Joe Ruggiero

From the production crew of "Alone yet not alone":

As many of you know by now, we had a tragic accident Friday (Oct 29th) night near the end of our shooting day. It involved our own Joe Ruggiero, who was working in the art department. He was driving a gator from location and apparently swerved around a corner, lost control of the vehicle, and crashed off the road. Somehow he fell out and was crushed between a tree and the gator. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of or own medic Gene, who was first to arrive on scene, background actor Andrew Potter, who was also trained in CPR, along with both 1st and 2nd unit crews and the paramedics who came shortly after, Joe did not pull through and died later that night.

Joe first contacted me after an event he had attended, shortly after I had announced publicly that it was my desire to be in 1st person at all events in 2010:

"I was recently at a small period gathering and shoot for the holiday, and there was discussion there among some people about some 'doctor' chap from out west somewhere wanting to do a first person doctors impression.

These people were discussing this in a negative manner and saying how this guy is an idiot, , , , without ever knowing anything about you, or anything of what you do, or look like. I defended this Doctor (you), this idea, as it sounded like all he wanted to do was make an ongoing presentation that was right and above the hooyah all these yaps engage in and call history.

Well then I got home and had a 2 day old forwarded forum discussion from a frontier forum about a doctor doing the same, it did not take long for me to figure out this is the same guy that made all these bastards in a hussy at the shoot. I went to your site, quickly realized you are the real deal, doing thing right, and doing what everyone should be doing as well, , I can't, CAN'T understand why this is getting so much flak from people who should be supporting you. . . ."

I was always struck by the fact that he stepped up to defend me, a man he had never met or even laid eyes on.  That really speaks to a man's character.

While Joe and I might not be what you'd consider 'close friends', he and I had communicated back and forth with one another via e-mail after that. Mostly concerning his group, the Sea Rats Atlantic... and my portrayal of a period physician and surgeon. I also had met a bunch of them at the 250 of the Siege at Fort Niagara. They ware a really fantastic group, and I really hate to hear of Joe's passing, especially in such a seemingly senseless way.

With recent events going on with me, I suppose this has really struck home.

Joe's last email to me was back in February, and in it he said "been very busy, , but I guess thats the way it should be or it gets boring."

Joe Ruggiero was 26 years old.


Lauren said...

I am sorry for the loss. I will keep his family in my prayers.

Mad Anne Bailey said...

An excellent eulogy. thank you for sharing.

Margravine Louisa said...

My condolences and prayers for you and the crew. How unfortunate.

Bridgett McGee said...

I am utterly shocked, I shall never again have the pleasure of his scent. When ever in his presents I huffed him for good measure til the next time. We spoke of doing the great Runaway of The Susquehanna Valley while at Fort Fred this year.
The re-enacting community has suffered a great and terrible loss, May The Sea Rats carry on, we all bear the loss with you...