I grew up with a father who lived, breathed and dreamt wrestling. Some of my fondest memories were spending every Saturday night in front of the TV, suffering through Paladin, just to be able to stay up and watch Wrestling with Bob on KQTV2 with my dad! Once in a blue moon, we would buy tickets to the Municipal Auditorium and go see them live and in person. I remember every time we got to go, there were two ladies who were identical twins that would sit ringside. They were as hooked as my dad and never missed a live performance. They each had a cane that assisted them, and when the ref made a judgement call they didn't like, they would go after him with sticks flying!
I was a daddys girl through and through - no shame in that! Whatever my dear dad loved, I loved. Whatever he was doing, I was right there watching and trying to help. I was his shadow and I don't think he minded one bit either. And when my nephew, Darby was born, he felt the very same way about dad!
Once cable TV came on the scene, my pop was in hog heaven ... he could watch wrestling every night of the week and never ever grew tired of it. And when Darby was old enough to understand what Grandpa was watching, he was glued to Grandpa's side - watching every body slam, bear hug, sleeper hold, spinning toe hold and atomic headbutt right along side dear old dad - and it really came as no surprise that Darby developed the same love and obsession to wrestling that my dad had.
When he was home, Darby would practice his moves by jumping off the stairs onto a pile of couch pillows that positioned to take the abuse from an 7 year old kid. So I decided it was time to give the pillows (and his mothers love for her furniture) a break. Back in the day, the wrestler that held the Heavy Weight WWF belt was a mammoth guy by the name of the Ultimate Warrior. And come to think of it, it must have been about the same time that KISS came on the scene because looking back, I see more than a SLIGHT resemblance to Gene Simmons!
I'd been sewing for a good number of years and don't even know how I came up with the pattern for this guy, but I made a wrestling buddy for Darby to wrestle. When he turned 8 yrs old, they came down to celebrate his birthday and I devised a little scavenger hunt for him to go on in the house to find his present. He had to follow the clues that took him downstairs to search through closets, out in the garage and back up to the main level, where he eventually found the Ultimate Warrior waiting to be discovered in a back bedroom closet. I can still hear his excitement as I think back - I'd never heard so many screams come from one kid as I did that day :)
Darby had more fun with his buddy - it stood toe to toe with him for a good long while, but as Darb grew and got the upper hand, I was called on to patch and restuff parts. He played with UW so much, he wore the face clean off and buttered me up enough to get an emergency patch job done!
I had forgotten all about this guy until we were talking about the movie - and I asked Darby if he still had UW. Yup... I should have known his mom hung onto it and stored it in his old bedroom closet. ~ After all these years, the old meatball STILL looks like he tear into some of you whippersnappers!~