Thursday, June 21, 2018

Three Deaths

I'm not a big believe that things happen in threes, but it still grabs my attention when it seems to happen.

Three small parts of my life passed in the past 24 to 36 hours.

Woke up this morning to find out Koko the Gorilla had passed.  It actually hit me a little hard, and it got dusty in here for a second.  I remember seeing Koko on Mr. Rogers, way back when.  And anytime a news piece would show up, I'd watch.  This segment with Flea always makes me smile.  The bridging of the gap between the animal kingdom and the human world sometimes reveals the childlike best in humanity.

Yesterday, woke up to the news that Leon White, the man they called Big Van Vader, had passed due to complications from congestive heart failure.  Man, that WCW run for Vader in the early 1990's was one of my favorites.  I always appreciated their ability to maintain the man as a monster for an extended run.  And I resented the hell out of Hulk Hogan for just turning him into another big man for him to defeat, when he wandered over to Turnerland.  I wish Vader had hit the WWE in 1993 or 1994, rather than the couple years later that he did.  And I wish we'd gotten a really, really killer Undertaker/Vader feud.  I think it'd have been epic.

Here's a cool match between Vader and Mick Foley, from the WCW Saturday Night era.  I have seen this match, but I don't know if I saw it on a compilation or on the Network (most likely), but it gives me a feeling of nostalgia that makes me wonder if it wasn't one I watched at a friend or relative's house.  We grew up in the woods with no cable or any wrestling I saw from pretty much 1988 to 1995 was through a friend who did have cable....

Lastly, it was announced that John Ward passed away last night.  As the voice of the University of Tennessee sports, he was a ubiquitous presence.  When I play announced football games that we played as kids, there would always be the countdown by fives and the announcement: "Give Him Six!"  In fact, I still play that in my head, from time to time.


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