I tried to stay out of it, but it was hard. The school was on a plantation and the boys all worked the field. We would get up early to go to Mass, then have tea and bread for breakfast before going to class. After school, we would work in the field planting sweet potatoes, bananas, and more. We raised pigs, cows, and goats.
Each night was the same. We would eat dinner usually the chicken or pig that was raised there , and we would do our homework. We got to play a little on the weekends — I remember playing soccer and baseball. I also ran track there. I did that at the Marshalls, too. I was very fast, and back in the Marshall Islands, I'd always win contests.
The prize was always candy, which I gave to my sister Vicky. It was hard because Henry and I wouldn't see our family for two years. We only saw them in our third year during summer vacation. I remember spending Christmases at the school when all the other kids went home to see their families. It was sad. The place was so empty. We had no phones and no way to travel home. I remember learning how to play the tuba in school, and that was cool.
I played it in the marching band, while Henry played sax.
I remember one day we were waiting for a boat — the band would play to welcome people off the boat — and Henry dropped his mouthpiece into the water. I dove into the water between the pier and the boat to get it. I was not afraid, but Henry was. Henry didn't like the water as much as I did. I remember trying to teach him how to dive, but he couldn't. I'd rather be in the ocean than anywhere else, brah. I never liked school, so I acted out a lot. I was the ringleader who would convince my friends to go out late and surf. I was a bad boy. I got beat in school by the teachers just like I did at home, but I was smart.
I might not have been book smart, but the Superfly always learns from his experiences. I would always pad my back with something, knowing full well they would hit me in the same spot on my back. You catch on when you're a rascal like I was. We got beat a lot of times because of those fights I mentioned. There was a worker who would watch the boys fight and then would break it up after a while.
Eventually, our parents brought us home. I stopped playing tuba — that's for sure. That was school property. It was a really dangerous building built by the Spaniards right after the SpanishAmerican War. It was the only thing left standing — everything else had been bombed or crumbled. The stairs that went up to the bells were gone, but there were wooden ladders in their place that you could climb up. Mostly older kids were assigned to ring it because it was such a big bell.
Little guys like us would just literally hang from the rope and hardly move it. My parents sent us to another boarding school, Assumption, for three years or so in Majuro in the Marshall Islands — again not seeing much of my family. There was one building for the school, and the boys helped build a dormitory out of brick and mortar. They also built the girls dormitory and a convent for the nuns.
While we were there, we figured out how to cook and how to wash and iron our own uniforms. The school was by the ocean, and we would all fish for food. I was used to that already. Some boys would take the net out and hold it as the other boys pounded on the water and chased the fish into the nets.
The boys would carry big bags over their shoulders and fill it with fish for the month. One day, I was surfing and saw a little girl being swallowed up by the waves. I dove in and dragged her out of the ocean. Her family invited me to their home for dinner. I remember thinking how nice it was to have a home-cooked meal. I had resented my family for sending me away, but I understood why they did it. I don't think of myself as a hero. I never have. This brudda just does what he does without thinking too much about it. Just like climbing that steel cage at Madison Square Garden, I just dove in the water to help that girl without giving it much thought.
I love everybody, brudda. I didn't want to see that girl hurt. It's hard for me to say this, but the years I spent at boarding school and at a church near my house were the only years I ever spent in a classroom. It was always a challenge for me to stay focused enough to learn.
Some days they would take us outside and we would sit under a tree as the nuns read us stories. But I was never good at reading. If I was not good at something, I didn't want to do it. I'm good at math, but reading and writing and spelling were like poison to me. They spoke some English in the Gilbert Islands, so I had to learn by listening to it.
That helped me communicate a little, but I never figured out to read or write in English. My mother tried to help me learn, but I was stubborn and wanted nothing of it. She probably got tired of me not wanting any part of it. She was a very strong-willed and highspirited person, but I guess I was just too much to handle. Triumph Books. Archived from the original on August 29, The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Spectrum wrestling [Motion picture].
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Jimmy Snuka Murder Charges Dropped – Rolling Stone
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Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story
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I love the fans. Everything I've ever done is for them. That's what makes my life these days so hard and extremely frustrating. I'm writing this just a week or so after having had major reconstructive ankle surgery. The Superfly isn't in the ring. Instead, he's in a recliner for the next six weeks with his ankle high in the air.
This is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done. Even worse, I will not be able to get back in the ring for six months after that, at least. But I had to have the surgery. It was a hard decision to get it done, but I have been pretending my ankle hasn't been bothering me for the last 30 years, brah! I spent years taping up my ankle, through torn ligaments and complete tears, because when I wrestled, I didn't feel anything.
I might've been in agony every time I was outside the ring, but once I was inside it, forget it brah. It just felt fine. I was in my element. For so many years, I was numb to it. Feeding off my fans made all the pain go away. But as I've gotten older and matches have gotten fewer and fewer over the years, the pain caught up with the Superfly. I can honestly say I haven't been percent for ring action for many years. Like I said, I masked the pain.
I tried not to see how swollen my ankle was after each show. I pretended everything was okay, and that it didn't bother me. I ignored the pain. Each time I'd work an independent show and couldn't get to the top rope to do my signature Superfly leap, it reminded me how hurt I really was. There were way too many times I had to do it from the second rope, or worse, the first rope.
I didn't like that. My wife, Carole, told me fans didn't notice, but I knew they did. That's what they came for -- to watch me fly!
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I'm 68 years old as I write this, but all this pain has had nothing to do with getting older. Yes, maybe the years took their toll on my ankle, but never my ability. If my ankle was percent, I know I'd be able to jump off the top rope for sure. If I hadn't abused my ankle for all these years, I know I could have done any show from the top rope. Actually, the third rope would be too low -- I know I could still get to the top of the cage. But I never wanted surgery because I never wanted to be without wrestling. I always needed to be in the ring.
That's my home. I finally realized I needed surgery on November 11, After the parade we had to walk four blocks to get to the bus to bring us home.