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Sam "Lucky" Roberts

By Frank Dusek

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 O’Dell, he served as pit crew members for Elmo Langley’s race team in the first World 600 races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Elmo’s 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 Nelly’s 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 Mom’s horror, I tried to "tighten up" everyone I came into contact with, male or female!

Here are two of Lucky’s 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-pilot’s seat, landed on his feet and kept running, escaping the wrecking plane.

Frank 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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1999 Content: Frank Dusek, Mark Nulty
1999 Design: Jan Herod
Advanced Programming and Web Editing: Dave and Kim Kandz