Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
were returning from Athens, Ga. on a Thursday night. Highway 138 was a
narrow two lane stretch of road that was very dark and sometimes quite
foggy. This particular night it was a little foggy and like always we
were in a hurry to get home. I was traveling at my normal above the
speed limit pace when I topped a hill and was face to face with blue
lights. Over in the ditch on the side of the road was a blue El Dorado
Cadillac. The Cadillac had run off the road, down the embankment and
was resting in a ditch about 25 feet off the
road. I immediately recognized the car as Tony Atlas' ride.
pulled over, got out and ran back up the road. As I got to where the
car was Bill Howard pulled up and stopped.
Please picture this in your mind... The deputy sheriff working
the scene looked and sounded exactly like the cop in the old Dodge
commercials on TV. You
remember the "You're in heap of trouble now boy"
commercials? This is the
type of sheriff we are dealing with... We had a car, a deputy, Bill ,
and myself, but no Tony Atlas.
way the car had come to rest there was only about three inches of
clearance under the vehicle. Bill proceeds to tell the sheriff that he
may be under the car working on it. The sheriff got down on all fours
and crawled all around the car shining his light underneath. The only
way someone could have been under that car was if they were flat. The
scene on the road had turned hilarious because we knew we had a live
one. I suggested he may have climbed a tree to scope out where he was,
Bill chimed in with we knew the driver and he was known to swing in
the trees. I swear this is true... the sheriff walked out into the
woods shining his light up into the trees hollering as if someone was
actually going to answer him from the treetops.
we are standing on the hill laughing a car pulls up and out steps Tony
Atlas. He sheepishly walks up to the sheriff and tries to explain that
he swerved to avoid a deer and ran off the road and lost control of
his car ending up in the ditch. He further goes on that he had walked
back up the road and was picked up by the family he had rode back with
to go and call for help. A wrecker pulling up substantiated his story
with the deputy well enough that no citations were issued.