Archive for July, 2011

Please keep Aunt Gerry in your prayers.

george, mom could certainly use your family’s prayers now, she not doing so well. in icu trying to hang on. robert.

Aunt Gerry our fathers sister, recently had complicated surgery. Robert is her son.

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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


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Jaybird, Gerry and Las Vegas

Aunt Gerry

They say there is one in every family. That is, one whose passion for uncovering the secrets of their heritage leads to hours of research, pursuing small leads, and if fortunate enough to hit the family historians jackpot–discovering ancestral photographs….but in this case also MOVIES!!
Now the first time I had called Jaybird (I will call him Robert) we had a lengthy discussion about everything. How do you fill in the gaps of FORTY YEARS??? You don’t. You can’t. You need a pot of coffee and a table. So hopefully this meeting will happen soon. In the next few weeks or so.
Keep Aunt Gerry in your prayers as her health has been fragile lately. Gerry is a survivor, though, she has out-lived all the adult legends so far. And what we once thought that our sister Barbara was the exsisting elder, Aunt Gerry has taken the lead.
When I called them, ironically, Jaybird (I will call him Robert) Gerry and Las Vegas were watching some HOME MOVIES that Mr. Jones (Gerrys husband, our uncle, Jaybirds {I will call him Robert} father) had made. That to me is just too incredible to even comprehend!! As we were speaking on the phone, Jaybird (I will call him Robert) was giving me the play by play of the home movies.
In the last few months I have had dreams with my Dad in them. These dreams were so real and so surreal to see my father actually “MOVING”….it sounds strange but I haven’t seen him walk or talk or MOVE in forty years…so it will be quite an experience to see these movies. I hope and pray that I have this opportunity. I hope that there may be a way to preserve them, digitalize them somehow, someway.

view from my lap

I have been trying to understand my desire to find people. My curiosity increases with every little dig. I have been rightfully accused of “living in the past” Like this: Get on with it. Why do you care? The future is now. I realize that I am not really sure who I am. I have no roots. I need, want my own doorway to walk into. (after all you have to start somewhere) What is so wrong about heritage research??
If all you got to live for is what you left behind,
Get yourself a powder charge and seal that silver mine.
Lost my boots in transit, baby, pile of smokin’ leather.
I nailed a retread to my feet and prayed for better weather.

-Robert Hunter
Yeah, I’m on my way.
Healing comes in strange disguises and in most cases the greatest disguise is a LONG WAIT. So time heals all wounds, I stray from the spirit yet I am not far from the essence. I am constantly being tested. It is so easy to HATE someone. Catch yourself before you become immersed in hatred and see what you can do to turn it around—–
I am greatly inspired by books and magazines. I could sit on the floor in Barnes and Noble all day flipping through pages. I don’t consider myself a theif…just an inspired fisherman.
That is all for now.
NEXT WEEK: The Jones Gang


A Night at the Circus

Route 76, Somewhere in Pennsylvania, daybreak.

Let’s walk into the dark fields of uncut grass. Into the heart of America, the midwest laughter and red white and blue explosions in the sky. Feeling the immediate sowing of a yellow hook moon in my heart. Another journal into the depths of space. The ending of the pain from my headaches….( a blood pressure concern)
I’m in the wrong century again, damn it! I miss the sepia skies and the angles singing. The black and white streets, crowds of busy people and the gaslights glow.

Dark pub and a lost soul from the future.

This is where I met him many years ago. A disco in the seventies. The drinking age was still eighteen. We were deadheads drinking shots, dressed like slobs and making fun of the music. The women were beautiful with big hair and attitudes. Annoyed at the hippies laughing in the dark corner. I had too much, as usual and it always seemed to hit me earlier then the other guys. I was never meant to be a drinker. I threw up all the time and I had diarrhea. Other guys could just drink, pound them down and play quarters for 24 hours straight and get up and walk a straight line home. (at the moment I am writing this, I am experiencing a severe case of Déjà vu) Now this crazy looking guy from across the bar is staring at me and I feel a vomit coming on so I ease over towards the bathroom and this guy is suddenly waiting there. I ignore him as I feel for the mens room in this dark hallway….I mean really dark….”Hey listen…..hey…hey George.”
So who the fuck is that and how do they know my name. The room is spinning. The music is thumping “Funky Town” by Lipps I think, I could almost taste the vomit…”Hey George” he giggles. He is right next to me. Suddenly I feel better. I feel better than better. I feel great. I am sober, I think. This guy is staring at me in the dark with this big smile.
“Hey George” he half whispers.. “I know you. I’m from the future.”

It's not easy being green

This really happened to me. A disco in 1979. A strange dude that told me about cell phones, 9/11, the Giants winning a Super Bowl in seven years, financial hardships, computers taking over, marriage, divorce, winning the lottery, drugs, drinking, sex, death, miracle cures, war, typhoons, tornados, tsunami’s, torture…
Hey you freak what are you saying. What are you putting in my mind. What the fuck is a cell phone? What kind of crazy pants are you wearing….disco boy….fag….leave me alone. Oh my head hurts from you. Get out of my life. Get out of my mind!!! Now forever making cameo appearances in my freaking dreams. Do you believe me?

