Klondike Bill, Meet Lucia

Klondike Bill

One of the best dates Lucia ever had with me was the night I took her to wrestling, and she got to meet Klondike Bill. It was a night to remember, and one of the most compelling reasons she wanted to marry me.

(Okay, probably not so compelling but weirdly, it was romantical.)

It all began by the many trips I made with Lucia to my hometown in North Carolina. We had to drive through Charlotte, and each time we came upon the old Charlotte Coliseum, I always let Lucia know that the old auditorium is where my grandpa would take me to watch wrestling, and after the matches we would sit in his truck, eat Vanilla Wafers and drink Coke-Colas.

Not realizing I said this each time I passed the Coliseum, as we were passing it again, Lucia interrupted me, saying, “Hey, that’s where you used to watch wrestling with your grandpa and eat Vanilla Wafers and drink Coke-Colas afterward.” I asked her how she knew that.

We laughed.

Index Forward

During our dating season, I happened to see an advertisement on the television about a wrestling show coming to Anderson, SC, about 30 minutes away.

I bought two tickets.

Not paying attention to the date and day, I was a bit nervous after realizing it was on a Wednesday night. Her family were a “three times a week to church” family.

Ricky had some “plain’in” to do with Lucy’s parents when I picked her up on that Wednesday. (I did not tell them where she was going. She did not know either; it was a surprise.)

After navigating around the problem with her dad, I swept Lucia away for a night to remember. She was nervous slightly, not knowing me that well at that time, and I was taking her down the interstate, toward Georgia.

While sitting at a light in Anderson, Lucia saw a sign that said, “Anderson Civic Center,” and asked if I was taking her to a wrestling show. She just happened to see the same TV ad a few weeks eariler.

SNAP!

DISCERNMENT.

I said, “Yes.”

SIGH.

We went into the auditorium to find our seats. Before the wrestling, the announcer and cameraman came out to do some filming. He asked all of us to yell “boo” as loud as we could. The cameraman panned the audience.

Then the announcer asked us to yell “yay” as loud as we could. It was sad to know they were mixing our whooping and hollering into the footage that the folks in TV Land saw.

Why would they rig that? It took away from the realism.

But the wrestling was fantastic. At one point, I leaned over to Lucia to get her opinion. She said it was well choreographed. I was chagrined, and quickly appealed to her to keep that on the down-low because we might get into a fight if we let others know about the fakery.

And then it occurred to me that the folks around us probably would not know what the word choreographed means.

Problem averted.

We maintained kayfabe.

Lucia was alarmed at the little kids behind her, with painted faces, yelling, “Kill him. Take his head off.”

They looked to be about eight-years-old.

The Main Event

After the show, we hung around to savor the moment. I was doing the savoring. I decided to take Lucia down to the ring where two guys were tearing it down. As I was standing there, I noticed one of the old ring-hands was none other than Klondike Bill. I used to watch him wrestle in Charlotte.

I hollered at him, asking if I could take his picture. He said, “NO” in an abrupt, “you’re bothering me” kind of way. I appealed again, letting him know that this was my girlfriend’s first wrestling show.

He doubled-down, letting me know there would be no photo-ops tonight.

One final appeal.

I said, “Hey, Klondike, I used to watch you wrestle at the Park Center in Charlotte, NC.”

At that, he turned to the other ring-hand and said, “See. I told you I used to wrestle. This guy used to watch me wrestle.”

And with that, he jumped from the ring, yanked his hat from his head, gave Lucia a big Klondike bear (side) hug and I got my picture.

A glorious night.

There’s only one other thing that would make it better and seal completely the chance of me marrying this girl.

You guessed it.

After we got back to my car, I had some Vanilla Wafers and Coke-Colas hidden in the backseat. I pulled them out. We partook and talked about the night.

Heaven.

As we were leaving, one of us suggested that we go behind the auditorium where the crowd was standing, waiting on the wrestlers to come from their dressing room, and let those folks know it ain’t real.

Wisdom prevailed.

We went home instead.

The Morning After

The next day, Lucia went to work, and all her workmates could not wait to hear about this mysterious date night that her boyfriend planned for her.

With joy, Lucia explained it all.

They didn’t get it, as they stammered and struggled to enter into Lucia’s joy.

How sad is that?

It was magical. It was romantical. It was a date-night for the ages.

I think those ladies were jealous.

