Posts Tagged ‘Jaybird Jones’

Jaybird

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

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.

Friday, February 12th, 2016

jerryandJaybird

Uncle Billy and Dennis

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

billyanddennis
Uncle Billy is our fathers brother. Holy crap… we have an uncle hanging around?! Dennis is our cousin. Son of Geraldine Hartman Jones. Billy is struggling with his health in a rehab somewhere in Los Angeles. Dennis went to visit him. I wrote about Uncle Billy four years ago HERE. with some crazy strange blog title: “Put your arms around me for Gods sake” and at the time I was angry at my fathers brother because he just nonchalantly walked right out of our lives and never ever once looked back.
So ironically 40 years ago I rode on the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland in California with Billy and just recently last night got off the phone with him for the first time since.

Right after Gerry found this blog and the Hartman’s and Jones reconnected and right before her untimely death before I was going to visit her in Las Vegas, I spoke to her on the phone. I remember she told me how upset she was at that blog post “Put your arms around me for Gods sake” and she really defended her brother and also told me that my cursing and some the sexual things I had wrote on this ridiculous blog were totally uncalled for.

Talking with Uncle Billy I heard my father’s voice. I heard my Grandfather’s toughness but most of all I heard Uncle Billy. He is his own man that made his own choices and created his own life and really didn’t need to stay “connected” to Joan and her ten kids. He had that right. He owed us nothing and we certainly owed him nothing. I just thought it strange that not once did he just think to check in on his 10 nieces and nephews that tragically lost their father at such an early age? But that’s ok, even though we were little kids, we didn’t go out of our way to check in on him. Damn, I still sound bitter here, don’t I? Too bad.

It was only by pure luck and internet hocus pocus that Aunt Gerry searched her own name and found this blog because I hoped she would. My reverse finding tagging trick worked. Through Gerry I have rediscovered our long lost cousins, Robert, Diane and Dennis. All of us have lived our lives and roller coasted the ups and downs that it can bring. Billy in particular had a life threatening disease, polio, attack him at the age of five. This is one rough way to start your life. Dennis is quite a story himself and an outright damn miracle of recovery. I even posted a movie made about him on this blog HERE

It’s a small world after all INDEED when your fathers brother is still around even after 44 years four months and three days after his untimely death.

My cousin Dennis and me in the jaws of Disneyland 1975

My cousin Dennis and me in the jaws of Disneyland 1975

In the Summer of 1975 I was an awkward teen boy going through puberty from hell when our uncle Jay Jones died. I remember Dennis calling me up and crying about it to me. That Summer his mother Gerry, insisted that I come out there to be with them. Her greatest concern was that as she worked she would be leaving young Dennis alone. I really didn’t want to go. I was scared of everything at that age. I’m still scared of everything at my current age of 55.

The agreement was Gerry was going to pay for my plane fare to California there and mom was going to pay for it on the way back. The other agreement at my insistence was that I was only going to stay a couple of weeks. Well I ended up staying the entire Summer and almost ended up living there forever. Turns out when it was moms turn to pay for the fare back, she didn’t have the money. And thus began the non-relationship of mom and Gerry. You see, money destroys relationships quicker than a hurricane hitting a double-wide.

The day I left mom had to give me a ride to the airport and as the time grew closer and closer for the plane to leave, mom sat at the kitchen table getting drunker and drunker on white cans of Budweiser beer. I was sure I was going to miss the plane or that we would get into a horrific crash on the NJ Turnpike half way to Newark airport. Finally I just yelled “MOM we have TO LEAVE!” which was strange for a boy that didn’t want to go.

