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Fans from the old days of
wrestling, the 50s through 70s let's say, will always
remember that litlle old lady at ringside who could really
get the wreslers going. Every arena had one. It was part of
the wrestling experience and part of what made wrestling fun
and special. Peggy Lathan's grandmother was just that type
Nannie, as she was called,
was a regular on the front row at the Charlotte Coliseum and
other venues, raising cane with the wrestlers in the ring,
giving as good as she took. Peggy sent me this photo, and
although we may not know her personally, we all immediately
recognize her. There was a Nannie in every wrestling arena.
Peggy wrote me about her
"Everyone loved Nannie. And she
enjoyed her wrestling, too. This photo was taken before she
started having to use a cane - she really had a good time
shaking that cane at the heels.
"The wrestlers always played up to her. Jimmy Snuka
asked me one time if she was in good health. I told him yes.
He said, "she gets so mad at me, I'm afraid she's going to
have a heart attack, and if she wasn't in good health, I
wasn't going to mess with her anymore." I told him that
would just kill her if he didn't fuss with her and to keep
"I loved taking her to
wrestling. She was so much fun and so loved by everyone. She
had a ton of friends. She loved Ricky Steamboat and Don
Kernodle. Those were her two favorites. Once in Charlotte,
Steamboat gave her one of his Hawaian leis. It absolutely
made her day.
To this day, Don Kernodle always tells me how much he misses
Nannie. She was a special lady and I hope I'm going to be
just like her as I get older.
"When she was in the hospital 2-3 weeks before she died,
Danny Miller, Johnny Weaver and Wahoo McDaniel called the
hospital and talked to her and told her they missed her and
hoped to see her back on the front row again soon. Sadly,
she died a few weeks later. Danny attended her funeral, and
we got a flower arrangement from Jim Crockett Promotions."
Nannie has been gone 23
years. Thanks to Peggy for sharing the memories and photos
of her grandmother with the Gateway.
POSTED JULY 24, 2006