Copyright of Arcadian Vanguard

The various Disgruntled Letters to various wrestling photographers sent by James Bross Jr. are a frequent topic on the show, pointing out the humorous and disgruntled - albeit well-spoken - nature of various letters sent by a fan, pleading for a wrestling photographers "code of conduct" contract.

Origin

The first mention of James Bross Jr. was in Episode 79 during a conversation between TGBL and Howard Baum over some letter correspondence that Howard had received in the 80's during his wrestling photography career, which was also given to TGBL by Pete Lederberg. The letter referenced is number four out of four, written September 7th, 1982.

The Letter

The following was transcribed from the same letter read by TGBL on Episode 79:

“To the photo dealers:

 There seems to be conflict as to how my petition was worded. I believe I made myself clear as to the infractions upon me in the follow up letter. All the infractions were listed by each dealer’s name, so I feel it should be all clear to all of you.

Now, I’m going to make a few more comments. First off, I’m amazed at all the hostility one little petition can cause. I happen to be an AMERICAN citizen, and being such, I feel I have every right to do as I please. For one person to tell me I have no rights, is like saying that my service in Vietnam was for the communists instead of the Americans. It’s obvious that you dealers are not to sign my contract (petition)…writing of your willingness to give me the kind of photo service every American deserves when they flatter you with their money. It’s also obvious that many of you say I do this or that, but are not willing to show or back it up with action.

Gene Gordon – even though you didn’t sign my petition, the letter you sent was very heartwarming. I apologize publicly here – you are surely a man of integrity. America needs more people like you.

Mike O’Hara – after waiting two months for a good photo of The Mummy, I received it today. I was pleased with the photo – as many of the photos I received, it came back with BENDS in it, however, because Michael didn’t put “Photos – Do Not Bend” on the envelope. I have a letter I received before the petition, which states that I am “thoughtless, pompous, asinine, and offensive.” Real great letter sent to a guy who sent the man money to survive, wasn’t it?

Terrance Macholek – here’s a wild one: sends the petition back torn up in a fit of rage; typical irrational sort of act. Doesn’t bother me, though – I have a nice little surprise for ole’ cranky TM. I feel you will never measure up to a fellow like Gene Gordon. Remember also, Terrance – I have friends in Cincinnati, and you’ve not only lost me, but the city.

I am kind of enjoying this, putting this all out in the open so it won’t be a secret as to all the hell I’ve been getting and taking: let’s proceed.

Howard Baum – no response as of yet. This dealer sends me a shot of St. John and Stanley Lane, when I ordered the Bounty Hunters, the Novaks! I say “no ropes,” I get ropes! I also get a Sheepherder photo that is terrible. He says the negative of Buzz Sawyer is destroyed, yet it is on his list. That’s wild, Howard - isn’t it? Then he calls me “insane, ridiculous,” believes I have a complex because I think someone has been laying a bum rap on me, yet I send two photos back and he rips me off for a dollar fifty - whose giving me a bum rap, Howard? You? Grovel over that a little.

 Laura Zoffka – A woman, but certainly not a lady. She says she believes no-one will sign the petition. I never attacked your photography, Laura, yet you attack me and I don’t know why. If you are not guilty of long waiting and substitutions, then why are four other customers telling me you are? They say you were making wild accusations and making others out a liar. She tries to compare me to the Iranians. I’m my own man. My OWN politics. My OWN religion. But for what it’s worth, I’m an American. If I did buy my own camera, I certainly would not charge a dollar twenty-five for less than high quality photos. She wants me to accept her human faults – Laura, I accept your human fault of greed; so does the economy. Everybody yells about the state of the economy – whose fault is the economy? Not mine!

John Lawson – wants his name removed also. You all sound like I’m punishing you, or something. Well, the photos I received weren’t great, but the Stud photo was bent! I certainly can’t figure out how all the photos were bent – maybe we should send a petition to the post office!

Dominick Marcello – I’ll take care of you in my own little way, and then maybe you will sign my petition. Don’t be mad at me; I’m just helping you to survive.

Bruce Viner – no response. No comment. No objections. No petition. No money.
Finally – Mr. Cunliffe. Mister defamation. As you said, there’s no time limit, yet, Mister Viner gets his photos here in two weeks or less. Why can’t you or O’Hara? I’ve certainly been courteous waiting for fifty days for two photos and a want list. Yeah, I may be thoughtless and pompous, asinine, offensive, insane, ridiculous, have a persecution complex, as you say, “Joe Discourteous”, fanatical, callous, arrogant, rude…however, Joe, I’ve never been a crook or a criminal. Boy, when you add up all those words, that’s twelve defamations of character to your one. I’d really like to know who should be suing – you, or me? If you intent not to apologize to me, don’t expect me to fly to Pennsylvania on a welfare cheque! I don’t even have a job!

…and to think you all expect ME to help YOU survive! In my years on this planet, I’ve never been so insulted and humiliated in my life. All my life, I’ve caught hell from Americans. I’ve struggled and have met with hardships in every walk, but I’d never thought I’d lose respect from other Americans. You all sign contracts in every business venture you undertake! It is both necessary and expedient if we are to have a better America, then we must start with ourselves. Lashing out at me is not going to solve anything, and tearing up my petition is kind of childish. You know this little hobby of collecting wrestling photos is supposed to be enjoyable. You all take the fun out it! I really enjoyed collecting photos for a while; getting good services is, in my opinion, a reason for making the dealer sign a petition or a contract. All through this, I’ve been very patient putting up with a lot of hell. All through this, I’ve welcomed letters and opinions: what started out as a good thing, has turned into a disaster. How long do you all expect me to wait for photos? How many bent photos am I supposed to put up with? How long was I to keep getting slapped in the face until the pain was too much to bear? How many customers are feeling the same way I do now, but are not man or woman enough to take a stand?
 
I guess that is enough said for one day. I’ll welcome any comments from anybody. I’m thankful that Mr. Gordon sees a little good in me. You know, Gene, it says in the Bible “pride cometh before the fall.” I guess I’ve hurt a few prides, haven’t I, sir? When the rest of those kids in the business grow up, maybe they will understand the wisdom of the Bible. I hope you finally agree with me that I was in the right to do what I’ve done. The time is just too short to worry about photos when my own survival is my only concern.

I suppose there’ll be no more letters or money coming your way unless you sign the contract. NONE.

Regards,

James Bross Jr.
  Norwood, OH.”

Addendum

During the 2018 Christmas Star Wars show, TGBL mentioned to the group - including such co-hosts as Howard Baum - that he had a handwritten letter stapled to the front of the original letters, and didn't disclose it because of the uncertainty of the name referenced, but deduced that it was addressed to Howard Baum due to just writing the last name - Baum - and mentioning the $1.50 owed to Bross Jr. The letter is transcribed as follows:

"Baum,

I still have the money order for $1.50 I sent you, and received no photos in return. You’d better get on the stick. I’ve already done you damage, but it’s your own fault for the way you do business. So send the $1.50 with your apology, because it’s just a matter of time before you learn even a more difficult lesson. You do one customer dirty, and before you know it, you lose the whole town. People don’t like to see when one customer is treated unfairly – have I made myself clear?"

Links:

Jim_Cornette_&_Brian_Last_Look_Over_A_Letter_From_An_Unhappy_Photo_Customer

Jim Cornette & Brian Last Look Over A Letter From An Unhappy Photo Customer

Audio excerpt from the 2nd Anniversary Show where Jim Cornette and TGBL read the letter.

Part 1 of the letter (Copyright of Arcadian Vanguard)

Part 2 of the letter (Copyright of Arcadian Vanguard)

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