THE WAY IT WAS
by Percival A. Friend

(The EPITOME of Wrestling Managers)

2004 Honoree
Cauliflower Alley Club
Las Vegas, Nevada

Wrestling Beat Hotline

Percival's Photo Of The Week

Hampton and Brazil
A photo, taken by a fan, of Bobo and Tim Hampton on the road in Indiana. This was one of many beautiful Cadillacs that Bobo owned. He usually traded every six months or so.

Bobo And Tim Hampton

Bobo Brazil is a name that was WRESTLING. His huge body was unmistakable most everywhere he went. He was a friend to anyone. He would go out of his way to make things comfortable to you. But then ... there was his alter ego that LOVED playing pranks, never hurting anyone physically, just having fun at someone else's expense.

Tiny Tim Hampton was not a small man by any means ... he was 6’5” and weighed around 275 pounds. His wrestling skills were fantastic, but he relied on brute strength to overcome opponents. He held victories in many parts of the country and the world, for that matter, over great stars. Men like ... Johnny Kace, Billy Goelz, Big "Moose" Cholak, Karl Von Hess, Wilbur Snyder, Angelo Poffo, Skull Murphy ... and the listing could go for a while.

Bobo and Tim were tag team champs in the former WWWF and the AWA as well as in Japan. They were also the best of friends, and both lived in Benton Harbor, Michigan, a few streets apart. They shared many a BBQ at each other’s home and played cards with the boys until all hours of the morning. They also went to see the Chicago Cubs whenever they could. Bobo and Tim were both booked in Washington, D.C. on a Tuesday night for a huge card put on by Promoter Vince McMahon, Sr. It was about a 15-hour drive from Benton Harbor. The turnpikes were a superhighway system that linked states, like a huge ribbon around a package. It was not hard to commute from Chicago to Cleveland, or to New York, for that matter, in a single day. All you needed was a fairly good car or truck and a few dollars and stamina to stay awake for the long endless miles that the road produced with no stoplights.

It was Sunday morning, and Tim's phone rang ... It was Bobo calling to see if he wanted to go and see the Cubs at Comiskey Park ... just a short 90 miles away in Chicago. Tim agreed without a moment’s hesitation, but he reminded Bobo that they had to be in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday evening. Bobo said, "Don't worry, Tim, we've got plenty of time, and we need to relax a little, anyways.” They had both come in from a tour of Japan just three days before.

About noon, Tim pulled up in Bobo's yard on Britain Street and went into his house. Bobo looked out into the driveway, next to his new Cadillac, and said, "Where did you get the new car?" ... Tim had bought a new 1966 Chevy Impala with all the goodies on it. Tim had always been a more conservative buyer. He said, "I just picked it up yesterday and thought we would go to D.C. in it. Are you ready to go to see the Cubs?” Bobo said, "Sure ... but we will take my car to Chicago.” All seemed fair to Tim, and they left a few minutes later.

At the park, Bobo and Tim met with a few old buddies from Chicago that had come in for the game, also. They got to talking, and, the first thing you know, the game was over, and the guys offered to have a small victory party at their home in suburban Riverside. As the few hours turned into Monday morning, Tim reminded Bobo that they had a long trip ahead of them. The party broke up, and the very tired pair returned to Benton Harbor for a few hours of sleep before they had to leave.

Midnight Monday ... Tim pulled up to Bobo's home, got out and unlocked the trunk, and then went in to get Bobo. Bobo had not gone to sleep at all ... Instead, he enjoyed his family surrounding him all of the day. He was dead tired and asked Tim to drive for a while till he got a few hours of sleep under his belt, and then he would take over. Tim agreed, and off they went down towards South Bend, Indiana to get on the turnpike for the long drive ahead.

The huge frame of Bobo was in the back seat of Tim's car. He was snoring like an old chainsaw cutting wood. Tim tried to not make too much noise so he wouldn't wake his best friend up because they had a very important match ahead of them. At around 7:30 a.m., as Tim was getting gas, Bobo woke up and asked where they were. Tim replied, "We're about 100 miles from Breezewood, Pennsylvania. Do you want to take over for a few hours?” Bobo said, “Sure, Tim,” and they proceeded towards D.C.

At around 11 a.m., just east of Hagerstown, Maryland, Bobo tapped Tim, who was in the back seat snoring, just like he had been a few hours before, and said, “HEY Tim … you gotta take it, kid ... I got something in my eye and can't see too good.” Tim crawled into the front seat yawning and rubbing his eyes. He started to drive, but hunger took over, and they stopped to eat.

Percival A. Friend, Retired
The Epitome of Wrestling Managers
2004 CAC Honoree

Percival and the Kozaks
Percival and Mr. and Mrs. Nick Kozak at the 2002 CAC in Las Vegas. Nick was a major star in the old Amarillo territory, along with his brother, Jerry. You couldn't find a tougher tag team in Texas.

(MIDI Musical Selection: "Blackberry")

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