Feb 4th, 2018 Update - For Moose
It has been a while since I've been able to produce any content. Part of it is due to a few busy weeks at work, the other is because of a creative slump. Actually, that last part is not entirely true. There have been plenty of ideas brewing around, just not enough energy and will power to bring them into existence. I have been dreading one project in particular. Last night, I pushed myself to work through it in one long session. The result is the "Frankie Getz Tribute" video on YouTube and Facebook.
On January 13th, the Warriors of Wrestling locker room learned the tragic news that we lost one of our own. Joe "Moose" Pizzarro, aka Frankie Getz, was found dead by a self inflicted wound earlier that day. The shock and devastation we felt, not only at his passing but the fact that it was a suicide, was overwhelming.
Warriors of Wrestling had their first show of 2018 later that night. As one can imagine, the mood of the wrestlers was dark and morale was low. We quietly comforted each other as best we could. Some tried to have light hearted conversations, others stared vacantly into the distance.
At the beginning of the show, all the wrestlers walked out and surrounded the ring for a ten bell salute. In wrestling, this is how we honor our fallen. Moose's name wasn't mentioned, and we could hear fans in the audience asking each other who it was that had died. We all filed back into the dressing area and began preparations for our matches. The show must go on, after all.
The rest of the night went by pretty quickly. With performances to distract us, the mood lightened. Overall, I believe the show went well and we had a packed house. The night was, of course, bittersweet.
In the days that followed, I approached Warriors with the idea of doing a tribute show with all proceeds going to Moose's family. This was especially important because, even though Moose had dedicated his life to being a member of the NYPD, his family would not receive his pension as his death occurred when he was off duty and was the result of a suicide.
Everyone loved the idea and plans were quickly put in place to have the show take place on February 9th (as of the time of this writing, this upcoming Friday) at FunStation on Staten Island, the location of our regular WOW shows.
In addition, I thought it would be a great idea to design and make t-shirts for the event that we would sell (1) to give friends, family, and fans a physical keepsake and (2) to give more money to the family. All proceeds are to be donated. With the great help of some fellow WOW Training Center members (Donnell Johnson aka Isaiah Wold and David Cohen), the shirts were designed, ordered, and delivered with time to spare.
The last item that needed to be checked off for the show was the actual tribute video. I offered to do it, but ended up waiting until 7 days before the event to actually create it. If I am honest, it is because I wanted to avoid reliving the moments of learning of his death, the tears and sorrow of the locker room, seeing his body in the casket at his wake, the exhausted look in the eyes of his friends and family. I knew it had to be done, and I had promised to deliver.
After a few hours of searching through videos to find clips to use, editing, and then re-editing, I was able to publish the video through ME Productions on YouTube and Facebook. It was an emotional roller-coaster to make. The videos and clips had me smiling and laughing, as well as having me in tears. It was all worth it, though. The video received an immediate warm reception. The most rewarding part is seeing Moose's friends and families comment their approval of the video and giving their thanks. If the video in any way can bring a smile to their faces, then I feel successful.
Also on Facebook here.
None of us know why Moose took his own life. He always greeted us with a "hey, handsome" or "hey, beautiful" and a warm, solid hug. He was older than all the other students and had a family with two beautiful children. There was a solidity to his presence. You truly felt like you could rely on him to be there if you needed him to be. As far as any of us could observe, there were no signs that pointed towards depression.
We will most likely never learn what happened to lead him to this decision, or what thoughts he had in his head. It is something we must force ourselves to not dwell upon. What we can do, however, is remember the good times.
Moose, I miss seeing you in training and in the locker room at shows. You were a great friend to everyone you met. Your passion for wrestling and your steady improvement in the ring was a joy to watch. I hope the show we put on for you this Saturday in your name is one you can be proud of.
If you would like to donate to the family, here is a link to a GoFundMe.
For anyone out there that either knows someone going through a difficult time or is experiencing depression for themselves, please take a moment to visit this website or call this number: