Cowboy Johnny Mantell


Johnny Mantell 

Wild West 

Wrestling Productions

Blog Moment's

Our secluded sand bar...

Posted by Johnny Mantell on June 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM

While working for George and Gil Culkin in 1978-79 in Jackson, MS. The Life-long Lessons about Fellowship and breaking bread was just how we rolled and didn’t think twice about it! The Territory was full of Legends and Diamonds in the Rough…. Frankie Cain, Lou Thesz, Oki Shikina, Tom Jones & Dr. X to a young Terry Gordy, Percy Pringle, Michael Hayes, Kimala, myself and one wrestler Gene Lewis (Gene Kelly in the NW-Oregon days, The Mongol during WCCW days, Cousin Luke in WWE); Where our Lifetime Relationship grew to a brother like love! You see I had gone to Mississippi to live with Tom Jones and train in the gym. I was told that I had what was known as Buggy Whip arms and Tom could fix that! So training and eating right took place 6 days a week (Mon-Sat). You see in those days there was what was known as “the Blue Law”, where EVERYTHING had to be closed on Sunday. So we got a day off and Tom would kick me out of the apartment for the day. And to TRULY explain that I must save that story for another day…

So Gene and I decided that Sunday was our day to each Pizza, Play & Party, that thing Tom didn’t allow time for during the week. So we went out to the reservoir there in Jackson and had a great time. We rented a boat, took a cooler with food & adult cocktails and found the relaxing times of some of the sand bars in the secluded coves along the many miles of the Coast Line.

Well my memory isn’t the Best anymore, but Gene and I saw a yellow Trihaul 16’ with a 150hp outboard motor and decided we had to have it! Let the Good Times Roll… So EVERY Sunday instead of get up and go to the gym at 8am; it was hook up to the boat and head to the boat launch! Sometimes Gene’s wife and family would come along or Tom might go for a spin but again he was “busy” a lot of the time. So lots of the time, it was just me and Gene. This particular Sunday we were by ourselves so that meant: No Adult Supervision!

We sped around the Reservoir for a while then decided to anchor right in the middle and sun ourselves. We would jump in, get wet, float around and get back in the boat. Well this went on for a while and we were lying in the boat sunning when we heard/felt a thump on the side of the boat. It was a dead Alligator Gar!! About 4 ft. long and a mouth full of teeth that looked 6 ft long, you know what I mean. It’s hot, the Sun, the adult cocktails… So we decided to get out of these dangerous waters so we went to one of our secluded sand bars. I guess I thought that shallow water would not have this danger so off we went. We pulled up on the beach, made our little camp, ate, drank and then decided it was safe to get back in the water. It’s been 6-7 hours now at this point for two unsupervised young “studly” wrestlers, so we both decided that we were going to put life jackets on and just float in this little cove next to our camp and boat. A few minutes into this relaxing float, I feel something touch / bump my feet, legs then my ribs then back to my foot and then I see a fish break the water. My mind doesn’t care the size of the fish, my mind sees Teeth!! Gene says I looked like a cross between Fred Flintstone and Jesus, because I came up out of that water in a combination walk/run across the top and out of the water to the sandy beach. My heart and mind a racing…

After the laughter stopped I realized it was just a group of minnows that I saw and felt. WOW! Amazing, my mind played tricks on me back then too…

See ya, CJM

 This is Gene and I in his Backyard in Jackson, MS holding the Culkin's Tag Team Championship Belts! 

Thanks George and Gil for having Faith in this "young buck!"

Categories: Wrestling, Life Stories, Opinions

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