Archive for Jones


Robert "Jaybird" Jones with Beverly, Butch and Greg. circa 1963

Robert “Jaybird” Jones with Beverly, Butch and Greg. circa 1963

For most of us that don’t know, we have a cousin in Las Vegas Nevada. He is 61 years old today. When I was growing up we called him Jaybird. He called me Butch. We still use those nicknames and that is a beautiful thing. I know many of you don’t know him but he remembers you. Actually check out this other old blog post is a photo of him and our aunt Gerry. Gerry was our fathers sister and they actually have a brother that is in California. So this is just a simple request to keep Uncle Billy and our cousin Jaybird in your thoughts and prayers.

Comments (3)


Comments (3)

Just over the bridge…

Time moves in one direction, memory in another.

Time moves in one direction, memory in another.


Cousin Dennis

Comments (3)

Home Movies

On the plane back from Las Vegas Nevada my prized possession was a dvd that Jaybird had burned for me. Several attempts at viewing proved futile and finally a visit to a "dvd specialist" gave me the bad news. The dvd never really burned. What I had was three seconds of Comedy Centrals Happy Days. Well, these weren't the happy days I was looking for.
When I called Mr. Jaybird with the bad news he almost instantaneously resent the dvd along with some other surprises. The movie then had to be converted in order to edit it. I found some free software on the web.
Originally this movie was just thrown together. It is a scrambled mess of dates and places and is in no way in any kind of chronological order. Some of the earliest stuff on here is around 1961 and the pool scene is probably a two years before dad died.
I want to thank Robert Jaybird Jones our long lost cousin for getting so many memories to me. It has been so good to be able to talk to him randomly on the phone.
For me, it is really quite eerie seeing dad "moving" That many of us probably never even remember seeing him move. To see someone you love acting goofy and even clowning around with his father is quite amazing after 41 years. The few seconds of mom being a loving mother is just priceless. You can almost forget at this point in your life that she did indeed give birth ten times in her life. She was a mom practically her whole life. A good mom too.

Most of these movies were taken by Jay Jones. Our uncle. He too, died terribly too young before any of us could really grow up to appreciate what a great guy he was. I remember him fondly. I am very fortunate. He had a heart of gold in his own military way!

A further analysis of this tape including a "who is who" list will come quickly after this posting.

Comments (4)

Day Ten

I tried to do ten photos in ten days but it took me almost 11 weeks. Anyway this is a photo of my keys. Three years ago I only had three keys. The key to my car. The key to my locker at YMCA and the key to my storage unit where I kept a couple of boxes of “stuff” Now they are filled to keys to many doors. Alot can happen in three years.

My keys hold a Giants 2000 Super Bowl metal logo. This used to be on the keychain of our late aunt Geraldine Jones. The Giants were in the midst of a four game losing streak when I put it on. At seven wins and seven losses they were a real longshot to get into the playoffs. They ended up being the first 9-7 team to win the Superbowl. I like to think that only because of this keychain did the Giants win. But I also believe that the ghost of Geraldine Jones was in fact on the field and helped the Giants to recover one of their own fumbles.

Comments (1)

The strange things I found out in Las Vegas

This was taken in July 1975. Actually a year when the Grateful Dead "retired" Although he has seen many concerts he did tell me that he wasn't a real full fledged Dead Head but that they did indeed "make some good music"


Geraldine Jones

circa 1945 -perhaps Westfield-

Long overdue, I know. Geraldine Jones 9/4/29 to 9/5/11. Rest in peace. A wonderful woman, wife, sister, aunt, mother, daughter and friend. For the most of the Mighty Ten we lost touch with her and her family soon after Dad died. Our aunt Gerry. Our fathers sister. I was mightily blessed to have made a very slight connection with her right before she passed away and it brought back so much to me at the time and even now it still does. It all happened so suddenly and all at once, finding Gerry and Robert, Diane, Dennis and Bill, the losing Gerry and then….that dream-like sequence of events where I was actually visiting Robert at his home (Rock and Roll museum), the jet-lagged visions of Fort Dix, Brooklyn, Tin cups, Jay in full military garb, his smile and southern accent, Gerry’s screeching yelling at us crazy kids to stay in the basement. But most of all my memories of her are the time she scooped me up and took me to Sacramento Ca. In 1975. Reno, Los Angeles, Nevada, Disneyland and maybe I would have stayed there forever if she didn’t finally pay my way home because mom couldn’t. I could have been George Jones. I have always missed her and I always will. Not many in the Hartman family remember her. She slipped away so quickly and silently….right before I was going to see her. That’s what hurts so much. I had so many questions and now maybe they will go unanswered forever. God bless her soul.


