Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Andre the Giant has a Posse!

In case you don't watch the news - Atlanta's been underwater for, oh, about 10 days! It's been cloudy and wet and downright miserable. But yesterday the sun ventured out and today a breeze came through and I tell you what - fall has arrived! To celebrate, I went for a walk on my lunch break today. Let me first say that This American Life podcasts are the greatest walking tools! I got so absorbed in the stories, I couldn't hear my internal voice that usually tells me to turn around once I hit the coffee shop. I ended up walking for 40 minutes of my lunch hour! It was fantastic!

On my way back to the office, stuck on the back of a speed limit sign, was a small sticker, no bigger than 4 square inches. On it was a sketch of Andre the Giant and scrawled in the corner was "Andre the Giant has a Posse". What a blast from the past! Andre the Giant?! In 2009?! For some reason this sticker just made me giddy. It was a treasure on a boring walk down a busy street. It's almost a better sighting than the fire next to the train tracks I saw awhile back. Almost. But then a funny thing happened. I started getting all nostalgic.

A silly little sticker brought one person rushing into my head. Grandpa Campbell. He LOVED Andre. LOVED WWF! But not like testosterone filled rednecks love it. He loved it for the comedy. So many times we'd walk into his house and see him sitting in his recliner, watching wrestling and laughing so hard he had tears running down his cheeks. The women sidekicks gave him the most amusement. The more hysterical they'd get, the more he roared with laughter. Then one day he bought us tickets! WWF was going to be in DC! What?! My 10 year old ears could hardly believe that these people who we watched on TV would actually be here, where I lived, and we could go see them! I saw Andre the Giant fight Hulk Hogan. I don't remember anything else from that day except that. It was a legendary match up and I knew it even as a kid. And people still today tell me how impressive that is when I tell them. I dutifully woke up at 7am every Saturday morning to watch "Hulk Hogan's Rock & Wrestling" cartoon and reveled in the knowledge that I had seen them in person! In. Person.

Today my grandpa is gone. And my cousin Stephen, who sat next to me on that awesome day and laughed along with Grandpa at so many things, is also gone. So many things lately flood these memories back to me since Steve left us. I always wonder, would these thoughts come back as easily if he were still here? Would I remember him teaching me the names of all the moves: Nelson, Half Nelson, Sleeper Hold. So many little things that come into my brain and they're fun, happy memories. But they make me so damn sad because I can't tell him that I saw this sticker today and it reminded me of when we were 10. I have to wonder if he would appreciate, as much as I did, a sticker that said "Andre the Giant has a Posse".


Lorre said...

Jennifer - I've never thanked you for your beautiful blog. It always makes me smile/cry/laugh.

I, too, love to walk and listen to This American Life. It's such cheap entertainment.

I remember that day very fondly, but couldn't recall Hulk Hogan's opponent. Thanks for that.

Lastly, thank you for your wonderful memory and loving tributes to Stephen and Dad. They'd both be flattered, but would never admit to it.

Love you so much, Lorre

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