October 24, 2003
Hart glory days relived
By BILL KAUFMANN - Calgary Sun
"It was a long time ago, but it never changes."
Under the gaze of photos and drawings of Stu Hart and his children, mourners munched on Spolumbo's sandwiches and brownies washed down with beer -- each with a story.
Former Flames trainer Jim "Bearcat" Murray said he first met Stu Hart 51 years ago when he mistakenly rode a horse into the wrestler's back yard, startling him.
'A BIG SEND-OFF'
"My claim to fame is I scared the hell out of Stu Hart," said Murray, adding he'd been friends with Hart ever since.
Just minutes later, Hart family members arrived from the cemetery service, leaving little room for mourners to manoeuvre in the 98-year-old house.
"He'd be surprised so many people gave him a big send-off," said daughter Ellie Neidhart.
Japanese wrestler Hiroshi Yagi heard of Hart's death in a Tokyo newspaper just four days before the funeral but didn't consider missing it.
"Stu was like my father when I was 17 years old," said Yagi, one of many intrepid grapplers Hart took under his wing.
Standing on the spacious front porch his father had enjoyed for half-a-century, son Ross said the day had transcended sadness.
"He would have been extremely proud, very humbled by all of this," said Ross.