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 - Lloyd Maxwell

Hi everyone.  My name is Lloyd  Maxwell.  I will be giving you my memories of the Amarillo territory from 1972-1980 and will try to give you my view point from a "true" fans eyes.  Let me give you a little background history of how I became a fan.

 

My dad was a Department of Public Safety officer, and he knew several of the wrestlers (Killer Karl Kox, Kung Fu lee, Dick Murdock and others).  Anyways, one day he took me over to Karl Kox's house and I did not know who that was.  We were sitting in the living room and Dick Murdock, and 2 other guys I did not know, came in.  Boy, was I scared.... I knew Dick from some commercials he had done.  When they said they were wrestlers, did my eyes light up!  Here I was, a 12 year old kid, sitting next to these "big" guys!  Well, Karl gave my dad some passes to the wrestling matches that next Thursday night.

 

We went and I was hooked right away.  The very first match I saw was Don "The Lawman" Slatton versus Killer Tim Brooks.  Tim used to have a big cigar in his mouth when he came to the ring.  He used to throw it into the crowd.  I caught it, and I kept it in a jar for a very long time.  It was my little piece of wrestling memorabilia.  I even had Tim's name on the jar, and I showed it to all the kids.

 

The next Thursday night, I got to go to the matches by myself.  My mom took me and picked me up afterwards.  Then I found out they taped wrestling matches at the Channel 10 studios, for re-broadcast on Saturdays, so I got mom to take me up there on Saturday mornings, and stand in front of that big garage door, with all the other fans.  Boy when that door opened "everyone" flew in to get a good seat...especially on the camera side! 

 

I would love to watch the matches at channel 10 and then go home and watch myself at 5:00 pm on TV.  The next week, Dad and I would go over to Steve Stack's service station (Steve was the ring announcer on Thursday nights).  That is where I first learned that wrestling might not be completely real.

 

Steve's service station was a gathering place for some of the wrestlers to get together and talk.  One day when I was there, Dick Murdock was telling Steve that this Thursday he was going to be "given" the strap... I don't think I was supposed to hear that!

 

Dick was also the person who went around and put the wrestling posters in the business windows... and that is how Dick and I became very close friends later in my life.  I guess most of my memories that I will tell you all about is my brushes with the wrestlers themselves.  Ricky Romero used to wear a Mexican sombrero to the ring, and he had a handful of mini sombrero's that he would throw into the crowd. I got one, and I wanted to get it autographed.  I brought that hat to the matches for about 2 or 3 months hoping to get it signed.  Finally, one night I was waiting for mom outside of the sports arena, and guess who came out...."Rapid" Ricky Romero.  He gave me his autograph and asked if had good time watching the matches.  I said yes, and then he autographed my program for me.  We both sat there for about 10 minutes and then my mom came.  She asked Ricky if his ride was there and he told her no and asked Ricky if he wanted a ride.  He said no and we went on our way.  The next Thursday night the same thing happed again outside the sports arena, but this time Ricky accepted my mom's request and we got to take Ricky home!  Boy was that a thrill. 

 

I can still hear the thunder of those stadium seats in the sports arena.  On each end of the arena they had the "cheap" seats... Big metal riser seats where people would stomp their feet on them and it would almost make the roof come off.  I always sat front row, west side, seat number 2.... right next to where the "good" guys came in. 

 

I guess I've given you enough history of how I got "hooked".  Thanks for reading my ramblings.

 

NEXT MONTH:

 

I will give you some of the matches that took place in that era, and the effect it had on this wrestling mark.

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