Needless to say I made the plane. Everything was pure magic after that. Pure absolute magic that I will NEVER forget. It was the first time I rode on a plane and it was crystal blue skys and puffy white clouds out my window seat. The stewardess treated me like a king because I was a 15 year old boy alone. I couldn’t believe how BIG and how BEAUTIFUL our country was from up there. When I arrived in LA and got off the plane there were hipsters and hippies and PALM TREES, California is not of this planet. It is it’s own beautiful world of color, neon lights, texture and gorgeous sunsets. Aunt Gerry was always a woman that loved to go out and do things! And that we did. She took me to Disneyland, we went to see Jaws in a huge theater in LA which just blew me away as a movie (now the special effects are laughable!) I was very fortunate to have Gerry take me that Summer. I left all my brothers and sisters in the groggy hot depths of Carteret as we went to Reno Nevada and played Kino for hours.

It was here I did see Uncle Billy for the last time. He was always so distant but that’s just him. Our uncle is struggling to walk now and he is full of memories. My phone call with him wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I was looking for the past again. I wanted to hear intricate stories of him and our dad running down back alleys of Westfield and getting into trouble. I wanted to hear Grandpa Hartman yell at them for not eating their peas. I wanted to see Grandma Hartman shopping at the A&P and squeezing oranges. I wanted to see them all riding to upstate NY in that station wagon they had.

Instead we talked about polio and prostates and how he was a salesman for AllState Insurance company his whole life. But that was ok. It was great to speak to him. And in this “small world afterall” he ended our conversation with … please call again.

The strange things I found out in Las Vegas

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

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"

Jaybird, Gerry and Las Vegas

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

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—–
BOOKSTORE BLUES
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

waiting for Big Moon

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

It was BIG alright!

When I woke up Kryha said “Those poor Japanese people” and here it was eight or so days later and we are still captivated by the news. But when it is the first thing you say when you wake up then you know it was such an intense, earth moving event that you become consumed by it….well at least I was. It is the opposite – “does – G(g)od – really – exist” – thought. What I mean by that is this: “Why them?” Aren’t the Japs supposed to humble, quiet and clean? Free of crime? Spiritual?” If G(g)od really does exist then why would he wallop them with the triple-header? Tonight was the biggest moon in eighteen years. I thought of Richard and Clara. How close their dead bodies were. How I wanted to be by them. I imagined laying down on the grass spread out. Reaching for their bones. Reaching for the life that they lived. The Trolly cars, the horse shit on main street. Chicken dinner with the Hartmann’s The woman with the beautiful big brown eyes, mother of fifteen children. Burying two little infants (I will find them one day too!) and what about all the heartache, that they experienced? It all means nothing now. They had the world on their shoulders and now they are buried in it. This hustling-bustling time bomb of a planet. I would see Joshua and Jonathan tomorrow, BUT today, a day before the Big Moon, I would visit Richard and Clara. Swiftly through the sky blue windy day. (one day before Big Moon. In German dreams and tongue, I travel through time on slow moving elephants. Into the sands of time, the hourglass of past memories, into the streets of Jersey City.
Only In America can you come home from such a busy day and pop some popcorn in the microwave oven, sit down and watch a war, live on television, and then they cut over to a nuclear disaster (they are finding trace amounts of radiation in Seattle Washington) There are people over there that have been buried underneath the rubble for a week and they are uncovering them alive. If you want to know what it is like to get swept away by a tsunami, then you should watch the first ten minuets of Clint Eastwoods (directed by) movie, The Hereafter Although, it is nothing like the first ten minuets of “Saving Private Ryan” it has the same effect. It blows your mind!

PHOTOS THAT MAKE YOU THINK
In March 2011’s photo’s I only now just noted that there is one thing similar to all the photos for that month. I took every single photo. Do you think I will ever run out of photos that make you think? Maybe when all the photos are grabbed off my laptop it may mean only three things: 1. I have run out of photos and I am desperate. 2. I am just a lazy bastard and didn’t have time to scan, clean and color correct. OR 3. I am still waiting for help from the family in the form of emails and/or snail mail scans.
In Feb 2011 photos that make you think there is a photo of one of the scariest moments in my life. In the Summer of 1975 I was sent to California to visit the Jones’. The Jones’ were our nephews and niece from our fathers side of the family. Our father had a sister named Geraldine. She married Robert “Jay” Jones. They had three children: Robert, (Jaybird) Diane and Dennis. We used to be very close with them as children (for those very few of us who can remember) Jay Jones was a professional soilder and “worked” as a soilder in south Jersey. Dad used to take us down there alot. His sister Geraldine, was a shrieking manic-depressant that yelled and cried a lot. She was a very good woman, though. She also had another child, much older than the others named David, I think out of wedlock that eventually became some kind of manager for Dads fabric store in Westfield.

