fall, and will do our best to execute it. Maybe it will work and maybe it won’t, but at least I have a chance to succeed and backing from management who believes in what I‘m doing. In this day and age, that’s more than most get. I’ll take it, and not complain. I have a chance to make something happen, what more could I ask for?

Bert and his wife Sally have always treated me like family, and I’ll always owe them for that. They’ve had me for Christmases and Thanksgivings and all kinds of other times they didn’t have to invite me. I love their kids too, and have watched all three grow from birth.

Jerry Agar and his family are another example of someone who’s taken me in and made me part of the mix. I’ve watched his kids grow up too, and they’re all fantastic. No matter what things I didn’t get in life, good friends isn’t one of them. They’re all special to me.

A Macho Man Memory

May 21, 2011

Friday May 20th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

I heard the news of Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage’s fatal car accident all day today, and it made me sad. Unfortunately, how one dies is often a large part of how one is remembered as a whole. Princess Di also went in a car wreck, and there are still jokes about her today.

I haven’t heard any Macho Man jokes yet, and I don’t plan on writing any. I did have an opportunity to meet him years ago though, and in the most unusual way. I hadn’t thought about it in years, but hearing of his death reminded me of it immediately. It’s strange how that works. I’m sure when I die, certain people will have isolated memories of my life.

Some will be good, others will be not so good. That’s how it goes. I really do try to be a good person and treat others well, but sometimes people just clash. All I can do is hope to make more positive impressions than negative. Whatever I do, it’ll be over soon enough.

My brief encounter with Randy Savage came when I worked at WMMQ in Lansing, MI in 1990. It was my first radio job, and there was a promotion on the station to win tickets in the front row with a limo ride there and back to what was then called WWF wrestling.

Lansing is a blue collar working class town, and that was a perfect prize for listeners to a classic rock station. I knew wrestling from my days as a ring announcer, and the WWF was trying to push the matches so they set me up with an interview with Freddie Blassie.

I knew who Freddie Blassie was, so I set him up with one loaded question after another so he could slam the hell out of me on the air and put himself and the WWF over, but also promote the upcoming show. After we were done, he called back and said he appreciated the job I did and wanted to meet me in person at the matches. I was thrilled he liked it.

The guy who ended up winning the grand prize was the ideal choice. He worked at GM, and took his 11 year old son. Perfect. I rode in the limo with them, and we had a fantastic time. The kid was very nice, and I told the father I’d gladly take him back stage to get an autograph or two, hopefully with the help of Freddie Blassie. We were all very excited.

As the father stayed in his seat, I took the kid backstage and began opening doors trying to find anyone who could help me find Freddie Blassie. I opened one door to reveal Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat and one Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage relaxing with a card game.

Unfortunately, those were the two guys in the main event that evening, and they weren’t supposed to be on friendly terms – especially to play cards together. The kid looked at that scene like he just saw Santa Claus raping his mother, and Macho Man himself glanced up at the kid’s horrified look and said “Welcome to the wonderful world of wrestling, kid.”

I apologized for interrupting them and closed the door, and we never were able to locate Freddie Blassie so we went back to our seats without exchanging a word. We watched the matches and the limo took us home, but that kid was never the same. RIP Randy Savage.