J. MICHAEL HENDRICH

John Michael Hendrich has been my friend longer than anyone ever. We first met as sophomores in high school in 1969. His Dad had been transfered to Mobile from Chicago, and he was a "newbie" in my class. It didn't take long for us to discover that we shared something in common, and that link was professional wrestling.

We took photos together during the matches in Mobile, then rushed to develop them and have them at the newspaper for the following morning's publication. We trained to wrestle together, and if you saw one of us, you saw the other. We worked together at a local ambulance service, which eventually lead to my career in the funeral business.

When we graduated high school in 1972, I went off to the Air Force, and Michael went to law school. He wrestled during his summers off, particularly in the Memphis and the Gulf Cost area. We never lost contact with each other through the years. I am his youngest son's Godfather, as he is my oldest's sons. To say we have a long history is an understatement.

Today, Michael is the assistant principal of a local high school. Boy... do I have some stories to share with the kids that he teaches. Seriously, I'm truly humbled to add my long time friend's name to my Personal Hall of Fame.