Gunslinger Rap Archives
Funk was bleeding profusely from the forehead. He had taken a
beating from Murdoch and now he was fighting back. Murdoch was bleeding,
back stepping away from the angry Funk. Murdoch threw the referee aside
and both continued swinging wildly at each other. The referee returned
and walked right into a haymaker by Funk. They fought out of the ring
and back to the dressing room, Funk followed Murdoch into the dressing
room. Fans could hear the sound of crashing chairs and breaking tables.
Six wrestlers threw Funk out of the dressing room and slammed the door.
This wasn't WCW or WWF nor was it the Amarillo Territory in the
70's. This was Amarillo Texas in 1953. It was the hottest feud in
professional wrestling, Dory Funk Sr. against Frankie Hill Murdoch. As
the arena started to clear, My mother, Dorothy Funk was going to see to
it that Terry and I stayed in our seats like good little boys. I looked
across the nearly empty arena to see two younger kids, one tall and
lanky for his age, only 7 and his younger brother Andy, much shorter and
rotund. The two were running wild, stomping empty cups, throwing ice at
each other, and sailing seat pads across the arena. Terry jumped up from
the chair in an attempt to join in the fun. Mother's hand reached and
grabbed him by the arm. She had that special kind of squeeze so that he
knew she meant business. A little out of pain, a little out of fear, and
a little out of respect for his mother, Terry returned to his seat. The
tall lanky kid running around the sports arena was Dick Murdoch and this
was his beginning in the world of professional wrestling.
As we approached First United Methodist Church in Canyon Texas,
I told my wife Marti, this one was going to be tough to get through. I
offered the suggestion that if we concentrate on things other than the
funeral, we might be able to control our emotions.
We arrived on time but church was full. An usher found us a
place where my son Adam, Marti and I could sit. As we took our seats the
music started, "Rest High on the Mountain" by Vince Gill. I looked
around for familiar faces. I looked back at Marti and she was shaking,
at first a little and then out of control. She had already lost it and I
was next. I just couldn't help it. It seemed strange, crying over
someone as tough, wild and crazy as Dick Murdoch but even though he was
obnoxious and gross at times, a loudmouth, a fighter, a drinker, a party
person, a big bad wrestler, and a wild horse rider, Dick Murdoch loved
people. If you were his friend, he would give you anything and he had
many friends here today.
I listened to Reverend Richard Bales as he talked about Dick's
love of the wrestling business. He explained that the custom in
wrestling is the, "Ten Bell Ceremony." Everyone stood in silence as a
friend of Dick's, one of the local referees in Amarillo rang the bell
ten times in honor of Dick Murdoch. The preacher said there would be a
reception after the burial at the family place of business. Everyone
knew it was his bar, Dick's Dive.
When people talked about Murdoch, the stories were all funny.
People were laughing and in the next breath they were crying. It was
confusing. In the casket beside Murdoch was a bottle of beer, at first I
was offended, but Dick would have liked it that way.
"I want no rites in a gloom filled room. Miss me a little, but
not for too long. And not with your head bowed low. Remember the love
we once shared- Miss me, but let me go."
Dory Funk Jr.
Producer &Photo Editor - Marti Funk
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