sammy317I’m not Irish. I don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. For someone who grew up in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, that’s like being an alien. Whatever. I don’t celebrate any other nationality’s holidays or religion’s holy days of obligation. It’s not being ignorant, it’s being respectful of their culture in my opinion. I’m not asking people who aren’t French to celebrate Bastille Day, so don’t fault me for not celebrating St. Paddy’s Day. I celebrate St. Sammy’s Day instead.

“St. Sammy’s Day” is a self-decreed holiday celebrating the life and times of R-Pro patron saint Sam Thompson. We’ve written and spoken volumes about the great man that he was and the influence he still holds over all who knew him. That the world lost him at such a young age is only fitting for what an icon he has become to his followers. Like Andy Kaufman, Randy Rhoads, and Gilda Radner, Sammy brought laughter, love, and heart to all he touched. Putting him on a pedestal because of his passing is not what this is about. He’s revered for the perfect soul that he was and always will be.

You don’t get to be sad on St. Sammy’s Day, you have to have the “joie de vivre” he had – at least for 24 hours. Remembering the gifts and stories he gave us. Like the time he pooped in some dude’s oven at a party (let’s see Seth Rogen top that). Or when he was “accidentally” given copious amounts of medical grade marijuana by a notorious advocate (and one time R-Pro guest) who then had him bring him to a massage parlor the night before our first show. Or when he got to chauffeur around former Heavyweight Champion Harry Smith for a weekend and they became good friends. Or the time he scared the living bejeezus out of his little nephew Sammy when he showed him John Carpenter’s “The Thing” one day while babysitting. Lots of stories. Lots of laughter. Lots of love. That’s Sammy Thompson. A guy who everyone loved and can never be forgotten.

There’s not too many people in the world that I genuinely miss and think about regularly. I think about Sammy every day. I think about how my daughter will never get to meet him and know a genuinely great human being. I think about how proud he would have been at all our successes, and how positive he would have stayed even when things looked their darkest. Mostly, in regards to RESISTANCE Pro and wrestling in general, I think about making him proud. He would have loved this “new era” we’re just entering. He would have been just as excited about it as we all are. I know that any success that we have is because he’s looking down on us and has our backs in his trademarked positive way. That’s what pals are for. That’s what St. Sammy’s Day is all about.

Think about that every March 17th. Hell, think about it every day – it helps. Believe me, pal.

Gabriel Baron