Following Tuesday’s erroneous reports of his passing, Don Drake is pleased to pass on to the wrestling community that he is okay. “I’m alive and well. I’ve got my issues, but that’s life,” he said from his office in Boston.
It turned into a surreal day for D.C. “Mad Dog” Drake, a well-known independent star in the Northeast from 1980-1992. He first heard the reports from a friend.
“I kind of thought it was funny, in a way,” Drake told SLAM! Wrestling. “I was on my way home and my sister called, and I’d never thought to call my family about it. It was interesting.
His sister, Carlee Stackhouse, “took the bull by the horns and started calling people.”
Don Drake prepared this message for the wrestling community, and other sites have permission to reprint this email:
“Last night I was informed by my sister that my obituary appeared on several wrestling news sites. Her first question to me was, ‘Are you ok?’ and my question to her was, ‘If you thought I was dead, why would you call me?’
“I remember a profound piece of advice I received from several old timers in the wrestling business when I started in the sport, ‘Never believe your own publicity’ — and in this case, I am more than pleased to follow that advice.
“In reading some of the reports, I must say I was flattered and humbled by the nice things people were saying about my wrestling career and although the circumstances under which these words were written are not necessarily what I would want them to be, the memories that flooded back to me gave me pause.
“Paul Heyman’s words were especially meaningful given the many hours he and I spent ‘in the trenches’ trying to build a strong Northeastern Independent Wrestling scene.
“Regarding my health, yes I do have serious heart problems which include multiple surgeries and heart attacks. I did briefly use steroids under a doctor’s care however I don’t blame anyone or anything for my health issues as I made the choice to take a short cut and must take responsibility for my own actions. But with every negative comes a positive and I try to make the most out of the lessons I have learned in life.
“Professional wrestling allowed me to see and do things I would never have had the opportunity to do in any other profession. I traveled the country and the world and met good people and bad people, witnessed the damage that drug and alcohol addiction can do to professional athletes and sadly watched the passing of many young men I have worked with in the business.
“This has helped motivated me to continue in the career I had before wrestling and now after wrestling. As many of the articles stated, I am the director of a substance use disorder treatment program for individuals afflicted with HIV/AIDs at the Shattuck Hospital in Boston, working for Victory Programs, Inc. Even with my health issues, I am blessed to be able to wake up every morning and do something I truly enjoy and am dedicated to. I certainly hope to be doing this work for many years to come.
“Happy Holidays to all.
- Dec. 4, 2012: Reports of D.C. Drake’s passing erroneous
Greg Oliver takes full responsibility for the report on SLAM! Wrestling and apologizes for an harm or grief it may have caused. Greg can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don E. Allen and D.C. “Mad Dog” Drake. Photo by George Tahinos