June 1988: Lewboo and Brands stories

6/1/88
Stats for my first freestyle wrestling season at Iowa (1987-88):
15 Wins, 20 Losses.

Tournament placings: None.

Injuries: strained knee ligaments (both knees), separated sternum, black eye, bruised rib.

Season Highlight: Winning a match at freestyle nationals, and coming within a few points of qualifying for Olympic Trials.

6/2/88
Today I drilled takedowns on the takedown machine and threw the dummy a bit. My rib feels better--not 100%, but better. It should be ready in another week. I've been watching tapes, analyzing stuff, learning new stuff. And I felt very good on the dummy today.

The Brands will be All-Americans next year. I've got to keep up with them. 88-89 is a crucial year for me. Davis, Darkus, Heard, Glover, Caceras, Calabrese. Those are the top guys at 125.5. And Penrith and Melchiore, if they're at 125.5 Terry Brands has wrestled Davis, Darkus, Heard, and maybe Glover. I've only wrestled Davis and Ceceras. Steve Knight might be up there too. I've got to wrestle them all.

I think I'm going to improve a lot this year. I feel it. Barry's going to help me. Penrith and the Brands and the new guys will be good partners too.

Oh, I got a job as a waiter at the Iowa River Power Company. Changas closed. I'll make more money at a steak house than at a Mexican restaurant anyway.

I love summer. I can wear shorts and T-shirts every day.

Well, f--- it, I'm inspired.

6/3/88
I wrestled today with some guy named Niko. I felt good, but I got tired very quickly. That's okay. I felt good. I didn't go full-speed--only about 75-80%, and only for about 15 minutes.

Gable said he'll get me a key to the arena and the wrestling office so that I can work out at late at night when I want. That will be good.

I went downtown a couple of hours ago and ate dinner at Pizza Hut with Lennie Zalesky and his girlfriend Maria. Maria said she's going to introduce me to some friend of hers who is an Iowa cheerleader. I guess they feel the need to domesticate me.

6/5/88
I went to see a movie last night with Lewboo, Penrith, and Tom Brands, then we went to the Field House (bar). Some girls came over to our table and we were making introductions, and I said, "This is Randy Lewis. He's an Olympic champ."

He downplayed it and immediately changed the subject, which I was kind of surprised by, because he is kind of, um...he likes to talk about himself. So I figured, okay, I misjudged him and I was being really shallow by introducing him as an Olympic champ, because he doesn't want to use that to his advantage with women.

As soon as they left he said, "Tarpley, don't do it like that. You wait til I go to the bathroom, and while I'm GONE you tell them I'm an Olympic champ."

6/6/88
I wrestled live today against Kennevan. I killed him. I nailed him with a step-to-the-outside lateral drop from his shot. I also scored with a fireman's carry, an arm spin, a few singles, lots of counters and lots of backpoints. I gut-wrenched him several times and scored big with my power half.

Tonight I watched Tom Brands break up with his girlfriend Chris because she got mad at him for not calling her today. He got mad back and snarled, "I don't answer to nobody, not you, nobody." Then she said, "Okay, forget it, never mind." And he said, "No, I don't want to see you anymore. You're psycho."

He's a piece of work.

We're going to go down to the Field House on Friday night and try to pick up girls. It should be fun.

6/7/88
Today I went downtown, had a chocolate shake at Dill Burger, bought my 2 required textbooks for summer session (which starts next week), then walked over to the Iowa City swimming pool. No one was there yet, so I sat down by the river and read. I went for a quick dip in the river, then walked back to the pool. There were some cute moms in the kiddie pool, so I paid my $1.50 and went in. I ended up playing with a bunch of toddlers who were apparently from a nursery school. Their teacher was pretty hot--Suzanne. I wouldn't mind having a kid. I like toddlers.

At 2pm I walked to the arena and mopped the mats, then wrestled with some new guy named Eric. I didn't do as well as I thought I would. We went about 50-50 on takedowns, but I got a few more turns. I did score another step-to-the-outside lateral drop though--right to his back.

I exhausted myself. I'm out of shape.

But life is good.

6/11/88
I wrestled with Barry today on the mat. He beat the s--- out of me. I only scored two turns--well, a couple of others, but on those he reversed me and put me on my back.

Mike Hruska is going to be my apartment mate this year. Jim Heffernan and his girlfriend came by the Heff House today looking for Brooks. Jim warned me that Hruska is mentally deranged. We'll get along fine.

6/16/88
I wrestled with Regan and Niko today, going about even with both of them. Regan weighs 146, Niko weighs 153, so I'm wrestling well. I'm very tired and sore.

6/17/88
I'm on the front steps. It's about 1am. There is no power in the house, so this is the only place I can write. My brother sent me a bunch of photos of my 2 little nieces. I sat down on a bench and just stared at them for about a half hour. God, you take one look at little Emily and she's the entire universe. I've got to go home and see them. I want a kid now. I want a little girl just like her.

6/18/88
I'd like to get married to a nice, smart woman and play with my baby daughter at the kiddie pool on the weekends instead of hanging out with the wrestlers at the Field House.

6/21/88
I wrestled Terry Brands today. I did pretty well--maybe not quite 50%. He's so strong that he catches a lot of my mistakes. If you mess up a move he puts you on your back. I did very well countering his outside singles.

I sat next to a girl named Jenny in my class today. I like her. She's so sincere. She said she went home to see her dad for Father's Day. She works at JC Penney in the mall. She's from Prophetstown, Illinois.

6/27/88
Oh, man, you should've seen me against Terry Brands and Jon Anderson from Drake the other day. I was beating Terry and going even with Anderson. I couldn't f---ing believe it. That was on Thursday. Then on Friday I f---ing mauled a couple of Colorado twins, who I think going to UNI in the fall. I feel very good. I'm wrestling Tom Brands tomorrow. Last time I went about 40% with him. I also really need to start going hard with Davis and Penrith if I'm ever going to really progress against Brands and the Steiners.

6/30/88
I'm on the front steps of the Heff House, maybe for the last time. I'm moving into the new apartment tomorrow.

Camps are in full swing. We had a "Red Flag" practice yesterday for the camp kids to observe. I went with Terry Steiner and didn't do so well. Part of it is that he's too big. He also shoots well, though. I've got to do more offense against him.

I'm starting to like that girl Jenny from my class. She really is a sweetheart. I invited her to lift weights at the wrestling room "sometime." I need to see her in some skimpy gymwear.

Those f---ing Steiner twins, Troy and Terry, were back in there wrestling again this morning, and when I was leaving the arena this evening they were coming back in for another workout.

I listened to Gable speak to the campers over at the arena tonight. He talked about his sister, he talked about his match against Owings; he said a lot of interesting stuff. In answer to a question about if he had any regrets, he said that if he had to do it all over again he'd be more sincere and more dedicated. Interesting. I like that guy more and more.

He said that losing that last match in college helped him. It helped him grow. It helped guide him. He said, "You know, when something bad happens, you don't just quit and say, 'That's it.' You keep going."

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