Sam "Lucky" Roberts
When I was a kid handing
around the matches, there was a referee named Sam "Lucky" Roberts. Lucky
could do a little bit of everything. He had the most beautiful penmanship I have ever seen
from a man. He could go to a pool hall and run the table. In the bowling alley he rolled
strikes almost at will. On the golf course, Lucky could hustle the hustlers. Along with Homer
ODell, he served as pit crew members for Elmo Langleys race team in the
first World 600 races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Elmos best remembered as the
Winston Cup pace car driver who died a couple of years ago behind of his pace car during a
race in Japan.
The wrestlers liked to
have Lucky along on a long trip because of his stories. Lucky always bought two 6 packs of
Budweiser, one for him and one for his wife Nelly. On long trips he was often known to
break into Nellys 6 pack. Laughing at his non-stop barrage of unlikely anecdotes
made the long Carolina trips seem to pass more quickly. In short, if BS had been music,
Lucky would have been a grand symphony!
When I was about 3 or
so, my parents owned a BBQ restaurant in Charlotte. One day Lucky came by and found me
eating the ice in which the chickens had been packed. Lucky taught me to spit to get rid
of the dirty ice. My Mother said it took several months and numerous butt whippings to
break me of that one.
Another time, he took a
screwdriver, aimed it at my chest and pretended to "tighten me up." For several
week after that, much to my Moms horror, I tried to "tighten up" everyone
I came into contact with, male or female!
Here are two of
Luckys more bizarre stories that were among my favorites. Both involved his service
during World War II.
First, Lucky claimed to
have "shot down" an airplane with a Coke bottle. He claimed, always with a
straight face, that some hot shot pilot buzzed the airstrip where Lucky was napping, with
Coke in hand. He claimed that the noise startled him so much, he jumped up and, thinking
it was a Japanese attack, threw the bottle in the air and started to run. According to
Lucky, the bottle struck the prop of the plane bringing it down.
In the other story,
Lucky said he went up for a check out flight with a young pilot. When they landed,
something happened that caused the plane to crash onto its nose. Lucky claimed that, as
the planed nosed forward into the ground, he jumped from the co-pilots seat, landed
on his feet and kept running, escaping the wrecking plane.
Dusek is a second-generation wrestler from one of the most famous wrestling families
ever. He had a solid career as a wrestler and later managed several wrestlers to major
titles. He also spent time as a broadcaster, promoter and matchmaker. His first memories
of the wrestling business are selling programs for his father when he was 4 years old.
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