Fans began lining up a half-hour early for the chance to meet professional wrestling icon Jerry “The King” Lawler at the Hardin County Community Fair & Horse Show.
Before attending to the long line that stretched from beneath the restaurant pavillion to near the Ultimate Championship Wrestling ring, Lawler met up with a few fans restricted by medical conditions in the fair’s office.
Following an 18-day stay at Norton Children’s Hospital, Jacob Haddock, 17, of Hodgenville, only had been home for four days. He received clearance from his physician to go meet one of his favorite wrestlers.
“I’m a big (World Wrestling Entertainment and former World Wrestling Federation) fan,” he said. “(Lawler) is one of my favorites. This is a big moment for me.”
Since getting out of the hospital, he has been catching up on what he’s missed in the wrestling world by watching hours of recorded programs.
Haddock said he was “very excited” about meeting “The King” in person.
With a couple of months worth of healing, Haddock left with a photo on his aunt’s phone and a memory forever etched in his mind.
No sooner than Lawler stepped from the office did the line of waiting fans begin screaming and squealing, with cellphones being raised like the hand of a champion wrestler.
Thomas Flatt was among the first in line after arriving about an hour early.
The 57-year-old recalled watching Lawler “drop the strap” on his opponents at Louisville Gardens on several occasions, but never has had the chance to meet him.
“He’s the king of wrestling, man,” he said. “This is great.”
He brought a 22-year-old copy of a then-WWF magazine with Lawler on the cover to have autographed. He also planned on making sure he had his picture taken with Lawler.
Deeper in line stood Hope Rogers, who appeared less than enthusiastic.
“She’s in line because her husband’s in line,” said David Rogers, standing nearby.
David remembered watching Lawler in the ring from the time he was a child. Saturdays at noon, he would be on the couch in front of the TV watching wrestling from Memphis, Tennessee, and listening to Lance Russell and Dave Brown call the action.
“(I) watched them many a time,” he said.
Although she admitted to being a fan as a teen and attending a wrestling event with her uncle, Hope was there to take a…