AS I SEE IT
by: Bob Magee
Continuing on the theme of the last two columns, about remembering...
First, a reminder about next week's Fourth Annual Eddie Gilbert Tribute Weekend, sponsored by NWA-New Jersey.
The Weekend begins with the Eddie Gilbert Tribute Dinner on Friday, October 1, 1999 at the Ramada Inn of Vineland, located at 2216 West Landis Avenue & Route 55 in Vineland, NJ.
The banquet begins at 8:00 pm, with the honorees this year being Eddie Gilbert, Christine Jarrett, former WWF referee Joey Marella, Gorilla Monsoon, Chief Jay Strongbow, and Jose Rivera Sr. Masters of Ceremonies for the Dinner are Bill Apter & George Napolitano. The price for the dinner, which benefits the Eddie Gilbert Scholarship Fund is $50.00. ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. To reserve tickets for this event, call (609) 627-5123 or (609) 848-4708.
The events of Saturday, October 2, 1999 begin with the WRESTLETHON '99 FAN CONVENTION, held at Vineland High School, on Chestnut Avenue in Vineland, NJ from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is $8.00 in advance/ $10.00 at the door. WRESTLETHON '99 is a fan convention, with wrestling toys, tapes, shirts and other merchandise on sale to the public. There will also be opportunities to meet the wrestlers on the evening's Gilbert Memorial Brawl.
Vendors with an interest in having tables at WRESTLETHON '99 need to call immediately at (609) 627-5123. There are still a few choice slots open.
The weekend concludes with the Fourth Annual Eddie Gilbert Memorial Brawl on the evening of Saturday, October 2 at Vineland High School, with a belltime of 7:35pm. Ticket prices are Golden Ringside: $18.00, Ringside: $16.00, and General Admission: $13.00.
Scheduled to appear: Droz, The Mean Street Posse, Prince Albert, The Blue Meanie, George "The Animal" Steele, "Dangerous" Doug Gilbert, King Kong Bundy, Tom Brandi, Twiggy Ramirez, "Mr. Showmanship" Rik Ratchet, Donnie B., Kevin Knight, BobCat & more!
For reservations and tickets to all events, call (609) 848-4708 or (609) 627-5123. All major credit cards will be accepted.
Next, is the tribute page for Brian Hildebrand. As we've reported on PWBTS, Jeanette Gogan-Oliver has been compiling a page of the various columns and tributes that have been written on Brian in the days after his death.
Jeanette had been in conversation with Brian and his wife Pam about an appreciation site for Brian, up until a week before his passing; but was not able to complete this project before Brian passed away. Thus the site has turned into a memorial site for Brian.
This tribute page contains columns I wrote for AS I SEE IT, the pieces written on 1wrestling.com by Bob Ryder and others, as well as tributes written by Dave Meltzer, Mark Madden, Chris Benoit, and Chris Jericho. The page's URL is: http://www.bandwidth.net/unforgiven_1/Wrestling/ Tributes__to_Wrestlers/Brian_Hildebrand/brian_hildebrand.html. (NOTE: If your browser doesn't support linked text, just cut and paste it in, and select.)
If any of you as fans or workers have stories that you'd like to share on this page, you can do so through e-mailing Jeanette Gogan Oliver at email@example.com.
I think it's increasingly important to remember...especially for a wrestling industry and its fans who in recent years are doing it less and less for those who have passed on, or for those who are still alive, but out of the limelight. One of the few events that major promotions held to honor their own this decade; WCW'S SLAMBOREE has become just another monthly PPV.
A reminder of that fact occurred this week, when a reader e-mailed me, and asked where he could find information on Rick Wilson (better known to WCW fans as Renegade) who committed suicide earlier this year. The reader told me that my AS I SEE IT was the only place he'd found anything other than an online obituary from a local paper.
To me, that's sad. Wrestling has become (and likely always was) a business that creates names from nobodies, makes easily recognizable stars out of men (and a few women). Then, when the business is through with them, they are discarded and forgotten, except for a select few. Some can't handle the emotional or physical pain of being forgotten. The Rick Wilsons of this world deserve far more than that. Anyone does.
Those few that are remembered these days, have their memories kept alive by those of us who are still stubborn enough to remember. We maintain their memories of those who have been special to us for different reasons. Most of us do so because we admire someone's work in the ring. A few of us are lucky enough to get to know the people OUT of the ring as well, and see something special there.
If you get the opportunity, keep an eye out for the websites, the fan organizations, and the snail-mail/ e-newsletters that are dedicated to remembering the past of the wrestling business and those in it. If you can attend the Gilbert Memorial, or similar events in your area, do so. If you weren't there to experience it, learn about it.
George Santayana once said that "Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Wrestling fans that don't remember their past won't even be that lucky. They will NOT get that chance. Instead, they will have let it slip away...never to be seen again, and will have missed experiences and people to be treasured for a lifetime.
Until next time.....
If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org