By DAN WHITTLE
The Whittle psyche is finally coming out of the shadows ...
Within minutes of Sunday nights' TV news flash that famous Hollywood star Zsa Zsa had died at age 99, I received three phone calls and five emails from friends such as Dan Howell.
"I remember when Whittle had a tussle with Zsa Zsa," Howell howled loudly over the Internet.
How famous is Zsa Zsa? So famous, there's no need to share the Hungarian Hottee's last name of Gabor!
For 50 years in newspapering, I'd worked to be known as a professional writer. Since 1989, I've hunkered down in darkness and shame since the Whittle manhood was put to shambles by the actress.
And thanks to a headline - "Zsa Zsa OUTMUSCLES Whittle" - written by editor-type Mike West in our former newspaper 27 years ago, I'm known forever as the wimpy weakling who slinked back to my newspaper office after Glamour Girl Zsa Zsa threw a "body block" on me that would make a linebacker for the Tennessee Titans proud.
For a 70-plus-year-old female, Zsa Zsa moved like a cat as she showed distress about me being in her room with a camera.
Normally, the Hollywood starlet liked publicity.
I recall the fateful day like it was yesterday when the Hollywood Glamour Girl glittered all over me as I attempted to give Zsa Zsa some more publicity.
My brief "touch" with Hollywood Glamour helped prove the news-gathering business can be both dangerous and fascinating.
It was the day my "Deep Throat" confidential source (former Ruther-ford County Sheriff Truman Jones) tipped me that within minutes, the famous starlet would be served a warrant from officers Sandra Cullen and Donald Moorehead, charging Zsa Zsa with skipping town without paying a bill to Murfreesboro hair stylist Jerry W. Perry.
Since I was in place outside Zsa Zsa's Garden Plaza Hotel room, I walked in with the sheriff's officers, when the starlet asked firmly: "Who the hell are you?!"
"I'm nobody, the officers are the ones you need to deal with," I replied meekly.
And events went smoothly, until I brought my little camera out from behind my back, and started snapping pictures of the Hollywood actress being served a warrant.
That's when she made her "body block" on the Whittle torso, slamming me into the wall and door facing.
The story went global when Lt. Moorehead told an Associated Press reporter: "She literally threw him (Whittle) out of the room. But then, she calmed down."
Thankfully, the Whittle ego was the only thing bruised by the famous woman's "body block."
Although Zsa Zsa thrived on publicity, apparently she didn't like the public notice she was about to receive due to a warrant charging her with leaving Rutherford County without paying her bill, after Mr. Perry had coiffed her hair in preparation for an appearance that night at the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration in nearby Shelbyville.
Was it fate that I had also been in attendance at that night's celebration? While inspectors at the Celebration were checking horses for possible illegal "soring" of horses, Zsa Zsa showed a "little leg" while trudging through the mud from the middle of the show ring. Being a rainy night, Zsa Zsa was also stepping high, much like the walking horses, when a stud in the stands, while wearing a fancy diamond studded cowboy hat with a huge shiny belt buckle, emitted a shrill "cat whistle" of appreciation toward Zsa Zsa.
As Zsa Zsa walked on, she hiked her expensive full-length evening gown a little higher ... it wasn't the first time that she'd shown a little ankle and more.
To stud-in-the-stands' delight, Zsa Zsa let out an appreciative giggle for the mostly-male attention from grand stands, and then, she stopped, smile up at the crowd, before adding an extra little body wiggle or two, which brought on more catcalls ...
That's when we all knew that famous former beauty queen Zsa Zsa was in town.
Sadly, the likes of Glamorous Girl Zsa Zsa will never appear again at the Celebration.