My Memorabilia Box....
Above: a page from a program working for George Culkin in Mississippi; bottom right photo me with a young Terry Gordy.
One of my BOOKING SLIPS from Southwest Sports Inc. otherwise known as World Class Championship Wrestling with offices at the Sportatorium in Dallas, TX.
In the territory days when you worked for a promotion, the booking office would give you a booking slip for the week, normally with your pay. Yes, in those days you would be paid by a check since this most likely WAS your Job.
The booking slip gave you your dates, city, building and time of show, along with contact numbers for the promoter, booker and arena info if there was an emergency.
Even today when I run a "spot" show or fundraiser, we send out a booking sheet with date, times, location and rules of the show to all working it. Some guys call to ask questions about it.
It's all a part of history!!
Johnny Boyd... in Mid-South with a Lot of great "up and coming diamond in the roughs"... as a young 18 year old college student who was wrestling "away from home" for the 1st time during the summer between freshmen and sophomore year from Whittier College.
There are a lot of great stories from this time, but many are not for public's ears! Shoot they shouldn't have been for my young ears or eyes back then....
Funny, Lil Al's promo photos were all taken where he lines us up on a wall in a building in Tulsa, OK (I believe). We were told to do a few shots for promos and next thing you know they were all over the programs, posters if you were lucky and TV.
As an amateur, I was lucky that Bill Watts gave me several minutes on TV during that summer to do a segment where I would explain a amateur move vs the pro move - like a headlock, fire man's carry and arm drag. When I'd have those segments, Bill would want me to use that move in my match. The fireman's carry match was against Stan "the Lariat" Hansen. Bill said for me to fireman's carry Stan until he was done, then he'd Lariat me and we'd take it home. Well we got out there and I went right into the move. After about 8-9 fireman's carry, I hear "Ok kid, take it home" and I rolled up and turned in to that Lariat! Stan and I talked about that night at the PWHF weekend. Some nights you don't forget!!
Thank you to George Shire for these 4 pages from Mid-South programs, 1977.
A FAN Letter from Japanese fan....
I got many of these through my time in Japan. Why my mom kept this one.... I will never know. But glad she did. In going to Japan for over 18 times across 8 years ('78-'86), I was always humbled to have fans come up to me and still am. Humbled that they would spend even a moment of their time watching me when they could have chosen so many other things to do!
I received a letter from a fan in Canada a week ago (Sept. 2014) who knew more about me, my matches and titles than "K" even knew, asking for my and The Hood's autograph! So it still amazes me even today!!
We found another box of items - programs, photos, clippings, tickets, and even a few pay check stubs. I am so thankful to Mom now for keeping these great items. I've lost many pieces of my life and history, thrown more away and had the rest taken by others!
We are finally getting the few boxes that made it through the fire and the ones kept by Mom and will be posting a few items a week as a NEW Section of the site - Memorabilia / History! Plus it helps bring out those stories from my past.....
*Names may be changed to protect the innocent, at times!!
Who is Johnny Mantell?
"I grew up in Southern CA the youngest of 3 boys (15 & 12 years older than me!) with our mom & dad owning & running a grocery store and breeding, training & running TB race horses. By the time I remember my youth both of my brothers were already out of the house so I was raised like an only child. I've been told I was my parents last chance for a girl!!" John says!
He tells of growing up learning respect, honesty, hard work, responsibility and team work being around and helping with both the store and the horses, ranch work. He claims since he did his part, they allowed him to follow his dreams and start playing baseball (1st LOVE) & amateur wrestling when at 10 years old. John says he just knew that he was going to be a major league catcher, playing catcher all through school and even signing a contract with the Montreal Expos right out of High School where he played two years on their minor league team.
John also followed his middle brother Kenny (Ken Mantell) into amateur wrestling, where he was a high school amateur champion in Southern California. He turned Pro after starting college, John got to see the professional side of the sport as well. His earliest memories of pro wrestling were attending the NWA National Convention at the age of 14 just before Ken became the NWA Jr. Champion.
Throughout High school & then college, those many years catching baseballs were hard on his knees so dreams of playing professionally ended at the minor leagues! So after older brother had been wrestling professionally for a few years, John started wrestling professionally in 1976 and continued till his last match in Waxahachie, Texas on August 6, 2005 at the Boys & Girls Club.
