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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

FIGHTS: LOUDMOUTH: Chapter 6 - The Wedding

At the end of my past life, I earned the right to be the first flat track derby announcer with the Texas Rollergirls.

What follows is a very old, very unauthorized, and very unedited version of the document I produced describing my experiences during the genesis of flat track derby.  It would be some of the last moments of my past life.

Enjoy.

LOUDMOUTH: Confessions of a Flat Track Derby Announcer

By

Bowie V. Ibarra


Copyright 2007  Bowie V. Ibarra

“Well, they’re going to the chapel and they’re going to get married.”
            - The Dixie Cups, “Chapel of Love”

Chapter VI:  The Wedding
           
            The wedding of my wife and I was the greatest wedding ever, bar none.  Though I was severely hung over, I had one of the greatest times of my life with family and friends.  Let me tell you how I met my eternal beloved…..

          XXXXXXXX
            My friends had converged once again on my friend, C.J. Odam’s apartment (later to be Texas independent pro-wrestler and Shawn Micheal’s protégé, Jeromy Sage) for an ECW pay-per-view.  I remember choosing Grolsh as my beverage of choice for the evening, and drinking every bottle.
            A neighbor had arrived outside of our circle of friends, and he was not very bright.  So when the event ended, my friends and I convinced him to be our wrestling dummy.  He gladly obliged, and we all proceeded to beat the crud out of him.
            It was a real shitty thing to do.  The guy sincerely just wanted to have friends, and we beat him up.  I hit a perfect senton splash on him while he was on the ground and felt pretty proud of myself.
            My buddy C.J. and I began to scuffle.  Being the hardcore guys we were, he motioned me to be thrown into the steel fence surrounding the apartment complex.  I figured the long metal bars would bend and not break. 
            As I propelled myself toward the gate, I leapt into the air.  But C.J. pushed my body in an opposite direction right as I planted my foot.  I literally heard the ligament pop as I flew back first into the gate.
            Almost immediately, the intense pain in my left knee had me gasping for air like I never had before.  My knee began to swell like a melon almost immediately.  A friend who was studying to be a trainer claimed I tore my ACL.  In a flash, my dream of moving to Mexico after graduation to learn the art of lucha libre was over.
            I had to drive back to New Braunfels where I was living with a couple who was housing me XXXXXXX.  Before I continue on the ACL story and how it brought me to XXXX, let me briefly describe my experience with this family.
            The Hartwigs were an elderly couple living on the wooded outskirts of New Braunfels, Texas.  They came across as the epitome of elderly happiness.  Their smiles were charming and their energy felt sincere.  I found their offer to rent out their room in the New Braunfels newspaper.  XXXXXXXXXXX.
            But all was not well with the Hartwigs.
            The wife was an alcoholic who had shot her husband just months before.  I discovered this bit of information over coffee one morning on the way to work.  A bit of an awkward moment.  Mr. Hartwig also liked to shoot his pistol out of the porch in his backyard.  He claimed to have a six shooter that once belonged to Pancho Villa.  He also liked to say the “N” word a lot, and I don’t mean “nipple”.
            They were very kind to me and I was sad to hear months later that Mrs. Hartwig had shot and killed her husband before burning down the house and trying to hang herself from a tree in the front yard.  XXXXXXXXX.
            So I spent the next few months in a pain that resided temporarily until the surgery to repair it, in which it returned with a vengeance.  Vicatin is very special.  Not only does it relieve pain, but you lose lots of weight, too.
            Graduating from college just short of a year after my father’s death, I was returning to my hometown to rehab my leg I was not sure would be any good afterwards.  I felt pretty pathetic, and was having a hard time adjusting.  My body ached and I learned the definition of bedsores.  I was miserable.
