by: Bob Magee

This week, another piece on a very human side of the business....

Itís useful to remember the difference between the characters we see on TV and the real-life persons behind them. For example: the Eddie Guerrero I know isnít the 'Los Gringos Locos' style heel we see on WCW TV. He is a fairly quiet, friendly, prayerful man who is a true role model to anyone whoís been able to see the real life Eddie.
Eddie took some time last Saturday night to pray some of those prayers for his friend and co-worker 'Mark Curtis', WCW referee; who has been referred to by some on RSPW, and those elsewhere on the Internet as 'the funny ref' because of his trademark habit of visibly reacting to moves in and out of the ring.
But thereís nothing funny about whatís going on in his life right now. 'Mark Curtis' is in real life, Brian Hildebrand, a friend of mine and of many. As I write this, Brian is in a hospital bed in east Tennessee; days after an operation to remove a cancerous tumor, as well as much of his stomach, all of his spleen, and part of his intestine. Doctors are hopeful that theyíve caught the cancer in time. But time alone will tell.
I met Brian during Smoky Mountain Wrestlingís Fanweek in August 1993. For those who arenít familiar with them, SMW Fanweek was held every summer from 1993-1995. It was made up of a traveling road show, combined with barbecues ,Q&As, and marathon videotape parties.
Brian Hildebrand was the reason these yearly celebrations were possible because of his non-stop organizational work during the weeks leading up to the events; and during the moment to moment problems that occur when one is trying to please 55 human beings and Jim Cornette, AND work as referee 'Mark Curtis' all at the same time.
He always did this with such unfailing patience, good humor, never forgetting to still be a fan. Thatís the reason why he has always used the word 'Mark' in his ring name.
Thatís why so many of us have the concern we have right now for our friend. The world has few enough good people. It canít afford to lose any of those it has. Your thoughts and prayers for Brian and his family would be much appreciated.

Until next time ....

Bob Magee is a columnist for Pro Wrestling's Between The Sheets - for comments or opposing viewpoints please e-mail to magee@uscom.com

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