Eventhough I haven't been blogging for very long, I am surprised that I have never been asked the question about why I chose Andre. But because I have special feelings about him, I'd like to explain why I chose him to be the face of this blog.
Here are the few quick associations that come to mind about Andre the Giant:
- His website states that he was 7'4 and weighed 500 pounds. Born in France in 1946 and died there as well in 1993.
- I've never watched wrestling, so I never knew of that part of his career.
- His first acting job was in my favorite tv show as a kid: The Six Million Dollar Man (he played BigFoot).
- He may be most widely known as Fezzik in The Princess Bride (a man with a gift of rhyme). This is really how I came to know of him.
- There is a great line that Fezzik says in The Princess Bride, that I use up at the top of the header. Some other characters are just looking at how amazingly huge he is and Fezzik responds in a very innocent way saying "It's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest, I don't even exercise." It's as if he is surprised that he has gotten this big. I identified with that feeling as well.
- I actually saw him in person, trying to get into a limo in Tokyo, Japan in about 1992. We must have been staying at the same hotel. He was so angry because he couldn't go in head-first (and turn-around to sit), yet he also couldn't back in. Though he was angry, I thought that his inner emotion was more likely sadness and a feeling of isolation just because he did not fit in this world. He didn't fit and everyone got to see it...every day of his life. As another big man in Japan, I identified with this frustration and felt a strong compassion for him that continues to this day.
Even today, I can say with certainty that I am nearly always "the largest person in the room", almost regardless of where I go. If I went to my grocery store right now, I would be the heaviest person there. Same with my work, etc. Throughout my entire life, being called a "big guy" has really meant (to me) that I am a "fat guy". That is some messed up thinking, I know, and I am working on how I think of myself (and shrinking myself, too!).
But when I started this blog, it was a fast connection to think of Andre the Giant. I didn't want my own picture up there (at the time) and simply thought of the biggest person I knew. It also helped that I was sympathetic toward Andre (after Tokyo). Finally, both he and I have been called "gentle giants", a term that I happily accept. Andre seemed a natural choice to be the face of "Big Clyde". I also thought it would be fun.
So, from time to time, I will use some photos of Andre that might add to a post. Just to make it easier, I will likely refer to him as if he is Big Clyde, just another character, played by Andre the Gentle Giant. I hope you like it.