In Loving Memory
A Letter to Dick Bourne of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway From Brad Anderson:
I know we love the memorabilia as fans of the old school, but one aspect I have not let you know the importance of is, my three boys get to experience a grandfather they never were able to meet.
Brad Anderson, the son of the legendary Gene Anderson, proudly holds
his Dad's boots in this promotional photo from 2005.
Gene wore these same boots for three decades.
THE TRADITION CONTINUES: BRAD ANDERSON
THOUGHTS ON HIS DAD, POSTED ON THE MESSAGE BOARDS OR VIA E-MAIL
The WWE DVD release "Ric Flair & The Four Horsemen" features several clips of Gene Anderson in the early chapters as they discuss the Anderson family being the foundation of what would become the Four Horsemen. Not long after its release, I received this note from Brad.
I finally went and picked up a copy of the Horsemen DVD at Wal-Mart. I really struggled to give Vince a penny of my money but I was banking on your recommendation to make it worth while. I loved it and even more, my two younger boys were at home and watched it with me and every time they showed Dad, or said "The Anderson Brothers", the smiles on their faces were priceless. I think them seeing dad directly tied to and spoken about with current wrestlers and on a WWE release made it more exciting for them. (Via E-Mail -April 20, 2007)
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Dad had always been
in the "office" ever since I can remember-doing most everything at
different times. He used to take me down there a lot, and that was
how I got to know so many of the "boys". Most of the boys remember
him in his later days for-Wednesday-Interview day" He was
responsible for all the time slots for the TV shows that went out.
So all the boys would be at the office around 10 am to shoot promos
all day long.
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I remember Dad trying to make an in the ring comeback around 1983. He was in bad physical condition though, he had a stroke in 1980 or 1981 ( I was only 10 or 11 Yrs. old then so the timeline is vague.) Right after the stroke he was put on blood thinners and at the same time was diagnosed as a diabetic, and had to take daily insulin injections.
Having wrestling in his blood regardless of what was better for him, he did work as hard as he could at a come back, but one health issue after another kept occurring. I definitely remember him still wrestling in 1984.
* * * * *
Thursday Oct. 31st 1991. I saw my Dad leave to go to work for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department, not knowing it would be the last time I would ever see him again. He was proud of his new job he got with the help of Johnny Weaver and Al Mandel - God Bless.
I know though his heart was broken, because 10 months earlier the thing he loved and devoted his life to he had to leave. Wrestling was all he knew.
It is very fortunate that we can publicly have a place to keep our heroes alive. Thank you Greg Price, Dick Bourne of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, and George South for honoring all of our heroes.
That special "something" few people possess and what they achieved in life - will echo for eternity.
I love you Dad. - Brad
(from the Fanfest Forum message board, October 31, 2006.)
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Brad posted this to the Kayfabe Message board in response to a fan asking why Gene Anderson never signed autographs:
I remember ever since I was little kid when fans would come up to my dad and ask for an autograph, the answer was always NO! Depending on who was asking, the answer could many times be more like "I DON'T SIGN AUTOGRAPHS, GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!"
I used to always feel bad for the people and think my dad was mean. That is exactly what he wanted them to think also.
Later when I was breaking into the business he explained the psychology to me (back in the days when psychology existed.) He said "You're a F*****g heel you don't sign autographs, that's how you kill you're F*****g heat. If the F*****g marks like you, why are they going to pay to see the baby face kick your ass?!" That is as edited as I could make it.
When dad started talking about how to get "heat" and how you "kill your heat", an excitement came over him that is indescribable. That is all that mattered - "getting heat". And equally as important - not "killing heat".
(from the Kayfabe Memories Message Board, Nov. 16, 2006)