Happy Birthday to one of the greatest actors of our time and Jersey boy Jack Nicholson! Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, New Jersey and attended Manasquan High School. Jack was voted class clown by the class of 1954 which seems even more comical when you think about how 35 years later he would become one of pop culture’s most famous clowns, The Clown Prince of Crime, THE JOKER! Sure Heath Ledger gave a one of a kind performance in The Dark Knight, but Jack revolutionized the role in 1989’s Batman. If you mix Jack’s performance in one of my favorite films of all time, The Shining, with his turn as The Joker, you will likely arrive at something very close to Heath Ledger’s approach to The Joker character. Thank you Jack for all the superb, over the top, and ridiculously entertaining performances throughout your career!
As The Joker said in 1989’s Batman, “Well I’m no Picasso, but do you like it?” Don’t you go making fun of my mini illustrated masterpieces! My creative writing teacher commented that my work was “Technically Correct – Subject matter is whacky!” I always spelled wacky without an H, but I guess it was just my teacher’s personal preference. I still picked up an A on this assignment since I demonstrated correct Haiku form.
Oprah Winfrey, book club guru and female empowerment icon…oh yeah…and talk show host, has donated over $1.5 million bucks to non-profit schools and organizations in Newark, NJ. Thanks Oprah, I guess. I remember my lower middle class high school was built in the ’50s; it was and still is decrepit, falling apart, and has major ventilation issues. The heat would blast when it was 90 degrees out and the air conditioning would be pumping when it was 15 degrees out. When I was a student there the track was made of blacktop which was cracked in several places and no track and field teams in the region would compete at our school. Oh…and one more thing, our junior prom was held in our gym with student made decorations. I wasn’t asking for it to be on a cruise ship or anything, but talk about cutting corners! Oprah couldn’t you have spread the wealth around the state more evenly? I understand the non-profits need help, but the public schools in this state may be in worse shape.
For the 2nd installment of Classic WWF Cards we go back to July 7th, 1988. I didn’t expect much this time since the event took place at a local high school. For those of you not from around here, Perth Amboy isn’t necessarily the ritziest town, but then again it’s not that much better than the swamp the Meadowlands is built on.
Nearly one year later from our last installment of Classic WWF cards, Dangerous Danny Davis is still feuding with George “The Animal” Steele. It goes to show how long feuds used to last and how the WWF would squeeze every drop of excitement out of them that they could. I believe George Steele consumed 433 lbs. of turnbuckle padding during this feud.
Our local son Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Haku is one of those matches that doesn’t sound spectacular at first, but turned out to be one of the more exciting on the card. Those two wrestlers always managed to exceed expectations. When Haku went out on his own I thought, “O h g r e a t h e’ll t a k e t h e w r e stling w o r l d b y st o rm for s u r e.” in my most dry, sarcastic inner tone. I didn’t care much about Haku unless he was tag-teaming with Tama in The Islanders. On the other hand, the late Bam Bam always intrigued me since he carried a lot of weight, but was super quick and agile. Seeing him come down to the ring, menacing, with flames on his outfit and his bald head all tattooed up was quite a sight. His cartwheels and diving headbutts made for an entertaining attraction, although he remained underrated throughout his career.
I never caught one of Leaping Lanny Poffo’s frisbees, and as gay as it sounds, I always wanted to. I don’t know if it was because I just wanted to catch something thrown from a wrestler in the ring, or if it was really because I thought it was a cool concept. Printing a poem he wrote on a frisbee and throwing it out to the crowd: cool or uncool? Nowadays it seems like an insanely silly idea, but at the time it was fun for the kids. Poffo’s later turn as The Genius seemed to have been more successful, but nowhere near the caliber of success that his brother “Macho Man” Randy Savage attained.
The card is finalized with a statement that throws salt in the wound: All NON-Title Matches! Regardless of the lack of headlining WWF superstars, I fondly recall my dad taking me to this event and having an awesome time. We sat only a few rows from the ring with a seat near the entrance, so I got to slap some of the wrestler’s hands. Be quiet…it’s thrilling for a young wrestling fan.