409 Downing Street Westfield New Jersey

Dad’s Root beer
Our dads home when he was growing up. His teen age years. Meeting mom. Having dinner with Geraldine his sister and William his brother. His mom and “Pop” sitting in the living room waiting for him to go through that front door again and join the marine’s….or get married….or help Pop out at the store on East Broad street….not too far away. Westfield was a different place then, but it hasn’t changed much since. The biggest disappointment most recently is that they tore down “The Leader Store” They still have real live cops directing traffic during peak hours. The Westfield Sewing Center, our Grandfathers and then our dads place of business is long gone. People don’t sew their own dresses, curtains or make crafts anymore. Everyone is too busy on the cell phone or watching reality TV on the tube. We are all in front of mini-monitors, TV, computer or phone…taking commands and giving them. One of the things my dad passed on to me was growing tomatoes. It is an art to grow them…actually an easy art. Tomatoes are very hardy plants and even a seed from a tomato on a sandwich can fall in the crack of the sidewalk and if you let it grow, YOU WILL harvest a tomato or two. The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous. It has been the Summer of dreams….long days, hot skies, cold oceans, simmering spaghetti sauce, ribs and tomato plants wilting in the endless ninety degree days.
There are few gifts greater than offering your friend your home to stay. The other night we lay by the windowsill telling stories of our days, current and past. The Summer had been so hot, we were worried about the flowers. But as the darkness grew in the fading day a cool breeze had reached on the window sill. A small rumble of thunder. A flash of lightening and finally ……..rain. We listened, watched and talked. I am very grateful for that moment of time. To be protected from the storm but to be so close to it. To be able to listen to someone and have someone listen to me. To be able to smell the rain. To be able to call something “home” is a great gift. To have the blessings to share a meal with the one you love. To sit on the back deck and watch the day slowly turn into night. The candle on the wooden table splashes yellow puddles on your face. These are the moments of that you live for. The quiet unnoticed ones. I wouldn’t have them if it wasn’t for you. Thank you.

A night at the circus

A moment of time forever etched digitally on a blog deep in space. Perhaps not for eternity but it is there only because I thought it was worth digging in my pocket for my camera. We were cutting through some woods towards a wooden roller coaster. The yellow spot lights giving off an eire glow. Party balloons abandoned. My kids way ahead of me because I was keeping company with my stupid camera. Somewhere in south Ohio, July 4, 2011, the United States of America. Earth.


Tag -you’re it.

“i will never forget watching the beatles on sullivan at 121 whitman with my cousins, barbra, beverly, george and gregory. laughing and throwing couch pillows at the screen while my older brother david ( who was sitting us while mom dad uncle george and aunt joni went out) tried hard too watch and hear the fabs. some of my fondest memories are of my cousins. i have all the family snapshots and homemovies and hope to reconnect soon.”
Robert “Jaybird” Jones

This was written 6 days ago on a two year old post on this blog.
What I have discovered in the depths of the World Wide Web is that it is getting more and more powerful and contrary to what I had originally thought: that it is getting impossible to unbury your past because of the complexity of the endless layers.
The above comment to a post I had written two years ago was typed while I was on vacation. It’s the real deal. The shivers that went up my spine haven’t been felt since the Giants Super Bowl win four years ago.
I have been trying to find our long lost cousins for YEARS. Googling names and places: “Jones” and “Sacramento, California” I got nowhere. So I tried Facebook. Even less success. I think the real problem was the name Jones….a pretty common name in the USA.
So my plan was to hope one day that they would try to find us.
Word Press -the free blog service that powers this family blog is AMAZINGLY powerful in submitting “TAG” words to search engines. Tag words are what I include on a blog post that can be “found” by other people searching on the internet.
So, I smothered a few of my blog posts with “Jaybird Jones” and other key words that I hoped someone would search for. People have been known to goggle their own name… now I can only fish and wait….
Fishing. Trolling. Waiting. Hoping. Maybe one day. A nibble? NO, this is a big bite. Maybe even a little tease. If you can come back and read this Robert “Jaybird” Jones, please call me. Are you still in California? Where is Diane and Dennis? I miss your mom and dad, they were great people on this crazy planet. Come out of the water and show yourself!!! Call me if you can my long lost cousin: 908-456-2906.


lost weekend

I owe you another kiss....

After the twisted storm had passed, the tornadoes papers flying out of the grasps of the harmless clouds. The banners hanging black unswayed and unnoticed … and very alone. “We tried…” someone whispered from the bricks. It was true. Effort wasn’t the villain, sweat flew with it’s hero cape across the expansive lobby. The smiles from the purpose were beaming halfway across the dark gray sky above the swamp.
I opened the skyline (Manhattan) with a crooked can-opener on a dreary Monday morning…driving faster….faster….beyond all signs of rescue.
We owe you another kiss on the fields of the great unknowns. You were unromantic yet sexy, in your black dress with yellow trim. We followed you off a cliff of paper money. Under dark chandeliers in theaters. That small space between the curtain where you peek out. It is clear you, and everyone in the audience can not stay here, but yet, I love you.