I joke about being raised around men with one name like, Crusher, Bruiser, Mauler and the Assassin. The truth is, it’s not a joke. I really did grow up around these guys! I didn’t know them personally of course, I was just a kid. But I saw them at the matches when I traveled with my father.
My father passed away on November 12, 1997. He didn’t have very much in the way of personal possessions. He was actually living in a $3,000 trailer that he’d borrowed the money from his life-long friend, Dutch Savage, to purchase, (he wasn’t able to pay him back). (See picture below.)
His job was taking tolls at the Delaware toll booth and selling the occasional used car on the side. I mean no disrespect to my father or any job profession. This was just quite a bit different than the father that I grew up with for the first 13 years of my life.
At his funeral I received a windbreaker that he wore while working at the tollbooth. That’s it, that was my inheritance! This was a from a man who wrestled in front of thousands of people. Uncle Dutch told me that my father had made over $250,000 a year during his run in the 60’s as the Kentuckians with Grizzly Smith. He’d been on TV many times and even appeared in at least one movie. (Requiem of a Heavyweight starring Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney.)
Thousands had asked him for his autograph over the years, but there weren’t many at the funeral. I say this as a challenge to us today to not forget where our real value lies. Our real value is not in anything that we have to offer! Please trust me when I say that if we put our hope in what the world has to offer, the world can, and will in many instances, take it away.
No, our true value is based on the fact that we are created by God in His image and no one can ever take that away. I don’t care what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, you are not without HOPE.
Our HOPE is found in that the same God that created us, loves us so much that He came to earth as a man named Jesus, to die for us while we were rejecting Him. That’s an amazing love! I pray that you know Him.
This site is dedicated to my earthly father. Before Andre the Giant, Big Show and Big John Studd my father was stepping over the top rope to go into the ring.
He lived a pretty amazing life by the world’s standards. I’m praying that he knew the Lord when he left this world so that he is in heaven and I’ll be able to see him again in the future!
Here you’ll find match information, articles and photographs that I’ve been able to compile over the years. If you have anything to add, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have to say “Thank You!” to Jim Melby, Chuck Thornton, Scott Teal (Check out his amazing website for any old school wrestling fan!), Canada Sports Hall of Fame, WrestlingData.com and especially Scott Justice and Greg Warren. These men, plus many others, blessed me with their kindness and really helped in my search for match information and pictures of my father. Enjoy and God bless!
Carl Kerby (Carl Dennis Campbell Jr.)