            As I healed, I spent some much needed time with my mother.  Perhaps it was God’s way of sending me back to her.  Lord knows she struggled in the months leading to my father’s death.  She loved my father so much, she was ready to quit her job just three years short of retirement.  My mother was a saint to me and to my father, and we were eternally blessed by her. 
            As I think about the situation now, I really think that was the reason.  We needed each other then, as we still do now.  Perhaps even more so.  And had my leg not gone out on me, I might have continued to forge ahead with my life without thinking and meditating on my loss.  Not only that, but realizing how important my family is.  Many family members were there for me in my moment of need, and I greatly appreciate them.
            During this time at home, mother and I traveled to San Juan near the Texas/Mexico border.  It is a pilgrim ground for Catholics who want to visit the shrine to the Virgin of San Juan.  It was quite a spiritual awakening for me.  The statues depicting the stations of the cross were quite moving.
            I also made an interesting statement that my mother observed and thought was very funny.  As I was being spiritually refueled for the future, I told my mother, “I want to bring my first wife here.”
            “Your first?” she asked.
            Funny thing was, after the honeymoon on the way home, I took my wife there.  And she’s my one and only, because if she leaves me, I will never marry again.  It’s the hardest thing I’ve done in my life.  Having to work with Chip Queso is a close second.
            At any rate, I eventually recovered and returned to San Marcos.  I went back to work at Jones New York: The Executive Suite, where I had previously spent some time.  It was a simple test to see if my leg could hold up to the work.  After a few months, I gained more and more confidence in my leg.
            So what does blowing out my leg have to do with my marriage?  Had I not blown out my leg, I would have never met my future wife at my job at the outlet mall while selling suits.  I was a good salesman, by the way.  I learned all I could about worsted wool and regular wool and how a suit should fit.  I was inspired to work there thanks to the influence of professional wrestling legend Ric Flair.  In my youth, I was scared of Flair and the dastardly Four Horsemen.  Composed of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew members, Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson, as well as San Antonio native Tully Blanchard, the Horsemen ran roughshod over the NWA and WCW.
            As I matured, I finally understood the image Ric Flair was projecting: an aristocratic tough guy who talked the talk and spent his hard earned money engaged in a hedonistic lifestyle.  This way of life found him wearing the best clothes and accessories, riding in expensive cars and chartered jets, and seducing the women like some roughneck Valentino.  Everything a young twenty-something could appreciate and strive for.
            Working at Jones gave me a chance to put together an assortment of suits that I wear to this day.  Although, despite the bulging waistline.  Damn, those haberdashers were right about making the waist a sizes up from the current size.  I never thought my waistline would get bigger than 30.  Ahhh, marriage.
            So one Friday night I go on break.  Naturally, I head to get food.  It would be the first time I was to lay eyes on my future wife.  I checked out the various places to eat around the food court of San Marcos Outlet mall.  I eventually worked my way to a Mexican themed food place called “Fiesta Mexico”.  Working behind the counter was a lovely young maiden XXXXXXX.
            I asked her if I could make a special order.  She replied by saying, “Just tell me and I’ll give you anything you want.”
            In the immortal words of George Constanza of Seinfeld fame, “It moved”.
            To this day, she insists she was not flirting with me.  But the magic of the moment and the words that I felt in my heart (or wherever you might think I felt those words) that dripped like honey to my ears gave me the inspiration I needed to get to know this girl a little more.  Imagine that.
            She was not wearing her uniform, which was peculiar.  She was dressed in a simple cute top and a denim mini-skirt.  The legs were reeling me in.  She wore black Mary Jane’s with socks and had hints of glitter on her face, arms, and chest.  XXXXXXXXXX.
            XXXXXXXXX....