In heaven, men can smoke cigars and watch football.

Once a long time ago in the 1960’s when things were different. Friendships and families were etched in real life, and not “on-line”. Face to face with booze, cards, cigars, cheap bars, real talk, real people and you couldn’t hide behind a monitor and a mouse. The TV broke down all the time because it had picture tubes in it. Men watched the NFL because it was a great game and not a big business nursing over-paid egos. There were REAL heros on the REAL grass playing half back for half ass salaries. There were heros circling the earth in tin cans and The Daily News had “all the news that’s fit to print” Those were the days. Lucky Filter commercials on the tube while sipping Schaffer beer…..and me and my cousins were around to remember this. To witness the love and togetherness of two families.
Since my reunion with Jaybird my memories have broken open and the things that I thought I remembered were only the tip of the iceburg. That as a very little boy I went around the living room while Jay and George drank beer from cans (that you had to open with a can opener) and I was “allowed” to take sips. And I loved it, cause it made me feel all warm and fuzzy and it had nothing to do with Y.A. Tittle throwing touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns on a mud field covered in straw.
Jay was a very tall man with a pom pom and a military uniform. His laugh was contagious and his smile endless. He loved my father and my father loved him. They journeyed into the Bronx New York together to watch The New York Football Giants play in a baseball stadium. They drank beer and laughed and celebrated life like two happily married men with children should. The economy was good, The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan and the Worlds Fair (the most famous EVER) was alive and well and only a stones throw from NJ. Gas was cheap and driving to and fro even on school and work nights was easy.
Brother-in-laws that cared for and took time to see each other whenever they could. They created a pact whether they knew it or not. That life is way too short to fight or cry or ignore. Life was good. But then like everything that is supposed to last forever……it changed. The endless happy visits to military bases suddenly cut short because fate had other plans.

Jaybird and Butch. Las Vegas November 2011. George Sr. and Jay Sr are smiling from the eerie glow of the night sky.

Turns out George Sr. died rather mysteriously and quickly and Jay followed right behind him about a year later. They left a legacy of fourteen children and two totally confused and frightened wives.
They missed everything that life had to offer after that. The cousins fell between three thousand miles and over thirty years of weddings, funerals, grandchildren, Super Bowls, vacations, sunsets, new cars, sickness, disappointment, happiness, technology, and all the extreme highs and lows that life can bring.
And one windy Fall night on the roof of a Parking lot, in the depths of Sin City’s neon glow, “The pact” was renewed. And whether they knew it or not…it all came together again….survivors, dreamers and lovers. The first time he grabbed me and hugged me…it actually shocked me(it wasn’t in front of a pool)….and when I asked him about that hug he said, “It’s just the type of person I am.”

Comments (3)

For Gods sakes put your arm around me!!!

You say goodbye, I say hello

Another photo from the Gerry archives. This is Uncle Bill. William Hartman. Dads brother. I will give Gerry tons of credit…even though the photo is taken too far away, off center and is blurry as hell….at least SHE TRIED! Thirty six years ago when she took this photo, she tried to create a memory, she tried to connect me to my uncle Bill. The man I NEVER knew. He was always so reserved and quiet…but that is just him and I’m sure he hasn’t changed much or at all. God bless him. I have thought about him the past 36 years. I think he was living in San Diego when I last saw him. I even think I was at his house. Or maybe it was Long Beach. I just remember California being another planet, not another state. Things were so so different there.
I have been told that Uncle Bill lives in California still. I know he had some health issues as a kid but here he is out-living my dad by two-fold.
In this photo we are at DisneyLand. We are standing in front of the attraction: “It’s a Small World” What happens in this ride is that you are seated in a boat and you float into several rooms representing different parts/nations of the world. There are ethnically correct dolls on both sides of the “river” and they all sing the same song–in synch—in their language. The message is pretty powerful, being this: We are all one. We are one world. The song to me, is just very sad and it brings tears to my eyes EVERYTIME. I do know this, Aunt Gerry just simply ADORED the “It’s a Small World” attraction and I can remember the look on her face as we rode it together long ago in 1975; she was a little girl in a candy store. I think I can slightly remember her having some kind of doll collection when I was little.

it’s a world of laughter, a world or tears
its a world of hopes, its a world of fear
theres so much that we share
that its time we’re aware
its a small world after all

its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small, small world

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It’s a small small world


Comments (1)

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »