Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mark My Words...




Earlier this week, I received a large gift. Now, I’d known about its impending arrival for several days; but still, until I actually took possession, the 50 pounds of old pro wrestling magazines, newsletters and what-not that dropped into my lap couldn’t have been anticipated.

To be clear, I need to give a short history of how this sudden wealth came my way. As I’ve mentioned from time-to-time, minutes (and sometimes hours) of an average day for me are spent at the message board of Wrestling Classics.com. Not only does it feature a repository of information by and for wrestling fans, historians and other reprobates, but there are some mighty fine (and often mighty rare) DVDs available for purchase at the site’s online store.

Owned and operated by former pro wrestling announcer Mark Nulty, Wrestling Classics is a beacon of light in a sometimes dank webosphere. Beyond some of the brightest minds to ever grace the wrestling business (and others), you’ll find moderators who ensure that exchanges adhere to a higher standard of expression. You won’t encounter nasty flame-wars on this message board.

Disagreements, sure … there are plenty of ‘em. But “Head Mod,” Crimson Mask, is vigilant in his role. As well as being one of the most intellectually gifted individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading (on almost any subject … the man is scary-smart), he keeps potential miscreants from pushing the boundaries of behavior from crossing the line. Fair but as stern as necessary, CM is a large part of the reason for the success of Wrestling Classics.com.

Anyway, about the magazines … one of the most beloved members of the WCMB community was Mark Markley. (That was his legitimate name, even though it smacks of something created by a brain-weary wrestling booker). While there is a goodly number of writers, artists, joke-tellers and show biz types to be found at the message board (along with professionals of every stripe), Mark was unique. It’s said that only once in his many years as a contributor did he get genuinely angry about someone’s ill-advised and personally directed post. And, true to Mark’s nature, that was resolved quickly and cleanly.

Otherwise, we all enjoyed his frequently funny input. Whether it was about wrestling (he’d grown up enthralled with the Portland, OR promotion), some of his favorite bands from the ‘70s (someone may correct me on this, but I think Grand Funk Railroad topped ‘em all), his beloved son and daughter, or his thoughts on life in general, he inevitably made us smile, chuckle or outright guffaw. Odd though it may seem, the visitor invariably left WCMB feeling better than when he’d arrived. The way he could connect with just about anybody, courtesy of an unexpectedly clever turn of phrase, pithy comment or posted photo, Mark had a positive influence on us all.

In the fall of 2007, when we learned the shocking news of Mark’s sudden passing soon after his 50th birthday, many of us tried to put our feelings into words. A large number of pages (with 39 posts per page) were devoted to tributes, memories and heartfelt goodbyes to our friend. Many of them induced tears among those that had enjoyed the time they’d spent with Mr. Markley.

Those of us living in the Pacific Northwest felt especially aggrieved; we had finally agreed on a time and place not too far outside of Seattle where we all might gather and hoist a cold one. It’s no lie when I state that everybody planning to attend the event was looking forward to meeting the man behind the humor that graced the message board. Sadly, he died just a matter of weeks before the scheduled date. So, Mark’s daughter and her boyfriend showed up. As a couple, they were lovely, delightful people. But nothing could make up for the empty chair, the one where Mark Markley should have been sitting.

Some 10 days ago, I received an e-mail from a woman I didn’t know. It turned out she was the boyfriend’s (now fiancée’s) mother. As it so happened, she was planning on driving up from Washington State to Vancouver to attend a show. Mark’s daughter thought that since I lived in that Canadian city, it might be a good idea to contact me and find out if I’d be interested in acquiring Mark’s wrestling possessions. So, when she made the inquiry, I was perfectly happy to offer a home to my online friend’s collection. We made the arrangements and needless to say, I was pleased when she pulled up right in front of my building with the five large, heavy boxes.

One minor backache later, they were upstairs in my condo. I’ve only just started to weed through them. So far, the oldest magazines I’ve found are from the early ‘70s; the most current date back to the early ‘90s. And as I thumb my way through them, chuckling occasionally at some of the bald-faced fabrications found within, I also feel a slight twinge of sadness.

The man who’d originally purchased them must have known hours of joy thumbing through this literary landscape, one which ranges from the thoughtful to the preposterous. The photos are fun, and the stories, many of which claim to be insider stuff not known to the average wrestling fan, frequently strain credibility to the breaking point. No matter. As a long-time writer on the topic of wrestling, what I’m finding leads me to question and research areas and territories I doubt I would have otherwise considered. One can never gain too much knowledge, can one?

And so, I carry on reading these colorful tales, taking my time to absorb and test them against what I’ve learned and come to believe from the years I’ve worked in the business. But it goes without saying that it would have been so much more preferable to have Mark Markley alive and well, keeping us laughing and regaling us with some of the “whacked-out” stories from these very same publications.

I will continue to miss his presence at the Wrestling Classics Message Board, but will consider the magazines as a personal gift from the man himself. They are now safe and secure in an area I’ve dubbed “The Mark Markley Reading Library.”

It’s the least I can do.

3 comments:

Scottie said...

34
熱門關鍵字:瘦小腹 傢俱 隆乳 拉皮 歐化廚具 抽脂 玻尿酸 廚具工廠 果凍矽膠 脂肪移植 廚具 白蟻防治 除蟲 隆鼻 植睫毛

35
好康關鍵字:高雄瑜珈 瑜珈補習班 乳酪蛋糕 巧克力 chocolate 台中乳酪蛋糕 保健食品 太陽能熱水器 扭力校正器 防爆工具 汽車隔熱紙 3M隔熱紙 行銷 隆乳 公仔

36
新聞關鍵字:鈦項圈 鈦項鍊 液化鈦 鈦鍺手鍊 百達翡麗 勞力士 江詩丹頓 瘦小腹 沛納海 IWC 歐米茄 高仿手錶 SEO 瘦小腿 拉皮 公仔製作 公仔模型

Liz said...

Hot keywords
I like your blog and the article。蘋果世界改變人類生活^^
人工植牙iso認證植牙瑜珈樟芝系統傢俱徵信社輸出疝氣MOTELiso 9000夜光外遇雷射溶脂泌尿科眼袋植髮眼袋人工陰莖iso 22000網版印刷外籍新娘雷射溶脂高雄商務旅館老鼠隔熱紙iso 18000植髮iso 9000iso 14000滅鼠瑜珈教室iso認證抽脂瑜珈汽車旅館iso 17025民宿牙醫診所結紮長灘島iso 18000宜蘭民宿包二奶長灘島自由行外籍新娘扳手雙眼皮板手整形龜頭增大雙眼皮iso割包皮掉髮iso 18001外籍新娘棧板太陽能包皮iso 18000棧板

Liz said...

Facebook hot links
I like your blog and the article。分享生活樂趣與快樂^^
瑜珈教室iso整形倉儲物流反光貼紙拉皮納豆海報汽車旅館兒童雨衣果凍矽膠宜蘭民宿雙眼皮室內設計人工植牙iso 13485隆鼻兒童雨衣鈦手鍊徵信牙醫診所龜頭增大iso 14000高雄住宿長灘島旅遊跳蚤牙醫診所陰莖加粗人工植牙大陸新娘瑜珈教室扭力校正器高雄瑜珈iso 18001傢俱陰莖加粗大陸新娘蟑螂iso輔導外籍新娘牙醫診所民宿徵信隆乳蚊子MOTELiso輔導隆鼻瑜珈教室禿頭iso輔導入珠iso 17025大陸新娘扭力板手結紮果凍矽膠iso 14000眼袋植牙