He was seriously injured in a one vehicle roll over accident that was November 10, 2005 just outside of Decatur, TX on Hwy 287. The wreck took him out of ever competing in a wrestling ring to wrestle ever again. John received a closed head injury and his head was degloved over 1/3 of his skull. After extensive rehab and on-going therapy to this day, he has learned to work through the issues daily to live a productive life as possible and to be able to give back to the community, youth and the business of professional wrestling as much as possible. The Business of Professional Wrestling gave him so much in life so now he aims to give back to the wrestlers and the business as much as he possibly can.
He has wrestled throughout the United States, Japan, and Europe.
Using his real name John Lusk for his first Professional Match, then as Johnny Boyd in Southern Louisiana, in 1980 he wrestled as The Hood in California and then took the Mantell name when started wrestling with his brother, Ken Mantell, as Johnny Mantell, then in the early 80s while wrestling as in World Class Championship Wrestling with the famed Von Erich family, Bill Mercer anointed him - Cowboy Johnny Mantell "The Pride of Montague County, TX". He not only traveled the roads with his brother for years but also famous names like Bruiser Brody, the Von Erichs, Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Funks', the Freebirds, Bob Orton and so many more!
But in all the years spent Wrestling, he always had the family farm, Lusk Ranch, to return to where he and his dad, bred, trained and raced Thoroughbred Race Horses. He has been around horses his entire life.
"I love everything about them and have learned many things from owning and operating a ranch too! I have done most everything by myself, or with very little help, and have done it all my way!" John says about his life.
After the wreck and his parents aging, they were "down" a few years but still stood a Stallion (or 2) and tried to keep going....
After recovery from the wreck or at least on road to, they attempted to get the family Lusk Ranch back up and going as a full training facility and through his parents illnesses and death, it was going good. They had horses ready for Lone Star Track in April 2009, when the North TX Wildfires completely destroyed his Ranch. Lost 11 horses, all barns, equipment, tack, 50+ years of equipment, items and memories....
Again they attempted to rebuild but it was not possible either emotionally or financially.
Since then John continues to follow his experiences and know that GOD will send them the direction toward the future!
With all their many years of experience, knowledge and skills learned traveling the World, highways both wrestling and racing horses... "I have a opinion on everything and its time to tell the World!!" ~CJM
ALS ICE-BUCKET CHALLENGE - I've been Challenged!! ACCEPTED
On top of the WONDERFUL people that Challenged me to this, I also want to thank a few people from today, Wed. Aug. 20th, which also would have been my Dad's 98th Birthday!
Thank you to Montague County for the wonderful location near the 150 year Anniversary monument sign for today's Challenge. (If anyone is ever in the Montague County area on a Saturday, they have the original Jail that is now a museum you can walk through).
Also HUGE Thank you to one of my oldest friends, one of two Montague County residents that I graduated Chino High, Chino, CA with, Ron Walker for dumping the ICE WATER on my head, to Eric Viccaro of the Bowie News for helping us get the word out about the Challenge & this great fundraiser, and to the few Montague County residents who came by to show their support!
Pretty cool and amazing, at the time of the video Wed. Aug. 20th, ALS website reports that last year 2013, they raised $1.9 million with this challenge, to date for 2014 they've raised $22 million (and upward)!
Watch for more info on the "response" to Challenges Issued!
UPDATE: Keith Mundee, American Hat Co., Brandon Hey (Buddy Roberts, Jr.) and Jermaine Ferrell, KFDX have completed the Challenge!
Take Care of Men's Health!
Follow all about my "Journey to Men's Health", practicing what I preach.
There is Colon Cancer in my family so I scheduled my 2nd Colonoscopy in my lifetime and I want you to follow along with me on my clean-out trip to Glen Rose, TX & the Glen Rose Medical Ceter.
Read and see all the Gory details by reading it all HERE.
Book Johnny & Wild West Productions?
Do you have an event coming up where you need a Speaker?; a Fundraiser/Show?; Motivation? Media/Event Training?
Well we have the person for you! Johnny Mantell has been through a range of events throughout his career and life. He has persevere through them all. Growing up helping in the family grocery store and helping take care of and later train the family race horses to being an all around athlete in his youth, being signed as pro baseball catcher only to be injured and loose opportunity, college, turning to professional wrestling, being a single dad, running a family thoroughbred breeding and training ranch, traveling the World and so much more....