3/13/22 Ginzburg’s Gab Blog
In one of noted comedian Patton Oswalt’s network specials, he speaks of becoming a young widower after his wife dies at the tender age of 46.
His wife, a brilliant author, didn’t believe in fate, Karma, a higher entity’s will, or anything along those lines.
She exclaimed to him, simply, “It’s chaos, be kind.”
Now I had spoken to my friend JJ Maguire just the other day and we were planning and scheming as always. JJ was Executive Producer on a Sci-Fi spectacular with a script in hand that he was exceedingly excited about. A potential franchise, he had me on board as a Producer, desired to bring some pro wrestling legends on as actors, and his mind was going a mile a minute as always. A brilliant musician best known for his WWE entrance music themes with partner Jimmy Hart, he was also a warm, funny, eclectic, exceedingly polite, and incredibly talented guy who stayed in shape, had boundless energy and was a shrewd businessman as well. And while Covid considerably slowed our progress with the film, he was ever networking and had an exciting lead for us that he was furiously working on.
Hey, Social Security-aged guys still have dreams, too.
I was down with anything he said. Simply put, I believed in the guy. Vegas? Meeting? Spring? Set it up, JJ. Hey, let’s go for it.
But when I went online yesterday and saw a post that JJ had died, I was just reeling and blurted out a shrill and sorrowful “Oh no!!!” In shock, I just read it over and over again, kept looking at his picture, and realized that, yes, JJ had indeed passed. In his sleep, no less.
For whatever odd reason, Patton Oswalt popped in my head.
“It’s chaos, be kind.”
Hearing my distress, my wife, Hong, ran out of the bedroom to see what was wrong. But I realized she “knew” for just the other night I had reacted the very same way when my longtime friend and “production guy” Jeff Archer’s lovely wife, Ann, also passed.
“Oh, no!!!” has become the horrifying sound of “Yet another friend died.”
But I don’t think there was ever a louder “Oh, no!!!” then that time when I went online to discover to my utter horror that my friend, wrestling legend Johnny Valiant, got mowed down by that vehicle, crossing the very same spot in Pittsburgh he had his entire life. Only this time it was a rainy, misty, foggy early morn and the driver just didn’t see him.
All those roads he’d driven. All those miles. And to be killed as a pedestrian in his own backyard. The irony. Poor guy didn’t know what hit him.
We, too, had just spoken a few days before, his voice fresh in my head. We were going to “grab some lunch…soon”
Well, that meal never happened. Nor did the one with Nicole Bass. Tiger Khan. Melissa Coates. Super wrestling agent Scott Epstein. And so many, many other beloved friends I had “just spoken to…”
“It’s chaos, be kind.”
I practice DDP Yoga three times a week, go to the gym regularly, take Tai Chi classes, and quite often get the “You look good for your age” amusing semi-compliment. But it dawns on me that if I do indeed live to 100, I’ll be burying a whole lot of other friends and exclaiming way too many “Oh no’s!” than I want to think about.
Or I could suddenly drop dead tomorrow.
Because “It’s chaos…”
So be kind.
(Photo: JJ Maguire originally published in The Gorilla Position)
Evan Ginzburg was an Associate Producer on The Wrestler and 350 Days starring Bret Hart and Superstar Billy Graham. He is a 30-year plus film, radio, and TV veteran. He is a regular contributor to Pro Wrestling Post (www.prowrestlingpost.com) and Pro Wrestling Stories (www.prowrestlingstories.com). Check out his Facebook page Evan Ginzburg’s Old School Wrestling Memories and his radio show Wrestling and Everything Coast to Coast with Buddy Sotello and Dr. Mike Lano. His new book Wrestling Rings, Blackboards, and Movie Sets, a 100-story collection will be released this year. His first book, Apartment 4B, Like in Brooklyn, was about his growing up in the turbulent Brooklyn of the ’60s and ’70s.