by: Bob Magee

I'm not looking forward to writing this one very much at all...

As you may have read on, WCW Referee Brian (Mark Curtis) Hildebrand will undergo surgery on Wednesday to remove an obstruction from his stomach.

I'd spoken myself by phone to Pam Murphy-Hildebrand about 10 days ago at their house in Tennessee. Brian had just had tests done earlier in the day, and wasn't up to getting on the phone. But she mentioned that Brian had troubles digesting food for some time...and they were wondering what the obstruction is, hopefully being nothing more serious than scar tissue from his previous operation.

For my thoughts about Brian, here's an excerpt from my AS I SEE IT one year ago to the day:

"For those who don't know, Brian was previously operated on last year for stomach cancer, which he took several months to recover from. He re-appeared at one or two events, including the 1998 Eddie Gilbert Memorial Brawl, where he received an award from friend from former boss and longtime friend Jim Cornette. He's been back working as a WCW referee since then.

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."

Indeed, many of us hope that this is only scar tissue, or something of a similar nature... Brian, Pam.....our prayers are with you..

Until next time...

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