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Ricky and Lucy Went to Church Today

Now, what’s the big deal about attending your church meeting? Glad you asked. First of all, you have to get out of bed. That’s a good start. We’ve spent the last month in bed, which is not a bad thing (unless you have an injury).

Mobility Is Coming Back

Lucia can use her left arm to do most things, though she can’t “put off, put on” the lid to her Tervis, for example. There are a few other things she can’t do, but her arm usage is much better now.

My mobility is good as well. My issue is standing and sitting too long. My restrictions are the three “P’s.” I can’t Pick up anything, Push anything, or Pull anything. Thankfully, I can do my job.

Last Friday night I tried the zero-gravity chair. It worked okay, so now I can work away from my bed.

On Friday, I also made my first “Panera run” in three weeks. I didn’t do any of the work but was a “tag-a-long” rider. We got there forty-five minutes early, which gave us time to play a few card games.

(For the past five or so years, we have been going to Panera Bread each Friday night to pick up their leftovers. They typically have five to eight bins of bread that we bring home, sort, and giveaway to folks who are unemployed or underemployed. We giveaway just over $30K (retail) of food each year.)

The Church Meeting

The children have been attending our church meeting by themselves for the past three weeks. Today, we went as a family.

The chairs weren’t comfortable, but they have a few “old people seats” in the back that are cushiony. I sat in one of those during the teaching time. I sat in the regular chairs during the singing time.

I didn’t attempt to stand up. It was too painful and too much of a risk. Lucia’s endurance was not that great either. She sat during half the singing time.

We need to get our “church reps” in. If you miss a few, you get out of church shape. We’re out of shape, for sure. But it’s good to get back into the swing of things.

Long-Term Plan

We’ve decided we are not going to do much of anything for the next six months. With winter coming, it won’t be hard. We’ll do the “minimalistic thing,” by not adding much to our schedule that could jeopardize our health.

We’re both encouraged, but realistic.

Airport Fellowship

Atlanta was fogged in. We left the hotel in St. Louis around 5:30PM on Wednesday and drove onto our driveway around 3:30AM on Thursday morning. The extended stay in various airports (St. Louis, Atlanta & Charlotte) created a wonderful opportunity to meet some folks, chat and generally enjoy one another.

We were fogged in on Thursday. 

We’re good now.

Hilton Head Island Cornhole Champion!!

Some will not believe this, but every word is true. I am now the official Hilton Head Island Cornhole Champion. I won the cornhole tournament today, working through the brackets to the grand prize. I think most of you know what cornhole is. If not, you can check out the Rhett and Link Cornhole Video on YouTube. Just click on Rhett and Link and it’ll take you there.

The Egret Center did not have the official cornhole set. They had what is called the “Corn Toss Game.” It’s the same thing, but they used a plastic type board instead of the cornhole plywood board. This was so they could patent it and start their own brand. It’s the same game, just a different kind of board. It was actually more difficult in that the board was plastic. The bags slid more, which meant a tactical and mechanical adjustment on my part. You had to aim at the lower end of the board because the bags would slide further up the board and potentially off the board if you landed the bag up near the hole. Also if you went for a “swisher” you had to nail it or the bag would inevitably slide off the board and you know what that means. No points for you!!

Well, enough of that.

The weather was scorching and I’m not sure why they set the boards out in the sunshine. It made winning all the more special. 

Who played? Well Lucia suggested I let you know. 

No one really showed up. Only Lucia, Tristen, Haydn, Ansa and my 85-year old father-in-law. Tristen, Haydn and Ansa didn’t want to play. I whooped Lucia pretty good. And then went on to beat my father-in-law in a nip and tuck match to the very end. I prevailed and won a HHI coozie. I actually won twice, but gave one of the prizes to my father-in-law.

I’m still a bit perplexed as to why no one showed up but us.

For those of you who would like your own set and you live locally, I may be able to hook you up with the whole shoot’in match for $35. That’s two cornhole boards and eight bean bags, which are really corn bags. No promises, but I will try. 

Brother IZ

A number of years ago Lucia and I had the privilege to spend a week in Hawaii. It was beyond belief. It was drop-dead gorgeous! While we were there we visited with a friend who turned us on to some Hawaiian music, particularly Brother IZ. His real name is Israel Kamakawiwo`ole. He is one of the most popular Hawaiian singers ever. He is revered over there. He died a few years back.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Finding Forrester” and watched the end credits roll up-the closing scene on the basketball court-then you heard Brother IZ sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” It’s one of the most popular versions of that song.

Here’s a Youtube clip of Brother IZ.