/   /   /   /   /   /

            I have to admit, committing myself to marriage at the ripe old age of twenty-eight was daunting.  I had not even had any kind of series or long term relationship.  My relationships were more or less in my imagination.  Like long term mind prisons stunting my emotional growth.
            XXXXXXXXXXXX
            XXXXXXXXXXXX
            So I proposed on that bridge over the Riverwalk on the Mexican day of Independence from France. 
/   /   /   /   /   /

            Putting the wedding together was, naturally, a strain.  Renting the venue, buying the clothes, and money for the photographer (that as of this writing has yet to get our pictures to us) cost money.  Scrapping together the dough was tough.  But fortunately, family was there to help with that.  My family, that is.
            XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
            We had the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding and I treated my groomsmen to select alcoholic beverages.  It was also the night of some great cage fights, with Randy Coture toppling Chuck Liddell.  It was a night of excitement and anticipation.
            XXXXXXXXX.
            Maybe I should not have, because the next morning I was hung over with a cruel vengeance.  Chris Arnall, one of my groomsmen, shared the tequila I had gifted him.  Not a good idea. 
            The next morning, my suegra had menudo for everyone, but I was the only one that showed up.
            When I returned home, I threw up my breakfast in the parking lot and tried to sleep off the hangover to no avail.
            Though I was in pain thanks to my tequila induced intoxication, I was still able to muster up enough willpower to be in the ceremony, take wedding pictures at the state capital (that I wish I could see), and make our way to the reception.  The mariachi band was already playing and we sat at the table like a king and queen at a royal banquet.  I will never forget how happy XXXXXXX was.  The mariachi came to our grand table and played a few tunes as the food was presented.  I remember wondering when we would be served, as I was still suffering greatly from not eating the entire day.
            Our next featured performance was from a folklorico group in Austin.  As they began, we were finally served.  I was so ready to eat.  The meal was prepped to the highest standard and smelled so good.
            As I was prepared to consume the dish, just moments away from satiating my hunger, XXXXXXX pulled me by the arm.
            “Let’s go watch the dancers.”   She wanted to move closer to the dance floor and away from my precious food.  It was like putting food in front of a homeless guy, then making him go pick up your laundry.
            “What about the food?” I asked in hungry desperation.
            “C’mon.  Let’s go,” she insisted.
            So we strolled down by the dance floor to watch the dances.  The first dance set was from Coahuila, then Jalisco, and finally Vera Cruz.  The dancers were fantastic, and the Vera Cruz candle dance was moving.
            The final dance of the night was to include XXXXXX and I.  It was the traditional marriage dance to “La Bamba”.  The choreography includes and actual tying of the knot made from a long red cloth.  The real stunning part is that the knot is tied with the feet and not the hands of the couple.
            XXXXXX and I had practiced sporadically during the weeks leading up to the wedding and thought we had it under control.  I was coordinated but lacked the technical chutzpah and grace of the dance members.  As a former folklorico dancer, XXXXXX was moving in perfect form to the rhythm.  XXXXX  is always so extremely sexy when she dances, and she was magnificent on this night.
            Things were moving along just fine until we reached a literal snag.  The small nails on the front of XXXXX boots were sticking to the cloth.  Having bought traditional boots, XXXXXX had neglected to make sure the nails were set in the tip of the boots properly.
            Suddenly, we were losing time.  The song was finite, and the knot needed to be tied before the end of the song or we would look ridiculous.  It would signal a cruel portent for our married future.
            Within moments, the professional dancers were already done with their knots and dancing around us.  Time was running out.
            The final verse was starting and the song would be over in seconds.  We were very close to finishing.  I did not think we were going to make it.  With a pair of simultaneous tugs, we finished as the final notes were sung.  As the last note hit, XXXXXX and I revealed our knot to the audience.
            It was a small moment of true triumph, and an example of what a marriage should be.  Two people who love each other enough to devote their lives to each other.  Under great pressure, a couple can achieve anything they set their minds to.
            The dance was a victory, but there was one more personal message I needed to communicate.  Later that evening, I paid tribute to my father.  I wished he was there physically, but knew he was there in spirit.  To the audience, I proclaimed that I wish I had the courage to be half the husband and father he was to me.

            In the end, it was the greatest wedding ever. 

+++++

More to Come...

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