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Well, it's been an interesting year in pro wrestling and the year is half way up, but the stories from yesterday, today and tomorrow will certainly live on. This next piece originates somewhere in the mid to late '70's, in the Amarillo territory. I was around 10 years old and had been exposed to some frightening stuff for a 10 year-old boy. The Exorcist was at the theaters, Kiss was my first concert in '76 and Abdullah the Butcher was the scariest S.O.B. in the business! But, nothing was scarier than being a son of a pro wrestler in a town that was redneck. As well, being the only Hispanic/Native American in  school, made life harder, and the kids were cruel. Kids around me had dads who were doctors, lawyers, or politicians. They would tell me that their mom and dad said that my dad was a faker! Or that wrestlers use ketchup when they bled. It sucked outside the business, but behind the scene, it was great.

My father was the territory's top babyface, ("Rapid" Ricky Romero) and we lived in a very posh area of Amarillo. The uppercrust had let us in because my dad was THAT over. At the time, the Funk's were working with Giant Baba in training his new talent so they asked my dad (The Funk's called him Professor Romero) to come down to the Sports arena and work the Amarillo style with Tenryu, Onomi, and Tonga Fifiti (Haku). What an animal Tonga was then, wrist and ankle's as big as tree trunks. They all had their hair up in the formal sumo style and couldn't speak a lick of English, but Tonga spoke Spanish with my dad. After the workout, my dad ordered Steve (Jay Youngblood) and Ricky Jr. to get ready for a party at the house and proceeded to invite all the foreigners (I like saying that because they call us Gaijin) over for a party that they probably never forgot! My mother made Indian Bread and tortillas, and fajitas with all the fixin's. We had a Mexican recording star playing in our backyard, girls to meet the guys, and an array of liquor including Tequila and Mescal. The foreigners drank heavily, and Tonga challenged everyone to an arm wrestling match. My (intoxicated) brother-in-law arm-wrestled Tonga, but tempers flared and they had to be separated. My dad then lined out the Tequila (with worm) shots to the foreigners and the real fun began… soon their tight sumo hair was in their beet-red faces and everyone was singing to the Mariachi singer. When dinner was served, my dad had given them some very special peppers (a Habenero/Jalapeno mix) to eat with their meal. They, of course, were being brave and bit the peppers whole, making the funniest faces I have ever seen! Finally, Tenryu couldn't stand the heat of the Tequila/Mescal/Peppers/beer etc... and went outside, followed by the others. When they hit the cooler air it was all over. The neighbors in this posh community all came outside our house to see four men from a foreign country, all weighing 250 pounds plus, with messy sumo hair, down on all fours vomiting and cursing (in Japanese) in unison at my dad. I will never forget the look on my mom's or on my neighbors faces. Now that was SCARY!!!!

The next day Dory Funk, Sr. called my dad and bitched him up one side and down the other, because Ricky got to them first. The boys were useless for three or four days. Needless to say, the story reached Baba and his boys paid for it when they got back to Japan as well. I deeply enjoy being a part of this business, especially when things went Funky behind the scenes. I wouldn't change my experiences for anything on God's Green Earth!

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