Thursday, June 27, 2013

Remembering The Eternally Fabulous Jackie Fargo

When I met "Fabulous" Jackie Fargo back in 2009, some probably wouldn't believe how excited I was.  After all, I'm not from Nashville, Memphis, or even the south.  I was born when Mr. Fargo was largely already into retirement from in-ring action.  I'm a kid of the '80s that grew up in Pittsburgh and, as far as wrestling goes, mainly only watched the WWF.  Be that as it may, with my own knowledge of wrestling history procured throughout the years, I knew that I was meeting someone special.  I knew that it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  I knew that I couldn't pass up the chance.  As soon as "The Fabulous One" entered the room, I knew that I was right.

Fanfest of 2009 in Charlotte, NC was surely one for the books.  The Horsemen were reuniting.  Loads of the greatest wrestling stars of all-time were going to be in one place.  There was even a mini-Memphis wrestling reunion taking shape.  Jerry Jarrett, Lance Russell, Dave Brown, and others who had spent time in Memphis (who really hasn't?) were all on the lineup, as were Jackie and Don Fargo.  From the moment that the two entered the public areas of the convention, I think that everyone knew that new memories from some vintage classics were about to be made.

At the Hall of Heroes banquet and ceremony that weekend, Jackie, his late, real-life brother "Roughhouse" Sonny Fargo, and their wrestling brother Don, were all inducted.  After Jerry Jarrett and Steve Keirn recalled some Fargo memories, the legendary tag team took the stage.  Jackie, at around 80 years of age and as spry as can be, even did his famous "Fargo Strut."  You may remember the strut from years of Buddy Rogers, Ric Flair, and Jeff Jarrett using it, but in the eyes of many, Jackie perfected it.  It's named after the man for a reason.  The duo's antics at their respective autograph and photo sessions later that weekend were equally as entertaining. 

Although I caught a brief glimpse of Jackie Fargo visiting at the 2010 edition of Fanfest, I did not see him again.  I did have the fortune to correspond with him via mail, in which that classic and very "Fabulous" charisma still came shining through.  From signing great inscriptions on photos to using "To" and "From" Christmas labels on the envelopes (something that I will cherish forever), it seemed that despite getting on in years, Jackie was still the classic wrestling character that captivated so many fans throughout several decades.

I don't think that many fans close to my age really understood the magnitude and accomplishments of Jackie Fargo.  Who else became an icon in southern wrestling, but had also left a legendary mark on the hallowed halls of New York's Madison Square Garden?  No matter a hero or a villain in the ring, Fargo made it to the top of his game and stayed there.  He inspired Jerry "The King" Lawler, who took a similar path as far as being able to captivate no matter the region or allegiance to the fans.  He also took his own persona and bestowed it upon a young Stan Lane and Steve Keirn.  The result?  Those sharp-dressed men, The Fabulous Ones.

Although we do have to let go, I'm having trouble using the term "Rest In Peace" when thinking of Mr. Fargo.  It's hard to imagine an eternally energetic soul such as his even taking the time to rest when he can be entertaining the masses or visiting old friends and calling them "pally."  As far as my own memories of the legend, I'll simply never forget his drawling introduction that humbly consisted of "Hi, I'm Jackie Fargo." 

You sure were, Jackie Fargo.  And there won't ever be another one, we can be sure of that.  I don't think that there's anyone else quite "Fabulous" enough.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome Blog!! It was a great weekend!! i to picked up many items I never thought I'd see. See you next year

Jake Jacobs said...

Just found this. Thank you for the wonderful story, so warm and heartfelt. It really touched me! Jackie Mae Fargo Jacobs