Originally, I had different ideas for this blog post:
-The new movie about lucha libre legend, Cassandro that I watched a few weeks ago.
-My trip back to Florida and my planned route/adventures along the way.
-The sudden passing of W4H giant, Tank.
Unfortunately, things are a little wild in Northern New England and more specifically where I'm at in Maine.
On Wednesday, I was hanging with a group of wrestling buddies including Jonny Firestorm and Sgt. Stiff in the Portland area. We had gathered to do a little screening of my wacky wrestling movie and host a costume contest.
After viewing the wrestling movie, one of the bartenders whispered to my buddy about an active shoot about 25 miles away. In Maine, a mile is about a minute drive - give or take. Not to minimize the situation but at first hearing of this, I thought it was a small, isolated out-of-the-norm 1 or 2 person incident and although tragic nothing too be overly concerned about personally.
It didn't take long for the information to come out that 15-20 people had been killed and 30-50 people had been injured. HOLY SHIT!
and WHAT THE FUCK??!!!
My buddy was worried as he and his family lived near the shooting...and even more concerning where the gunman was headed accordingly to the news reports.
I think when you are local to an event the news travels fast and loosely. Not all the statements that you hear or read are true, but often you hear things before the professionals let you know.
We packed up the event then made the 80 mile drive back north - passing the exit that would lead just a few miles to where the incident was happening.
I'm about 40-45 miles from Lewiston and I have friends and acquaintances in that that vicinity. In fact, Donnie Drake, Shannen Embry, Jaxton Wheeler & Jayden Mayne were all residents in that community. I've actually filmed wrestling matches for the website in that area and have wrestled pro indy matches in the city.
As well, I have some non-wrestling friends in that area - one of which knew 4 of the victims personally.
Maine is a small community. I sometimes joke that - don't assume we know everybody in Maine, but yes we probably do.
I avoided Facebook Wednesday night and Thursday. I've only glanced at it today. I'm not sure if I'm trying to avoid seeing stuff or what. Just a quick sign-on shows that Paul Hudson went to high school with one of the victims.
It's inevitable that I'll know somebody or know somebody who knows somebody who was a victim of this horrific non-sense.
I was trying to get my yard cleaned up while enjoying some abnormal seasonal warmth when 2 of my neighbors came outside to chat. One knew the manager of the restaurant and the other had known one of the victims in passing through work.
It's been an anxious couple of days and I'm hoping they'll find the guy (dead or alive) sooner rather than later.
Schools, businesses and events are all being canceled or closed. Tomorrow is supposed to be the unofficial Trick-or-Treat day but I think that'll be canceled or diminished significantly. A local pro wrestling event that I had planned on attending has been canceled.
I'm not sure what to say.
To add to the oddness of life, I received a text from Tristan Baldwin (Aryx Quinn) with an obituary of bodybuilder Tank who appears on Wrestler4Hire.
I wasn't close to Tank, but Tristan seemed to know him fairly well. It's insane how quickly life can come and go. How you can know somebody in their prime then they are gone.
Tank was definitely a character and it's unfortunate his time was cut short. I'm not sure what else to say.
I don't know if I have an ending that fits this post. It's probably the most tragic post I've ever written.
The summer has closed up and I'm heading back to warmer climates. I'd like to stop for some matches, but I'm in a weird mood. I may just truck it all the way to Tampa as quickly as possible.
Life must go on, so I'll put my head down to continue improving this website. I look forward to catching a few World Series baseball games which will be a nice distraction and let's hope at some point soon all this chaos and craziness tones itself down.