Steve Romero (Jay Youngblood)
The coffee was fresh and the ambiance couldn't have been better. I sat with my friend in the dinning room at mother's house on Buchannan Street in Amarillo, Texas. It had been a long time.
I told him of a night in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1983. The bell rang and it was my turn to go to the ring. It was a single match against Greg Valentine. I opened the dressing room door and took a few steps forward. All of a sudden the cheers turned to screams of delight. It wasn't just applause, it was like, "rock hysteria." I thought to myself, I've only been here a short time, but these people really love me. I continued my stroll to the ring. To the right and in front of me three teenage girls were jumping up and down with excitement. Again I thought how attractive I must be in this cowboy hat. As I approached the ring, I thought this is just too much. I turned and looked behind me and there was, "Heart throb, Jay Youngblood (Steve Romero) in full Indian head dress following right behind me smiling and waving to the fans. I yelled, "You little so and so and chased him all the way back to the dressing room.
David von Erich (My partner in Florida)
I was in Jacksonville, Florida in the summer of 1982 - As I always do, I was standing on the back stage watching the wrestling matches. A beautiful teenie-bopper dressed cute as could be came to the front of the stage and asked me to come over and talk to her. I thought, "really, this cute young thing wants to talk to me." I smiled and strolled over to the edge of the stage, leaned over and said, "Howdy do" She answered, "Oh, I'm fine. Do you think you could get your partner, David von Erich to come over and talk to me?" David and I laughed about that all the way back to Tampa as we celebrated because Jacksonville sold out that night. David and I against Sweet Brown Sugar and Hacksaw, Butch Reed. We were on our way to a successful run in Florida. Marti fixed dinner for us that night when we got in and David slept on our couch.
Kerry von Erich in Japan with his friend Taeko
"Dory, when you are working out in a strange place, the best thing you can do is use the dumbbells. Keep the weight light and imitate or recreate all the exercises you do at your home gym." It was Tokyo, Japan in 1985 and Kerry von Erich was taking care of me. Kerry knew all about training methods as he was a national champion at the discus and a great high-school football player. I spent a lot of time with Kerry on that trip and we talked a lot about David. Kerry often mentioned how he knew his older brother was in heaven and he would sometime be reunited with him and how good times would return. We will laugh and play just as when we were together here on earth. Kerry was a charismatic and in Japan people were entranced with his physique and athletic ability.
Eddie Gilbert, son of Tommy and Peggy Gilbert
Tommy Gilbert introduced me to his oldest son, Eddie." Eddie was 12 years old shooting photos for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and writing programs in the Tennessee Territory. Tommy said, Eddie is going to be a wrestler some day. That's what he wants to do. I watched Eddie follow in his fathers footsteps and become a great wrestler. Eddie had an unusual ability to feel what the fans wanted and was able to give it to them. Eddie treated people with respect in and out of the wrestling business. Eddie took on the name "Hot Stuff," but I knew him as the kid with a heart of gold who loved the people that make this business go, The fans.
Dick Murdoch (The Original Red Neck)
The stewardess in the first class cabin said, to Dick Murdoch and I, "Fellows, I have been ordered by the senior flight attendant not to serve you any more beer. It was only a short flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We were celebrating having just completed the wrestling scenes for the movie, Paradise Alley. The next day we were working the annual Battle Royal at the Cow Palace. We were now movie stars. (Our parts combined in the movie totaled about a minute) We didn't notice who was sleeping covered up in the seat next to us until we landed. I got my jacket from the overhead rack and turned to leave. All of a sudden, I was nose to nose with Bob Hope. I said, "Bob, Bob Hope." Meet my friend Dick Murdoch. Dick put his arm around Mr. Hope's shoulder and said, "Bob, We have just broken into the movies. Dick's eyes were red and the smell of beer and potato chips permeated the air. I said yeah, we just finished staring in Paradise Alley. Be sure and watch for it. Dick invited him to join us for a beer. About that time the door opened and all we saw of Bob Hope after that was his rear end hurrying down the concourse on the way to his limousine and as far away from us as he could get.
Mother came with the coffee pot and gave me a warmer upper then refilled my friends cup as we sat and talked in her home on North Buchannan Street in Amarillo, Texas. I said it sure feels strange with us setting here talking about all the good times we had with those young wrestlers. It should be the other way around. They should be sitting here over a cup of coffee talking about all the good times they had with us. My friend said, "I know, my life is good. I have a wonderful wife and a nice home. I get to spent time with my family and grand kids, but life will never be the same.. I will miss my son forever. I think of him every day..... I looked at him and said, you are right. Too many have gone before their time.They are missed by family and wrestling fans everywhere. In the words of Kerry von Erich, "They are in heaven.We will sometime be reunited with them and good times will return.We will laugh and play just as when we were together here on earth.."
My friend said, "Yeah and I'll bet your father, Dory Funk Sr. will be right there with us."
I replied, "We remember the greats of the past, love them, and do our best to preserve our memories. The wrestling business will go on and flourish, and so will you, Ricky Romero."
Ricky Romero (Best friend of Dory Funk Sr.)
Ricky Romero, father of the Youngbloods, Jay, Mark, and Chriss, was my father's best friend and top box-office attraction in the Amarillo territory.
Dory Funk Sr. Superintendent at Texas Boy's Ranch in 1949
Ricky and I in front of mother's house on Buchannan Street
Gunslinger Short Stories
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