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  September 9, 2000



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Nice to see old faces

Picture brought back lots of memories



CLASS ACT ... Bret Hart's Grade 4 picture -- the Hitmen is on the left wearing a Batman shirt -- brought back a flood of mmories.
By BRET "The Hitman" HART -- For The Calgary Sun

Greetings from England.

I'm here to do various promotional work and it turns out I landed right in the middle of the biggest petrol strike in the history of this country. People don't even have gas to get to work. Most of my appearances were cancelled because neither I nor the fans can get to them.

The organizers have been very apologetic.

Everyone over here is angry and I'm sorry it's causing people problems, but I have to admit that, for me, I'm secretly loving every minute of my lighter schedule.

As you're reading this on Saturday, I'll hopefully be doing an autograph session in Manchester. Last weekend, it was great to meet all of you who turned out when I signed autographs in Calgary. It's a very odd feeling to be sitting in front of a long line of people, meeting so many of you so quickly that sometimes it all becomes a blur.

Then, every once in a while, I'll look up from signing an autograph to see a familiar face from the past smiling back at me. Last weekend, there were lots of pleasant surprises in store for me. My high school girlfriend came by and that was great because we haven't touched base in way too long.

Joachim Hermann, alias Jergen Himmler, the ref from the old Stampede days, brought a contingent of German fans to see me.

And then there was Mrs. Gregory, my Grade 4 teacher. You might recall that I wrote about her a few months ago. She encouraged me to draw, to have faith in myself and never give up my dreams. There she was, the face that saved me, standing in line to see me.

When she got to the front of the line, she said: "I bet you don't recognize me." I surely did! And what a delight to see her. Mrs Gregory brought me a special surprise, a photo from her personal collection taken in our Grade 4 classroom. (I'm the one in the Batman shirt, of course).

And, if you look closely, you can see Murray Reimer, the kid with the pet gopher named Goofy. And Ted Bucilla, one of my best boyhood buddies. Ted came to the matches with me when we were kids and years later came back to watch me as a fan.

Look -- there's Blaine Humphrey and Cam Davis, two more of my best young friends. It brings back memories of when we played King of the Hill in the piles of snow at recess.

And there's Pat Goan, who did more on the junior high school paper than she ever got credit for. And even Nevel Johnson, the tallest guy in the picture, the highland dancer from Wildwood. I wonder if he'll be dancing up a storm at the Ernest Manning 25th Reunion, Sept. 30 at Brewsters.

Now that is a once-in-a-lifetime party that I'm not gonna miss!

Nor am I going to miss the Ralph Klein Rolling Thunder Roast in Calgary on Wednesday!

Jebb Fink from the A-Channel will be there. I've had a soft spot for Jebb ever since what happened to him at Stu's house.

You might recall catching it on TV. See, Jebb was thirsting to learn the art of flying head scissors and drop kicks and I said I'd be happy to show him. But then I got caught up in training for the 60-minute iron man match with Shawn Michales at Wrestlemania XII. Well, in the midst of all that, I'd mentioned to Jebb that if he met me at Stu's, I'd show him a move or two.

It turned into one of those days where I was running behind and ... I might have mentioned to Stu that Jebb wanted someone to teach him some wrestling. It seems Jebb was unaware of Stu's passion for submission holds and he might have underestimated Stu.

A dangerous mistake. I tried to intervene, but there was no sense in both of us going down. Stu's hearing was just getting bad enough and Jebb was just a little too keen and, next thing you know, Jebb allowed Stu to put just one little hold on.

No, Jeb never learned any leap frogs but he used every ounce of strength to fight and claw his way out of there. Stu kept pulling him back and taking him to the top of the mountain, where Jebb discovered what his falsetto voice sounds like.

I wanted to try and save ol' Jebb, but I knew that once you get Stu started, there's no stopping him. After three or four hours, my mother eventually rescued Jebb, knowing from experience that anything sooner would have been futile. I'll bet, to this day, Jebb probably thinks I set him up and that we all had a good laugh. But, honestly, I didn't mean to leave him down in the dungeon with Stu -- but we did have a good laugh.

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