When you mix family, friends, drinks… and a few wrestlers. It’s usually a great time.

Saturday, March 16, we held the official launch party for Run with the Bull: Three Generations of Sports & Entertainment at Clifford Brewing Co. in Hamilton, Ontario. It was the first book I’ve ever written, alongside Greg Oliver and Eric Johnston, we put together the story of the Johnston family — Eric, the comedian, and his wrestling family, including his father, Bullwhip Danny Johnson, uncle Randy Johnson, and grandfather Bull Johnson.

It was a spectacular night that included many great stories and interesting characters from the wrestling world. Clifford’s craft beer was also great, my favorite beer had to be The Crusher, Greg, Eric and I crushed a few of those.

More than 100 people made it out to the launch and we cannot thank everyone enough for all the support. Anyone who bought a copy of the book got to have it signed by all three authors, making it quite the collector’s piece.

Joseph Casciaro signing a copy of Run with the Bull. Photo by Laura Casciaro

With this being my first book and my first launch, it was quite the surreal feeling being asked for my autograph in a book I helped put together. To anyone who asked me to sign their book, I want to thank you, it meant more to me than I may have made it seem. (Guess I was trying to play it cool?)

According to Eric, I brought half of Toronto’s Italian population to the launch, which he was happy about because he considers himself a ‘fake Italian’. Another Italian in attendance was Jordan Armenise, he is typically Eric’s opening act on his comedy tour, but last night he was the photographer. He captured all the great moments of the night while cracking many jokes along the way.

Joseph Casciaro and “half of Toronto’s Italian population.” Photo by Jordan Armenise

As an Italian, I know we are usually the loudest crowd in a room, but we were no match yesterday for all the wrestling characters in attendance.

The people from the wrestling world who made it out were: Harry D (referee), Justin and Bryan Cassibo (sons of referee Wayne Cashman), Mark Robertson and Jumping Jason Sterling (the sons of “The Missing Link” Dewey Robertson) and Vic Rossetani Jr.

The children and grandchildren of “Rotten” Reggie Love were also there. One of Love’s grandsons, Miles Evans-Branagh aka Miles from Nowhere, performed his music live for part of the night.

Bryan Cassibo, Mark Robertson, Harry D, Greg Oliver, Eric Johnston, Vic Rossetani Jr., Jason Robertson, and Justin Cassibo. Photo by Jordan Armenise

Bryan Cassibo, Mark Robertson, Harry D, Greg Oliver, Eric Johnston, Vic Rossetani Jr., Jason Robertson, and Justin Cassibo. Photo by Jordan Armenise

I had a nice moment meeting the Cassibo brothers, I interviewed Bryan for the book a few months ago and last night was our first time meeting in person. They thanked me for helping tell the story and asked me to sign all four copies of the book they had previously purchased.

Not only was I being asked for my autograph, but I also asked many people there for their autographs as well. Greg gave me the idea of having people sign my copy of the book as a keepsake to look back on and remember my first book launch.

Greg, Eric, Kathy Johnston, Holly Johnston, Janna-Leigh Johnston, Dan Dunsmuir, Harry D, Uncle Steve, Jordan Armenise and the Cassibo brothers all signed my copy. I will be keeping that forever and looking back on this book for the rest of my career.

One signature in the book that stuck out to me was Holly’s. Before she signed her name she wrote, “Great job helping tell our family story!” That message alone was what this was all about and with this book we were able to tell the story of Bull Johnston, Danny ‘Bullwhip’ Johnston and Eric. To see the family so happy with the final product makes me very proud of the book we put together.

Holly’s message and signature in Joseph Casciaro’s copy. Photo by Joseph Casciaro

I can definitely say my first book launch was a success and I hope there will be many more of these parties in the future.

Thank you again to Eric and Greg for this opportunity and we hope Run with the Bull will keep on running into people’s hands.

TOP PHOTO: The authors of Run with the Bull: Greg Oliver, Eric Johnston and Joseph Casciaro. Photo by Jordan Armenise