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Since 2005, and over 800 entries, the orginal purpose of this BLOG has never changed. I consider it to be a personal letter from me to my extended family of fans, supporters, and friends. I ALWAYS encourage your emails, comments, suggestions, and questions. Be Blessed! ~Percy

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Bobby Shane

I took this photo of Bobby Shane at The Mobile Municipal Auditorium (now called The Civic Center) in 1971, I was still in high school and a ringside photographer, dreaming of finding my way into the wrestling business.

On this date in 1975, 30-years ago, a single engine plane piloted by wrestler Buddy Colt, crashed into Tampa Bay after returning from the matches in Miami, Florida. Three passengers included wrestlers, Austin Idol, Gary Hart, and Bobby Shane. Despite their serious injuries, Colt, Hart, and Idol, managed to swim safely to shore. Unfortunately, 29-old Robert Schoenberger, a.k.a. "Bobby Shane," was killed.

In 1975, I had been in the U.S. Air Force for almost 3-years, and made my ring debut the year before. I'll never forget the moment that my wrestling cousin, "Marvelous" Marcel Pringle called me while I was on duty at Keesler Air Force Base, in Biloxi, Mississippi, to give me the shocking news. Without a doubt, Bobby's passing was the first wrestling death that made a huge impact on my life. Little did I know then, that there would be more to come. Too many. Way too many.

I never had the opportunity to meet Bobby face to face. However, I watched him in the ring many times. He was without a doubt, one my favorites. Even today, I wonder what his position would have been in our industry, if he hadn't suffered such a tragic fate. To me, he had would it took in those days, to walk that provebial aisle as The NWA Champion. The biggest wrestling crowd that I ever witnessed in my hometown, was Bobby against the late Lee Fields. Lee was the promoter for Gulf Coast Wrestling, and came out of retirement after a long angle, to face Shane. More than 11,000 fans were on hand for that event. The fire marshall finally had to close the doors, as some were sitting in the aisles. In those days, that was unheard of.

Bobby had such a profound effect on me, that on my first trip to St. Louis with The WWF, I made it a point to visit his gravesite. Two years ago at The Cauliflower Alley Club banquet, I met Alfred Ticiento. Alfred is probably Bobby's biggest fan, and he has a wonderful tribute site dedicated to him. If you would like to know more about Bobby, I suggest that you take the time to check it out. http://www.bobbyshane.com/

On a brighter note, The George Jones Concerts were two of the best ever. At 73 years of age, it is amazing that he still packs them in wherever he goes. With 50 years in the entertainment industry "The Possum" is definitely one of a kind. I've always said, when he sings, the angels stop to listen. I thank George, his wife Nancy, his band and road crew, for being so kind to me and my guests once again.

My sister, was released from the hospital this morning, following her knee replacement surgery last Monday. I know she's in her recliner right now, preparing for the Daytona 500, as she and her husband are big NASCAR fans.

My 75-year old Aunt is still hospitalized following her fall a week ago today. She had surgery on Tuesday. It looks like she will have to settle into a nursing home for a couple of months, as she is going to require attention 24/7.

Only 12-days to our annual Gulf Coast Wrestler's Reunion!

I wish you all a great week. Take care and God Bless.