Meeting My Hero

A once in a lifetime encounter.
June 10, 2009

Im gonna start this off by warning you that this article is a little different, mainly because its about an event that happened to me last week. So where does the retro fit into all of this? Well, this article is about my encounter with my childhood hero Hulk Hogan, who just happened to be one of the most famous people on the planet in the late eighties to early nineties. Many of us grew up watching his matches, movies and even his own Saturday morning cartoon so he is indeed a huge part of millions of people*s childhoods. Many of you enjoy those what if* articles about events that didn*t even happen, so try and keep an open mind and see this from my perspective. Sorry for lack of photos but you usually don*t think *Hey I need to take pics for a blog!* when meeting your childhood hero. Oh yeah, sorry about all the stars in place of quatation marks and commas, I had to work around a glitch or something.

Each year I visit my friend Jonathan in Clearwater Florida and each year I take the time to drive by Hulk Hogan*s two homes and this year was no different. Well actually it was a little different, first off my friend Adam had come with me and second off, as you already know I got to meet the worlds most famous wrestler. Jonathan and I had already shown Adam hogans first house, that his ex wife currently lives in, on the way to the ocean but after a long swim and a couple of beers we had decided to take a walk to his beach house.

A skinny old man was soaking up some rays on the beach behind his house. We asked him if he had seen Hogan, he replied that he had seen him a few days ago and that he had just had back surgery. It wasn*t a disappointment that he wasn*t out back. I was used to it by now and none of us really ever expected to get lucky enough to see him so we headed back to the car. After loading all of our beach crap into the car we decided why not just take a quick peek at the front of his house, since we had parked only a few blocks away. As we turned the corner I spotted a bright yellow truck across from his house, I shouted out that it was his truck and looked back at Adam, we both knew what had to be done.

As we walked towards the front of the house my legs began to turn to jell-o as the capacity of what I was about to do hit me. A sharp arrow of doubt pierced our hope as we came to a latched gate, if we proceeded we would officially be trespassing, and not just the regular trespassing , but this was trespassing on celebrity land the kind of thing that could possibly lead to an arrest. Adam and I both knew we had come too close to let a knee high picketed gate keep us from a chance encounter of a lifetime.
As I opened the gate and stepped onto the brick patio all nervousness subsided, replaced by intense hope, a hope that not only he would be everything I*d expected he would be but a hope that he would actually come to the door. Adam gently knocked on the front door, not to seem too rude, and a troop of small dogs barked away from the inside. We crossed our fingers and waited for what seemed to be a lifetime, but was actually more along the lines of a minute. We knew that he had just underwent back surgery and probably wouldn*t be very mobile, so the chances of him getting out of bed were low and our doubt was sinking in deeper with each passing second.

Just when all hope seemed lost, the barking stops and a giant brown hand shoves the white drapes to the side revealing the one and only living legend Hulk Hogan. For a split second reality came crashing down on me. Would he be friendly? Or would he be pissed that a couple of guys are trespassing on his land? He certainly had every right to curse us out so why shouldn*t he? All of my questions were answered as he peered his head out and simply said *What*s up guys?* not in so much of a *hey how are you?* sort of way, but more of a *What can I do for you?* way. Adam apologizes for our intrusions and tells him that we*ve been huge fans since childhood and we just wanted to say hello. He tells us that its all cool and thanks me as I hand him back his Chihuahua that had escaped the Hogan household. He seemed a little nervous at first, considering all the negative media attention he*s been getting lately im sure he assumed we might have been nosy gossip fans. But we could tell he was warming up to us after he complimented my Rowdy Roddy Piper shirt. He knew we were true fans. Realizing that we were cool he stepped out onto the patio with us, red speedo and all. It was so surreal finally seeing him right here in front of me after watching him on TV for so many years. We thank him for not freaking out on us and he replies *what did you think I would do come out here giving head-butts and dropping legs?* We laugh and ask what had happened to his back, his reply? *Hell I*ve been wrestling for thirty years, what the hell you think happened?*. We laugh again and talk a bit about wrestling, can you imagine talking to the Babe Ruth of wrestling. . . . . about wrestling?! I told him he had been our hero for years and he genuinely seemed thankful. It was so unreal, I mean I never thought I would be able to tell my childhood hero, thanks for well… being my hero.

After showing us his injury and cracking a few more jokes he said he had better get back inside. We asked for a picture before we left, after all I don*t have to tell you this was a once in a lifetime event. He happily agreed but said he had to go inside and throw some clothes on because he didn*t want a picture taken in his banana hammock. . . . . and yes he actually said banana hammock, funny guy. He took the photo with us, shook our hands once again and wished us well and we both finally knew what we had always expected, that the worlds greatest wrestler is also one hell of a guy.

A million other celebrities would have ignored us but he actually extended his hand to us, he asked our names and where we were from, hell he even changed clothes just for a picture with us! He genuinely seemed to appreciate our loyalty. I*ve met a few celebrities in my day but none of them as friendly as Hulk , he actually treated us like we were real people, not just random fans. Not many people can take someone off their *who id like to meet* list, not everyone gets the chance to say they met their childhood hero but today I can gladly do both.
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