Taking A Flying Leap
When I was in Junior High one of my favorite shows was Big Time Wrestling. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s wrestling came on once a week on Saturday afternoons. Like today wrestling had it’s characters and the hype of coming matches was much of the entertainment. The show had a local flavor as BoBo Brazil, the Heavyweight champion, hailed from Benton Harbor, Michigan which is not that far from my town Kalamazoo. There was always an appeal as a wrestler would talk about having Big Time Wrestling come to your local school as a fund raiser. The matches shown on TV were actually mismatches as you knew when the match started who the winner would be. It was all about the star wrestler making an appearance and then promoting his upcoming match against a hated opponent. Still at that young age I really thought that the matches were real. After all wrestlers would actually bleed sometimes and the show was performed so precisely. One of the wrestlers that I remember so well was named Flying Fred Curry. His name was symbolic with the flying drop kicks that he performed in his matches. Flying Fred would leave his feet and kick his legs out into his opponents head or chest area. When he was at the peak of his leap his body was positioned as if he were lying down in the air. After he made contact with his opponent he naturally fell down on the mat but was quick to jump up and deliver as many drop kicks as it took to finish his match. Sometimes Flying Fred would do this maneuver seven or eight straight times! Invariably his opponent would be staggering around like he was drunk and would be totally caught off guard by Flying Freds maneuvers!
Flying Fred Curry
It was a Saturday afternoon and I was glued to my wrestling show when I received a disruptive phone call. I had to drag myself away from the action only to find that it was Lloyd, a friend down the road. Lloyd was a friend, but he was very opinionated and very dominating. He never backed down from an argument and had his own agenda in mind. When I think about it now it is probably the kind of attributes leaders of today are recruited for. Anyway Lloyd had the idea that we should take care of Richmonds field before we played the next game. Richmonds field was a big piece of land located behind Richmond’s house. It was very large and we had no problem playing our football or baseball games there. Lloyd was going to bring his mower over and we were all supposed to work on the field. Of course that was his plan. In my mind as far as I was concerned, his plan had to wait. I was in the middle of my wrestling show and nothing was going to stop me from seeing the upcoming matches, interviews, and coming attractions! Lloyd called right at the beginning of my show and of course he wanted everyone there promptly. After I watched the entire broadcast including Flying Fred doing his thing with his dropkicks, I left for the field.
When I arrived, an hour late in Lloyd’s mind, he started ranting “Lazy Lou”, “Lazy Lou” and he did this rant over and over and over again in a very loud voice. It was very embarrassing to me to be accused of being lazy in front of my friends. I don’t know what the other kids were thinking but I was upset. Lloyd was a big kid both in height and weight. I was always one of the littlest kids in the games. Yet the more he ranted the more I became angry. On and on and on he went. Finally I could take no more! I was maybe twenty yards from him when I started my charge. Lloyd was standing by where home plate was and I could see the surprised look on his face. At full speed I launched myself in the air just like Flying Fred! In fact I think that Flying Fred would have been proud of the form in which I imitated his kick. Finding myself in that parallel to the ground position I was about to make contact with Lloyd’s chest when the unexpected happened. Instead of being frozen in his surprise like Flying Freds opponents, Lloyd grabbed on to my legs and pulled. My head came crashing into the hard ground and I was knocked out.
It always worked on TV!
When I came to a minute or two later everyone was gathered around me. Lloyd, probably fearful that I was seriously hurt and that he instigated my actions, didn’t say anything more about my not helping with the field. I don’t remember if we played a game or two that day but I think we probably did. I know I never mentioned the incident to my parents. I was feeling fine and probably put it in the back of my mind.
The story I just told was a time when I literally took a flying leap. Many people do not know it but they are taking a flying leap too. The difference in my flying leap and theirs is that their leap may be dangerous to their soul. This thought came to mind when I heard a speaker talk the other day. He was supposed to talk about the sustainability of our planet. His message was supposed to be on how we can’t keep doing some of the things we are doing and expect the planet to sustain us. He got to his topic in a round about way however. He started talking about the beginning of the earth and the planets according to how he believed. He said that about one hundred million years ago there was a big bang and everything was formed. He said it like it was a fact everyone should know without the theory word in there at all.
I have to shake my head at this theory that someone put out there and people believe. It’s like my belief years ago that wrestling on TV was real. As I vaulted myself feet first into the air I was fully committed to what I believed and the consequences that followed. I found out the hard way that everything you see or hear isn’t true. I found out that when you believe in something very strongly and it turns out to be wrong, you can get seriously hurt. Before you buy into the wild theories about how the earth came into existance, remember that you will also be fully committed to your belief sooner or later. You don’t want to find out at the moment of truth (like I did) that everything you put your hopes on was a lie. In the end you could find yourself hitting the hard ground of reality.