March 24, 2002
Strauss Auto Parts,
3755 Aramingo Avenue,
The skies may have been overcast, but the atmosphere in Philly was charged with excited anticipation for KANE's arrival.
Martin and I got here at noon - exactly - and there was already a LARGE crowd gathered! I spoke to a couple of officers on hand, and was told I probably would NOT get to meet the wrestler since there was a time factor and so many people were already there.
I was also told that, unlike last year in New Jersy, KANE would NOT be signing past the allotted one hour. Grinning to myself, people always seem to sell KANE short, I headed for the yellow balloons that signified the end of the line. I noticed a young man four people ahead of me, hands behind his back - a sign reading "Last person in line" with an arrow pointing down, dangling from his finger-tips. I let out a groan and turned to Martin, my 10 year old KANE-ite. I had spotted Kane's Lady Fire when I walked up to the line, and noted that she was smart enough to have come early enough to get a pretty good spot in line. KNOWING that I would NEVER have the chance to get close to KANE, I directed him to Kane's Lady Fire and her husband and asked him to ask her if he could stand with them. From the goodness and graciousness of their hearts, they agreed, and I had to keep tears from flowing.
I wasn't the last person in line for long - the police detail had to set up a larger "corral" ( I SWEAR to you that is what it felt like!) to keep everyone "in line"! I'd told the officers who'd greeted me that I was there to pretty much take pictures of the event (I garnered a chuckle from the two Officers at that, and bid good luck! with a warning that others wouldn't take kindly to anyone stepping in front of them to get pictures) and get a first hand feel for fan reaction to KANE, so I settled in listening to comments from the HUGE cross section of fans around me. I have only been traveling to see KANE for a year, and in that year have only been to four shows and two KANE signings. But my experiences among the KANE fans have been the stuff that keeps memories alive. I've heard others say the KANE fans are THE Best - I HAVE to agree!!!!!
A conversation was started on how Professional Wrestling has changed over the years, and moved to thoughts and feelings on the "Roster Split" and what it could mean for the wrestlers and fans. At about this time, some tykes in the line next to ours started jumping up and down and SCREAMING ~ "He's here! HE'S HERE!!! It's KANE!!! He's HERE!!!" ~ LAWS!! I tell ya, I don't know HOW they saw him! I was taller than they and could see NOTHING! But there arose such cheering, I knew it to be so - and I finally got a glimpse of a limo sliding into the parking lot, to sit poised on the outskirts of the gathered crowd. One of the garage bay doors slid opne, and the limo disappeared inside. It was 12:50pm. A scant few minutes later, another round of cheering went up as KANE entered the canopied area and took his seat.
The line seems to move quickly at this point, and in no time, I had made it to the top of the first "S" curve in front of the booth. KANE had a good rythm going, taking a color glossy from his right, signing it, handing it to the eager fan with one hand while reaching with the other for a handshake and giving a few words. The police and a few of the Strauss staff didn't allow for much banter from the fans, quickly ushing the greeted fan out of the area so the next one could be received. They also didn't allow for many pictures to be snapped from where I was. :(
A rather TALL officer stepped in front of me and stated there was a three picture max, so I stepped back to allow others to get their shots.
Now the line moved rather slowly - and I hadn't even gotten to the top of the next "S" curve when some of the guys turned and told all within ear shot that they were beginning to steer people away from the line. It was 1:45pm. I started craning my neck to see if I could spot Martin, Kane's Lady Fire and her husband, Chris - seeing none of them, I moved back to the yellow tape and looked to see if I could spot a white t-shirt laying anywhere on the table, indicating that Martin had been there and given KANE his gifts. The table contained only the boxes of Strauss products, color glossies, some Sharpies, and KANE's forearms and hands.
I decided at 2:00 to leave the line - and go stand at the bay doors, thinking the others would spot me there. At this time, a SLEW of police cars made a grand entrance, sirens agoin - and some hefty sized officers that were all business moved through the crowd to the front. People were still moving through the canopied area, KANE was still greeting them and signing autographs. Martin and Kane's Lady Fire were soon at my side, telling me of their KANE encounter, and pretty happy with their overall experience.
Martin was able to get a few close ups, but the camera somehow fell off the table where Martin had placed it, and we were only able to recover two or three of those he took. :( Now, I was NOT present this time when my son finally came face to face with his favorite wrestler ( I should say ONE of his favs - he's CRAZY about 'Taker too!) and I don't mean to mis-represent here, so I'm not gonna quote. Kane's Lady Fire told me with some surprise that KANE remembered Martin from the last time we saw him at the signing in Jersey!! The gentleman standing next to KANE at the table remembered him too! Martin was estatic - but tried - HE said - to NOT act like he was crazy, LOL. The three exchanged greetings and Martin handed KANE a t-shirt he'd had made for him, along with another of his cards from this year's wrestling season, where Martin is shown in his wrestling getup in what he considers a classic wrestling stance. KANE took the gift with grace, and started to sign a glossy for Martin.
Martin had broken his arm some seven weeks ago, and had been that past Friday to have the orginal cast removed and the bones x-rayed to see how the healing had progressed. When he'd received the word that he had to go another three and a half weeks with another cast, he asked for a red one - wanting KANE to sign it. Well, when KANE reached for the glossy and began to sign, Martin asked if he'd sign his cast. KANE did. Martin was in heaven - AND got a glossy for his dear old mom!!!!
I can not BEGIN to thank Kane's Lady Fire and her DELIGHTFUL husand Chris for giving Martin the opportunity to see KANE again, up close and personal, and give KANE a little something. I will be forever grateful for their open KANE-dness and truly warm embrace.
KANE ended his autograh session at 2:30pm (NOT past 2:00pm, huh - yeah RIIIIIGHT!) and his limo driver was a bit aggressive in getting him off the lot and on his way. We soon followed to make the two and a half hour trip back to Rockville, Maryland., after stopping to have an early dinner in the area.
On the way home, Martin told me over and over again what it was like seeing KANE again. The enthusiasm he exhibited in the telling, the chance to see and hear first hand the fan enthusiasm for KANE and wrestling in general, and being able to get a good glimpse of one of THE most talented and skilled wrestlers giving of himself to his fans - all served to make this another memorable day for me, and one I'd repeat if given the chance.
That man has NO idea what he has done for my son - years ago, and now. I think, if it's possible, I'm more dedicated than ever to do what I can to promote and support this stellar person! I didn't get a chance to tell him he has staunchly devoted fans that want to thank him for all he has been and continues to be - that the sacrifices he makes in order to entertain us have NOT gone unnoticed and are DEEPLY appreciated. I only hope KANE saw what I did, the sheer NUMBER of fans there to see him and show their support for him, and that he will always remember how much we want and admire him.
[The Main Squeeze][Big Hugs][Embraceable You][The Elusive Touch]
[Delicate Strokes][The Grappler's Grasp][Love's Sweet Caress][Let's Cuddle]
[Whispers in the Dark (Alternate Message Board)][KANE Gazin'][Links]
The character of KANE is ©WWFE and Titan Sports. No infringment intended. This is a non-profit fan based site. I am not KANE, I do not know KANE personally. All digitally enhanced graphics and script for AHUG4KANE is ©Skald Qayin 2001, unless otherwise noted. If you see anything you'd like, please e-mail Qayin at AHUG4KANE. Site founded 8.03.01