"Jaybird" Jones poses with me pool-side July 1975. He reeked of reefer and mistrust.

In my Summer trip to California I met all the Jones’ for what would probably be the last time in my life. My aunt Geraldine loved to take photos but she was lousy at it.
I hated being there in California that Summer. I was told it would only be “a week or two” but it turned into the whole Summer. I wil never forget that lie. Mom drove me to Newark airport very drunk and late. The plane ride was my first and it was amazing to me. To look down at the clouds, toy cars and toy cities it is only then that you realize just how bug The United States of America is!! (2,825 miles)
I wanted to be home. Summers were magical back then. The side-street gang may have been fading, Bill Brunner may have moved away for all eternity but there was no school, no work and long hot days. Mc, Gitts, Beds, and the others were all playing baseball, football and hunting for unexploded fireworks on the streets July 5th.
In this photo Jaybird had me! His arm around my neck. Aunt Gerry ready to snap a photo and I just knew he was gonna throw me in the pool and the sound of “cheese”.
I was a very awkward fifteen year old boy. I was as skinny as a stick. I had a uncontrollable mop of yellow hair, pimples all over, I had two huge front teeth that were chipped (I didn’t smile for 18 years until I had them fixed myself) I was lost without my father, my mother was always drunk, I had zero self-confidence, I had just completed my freshman year in an all-boys Catholic High School that was an absolute nightmare, I didn’t know what was going on inside my body or outside my body. My penis had become an uncontrollable monster connected to me like an evil twin. I was confused, very lonely, young, dumb and full of ……
Jaybird never threw me in the pool but now thirty-six years later I am looking for him. On Facebook. In people searches, obituaries, web browses… I have been trying to find this part of our family for as long as the internet has been around. The biggest obstacle that I have faced is their last name: JONES. (this is the third most common name in the United States behind Brown and Williams)
The “TAG” words in this blog, I have discovered are VERY powerful. They are openly exposed (and very quickly I might add) to search engines all over. I have randomly added our cousins the Jones’ to many of the blog posts in the hopes that maybe one day they may “google” themselves and find us. So far nothing. No sign of any Jones’ anywhere. Come out, come out, where ever you are!
Why America is so Damn Fat getting fatter.
It all began about eight or nine years ago when fast food establishments ended their CASH ONLY policy and started accepting credit cards. WORSE THAN THAT, they suddenly started their “We are open LATE” routine. Not just until midnight but two or three o’clock in the morning. Have you ever driven past the drive thru of a McDonalds at ONE AM in the morning and seen seven or eight cars waiting for deep fried fat and hamburger meat on a sesame seed bun?? Is it dinner time? NO! It’s let’s have ANOTHER fat drenched meal before bedtime!!!
WHY do we CARRY ON like nothing happened?
Am I the only one that still feels a sense of dread and doom over the loss of 15,000 human beings and counting in Japan?? That there is STILL a NUCLEAR TIME BOMB on the edge of the ocean some where in the world. Life still goes on. We work. We go to school. We play. We turn on the news and Japan isn’t the headlines anymore, sometimes not even the second page. Mothers are still driving their cars, loaded with their young innocent children into lakes. People are still getting blown-up beyond recognition in third world countries, the economy is still sinking like a Western sunset into the sea…people are still killing people, with guns, their cars, bats, knives and poison. Life goes on.
WHERE IS THE HAPPY NEWS?
HEADLINES:
Father Doesn’t Leave Family
or
Women Completes Rehab rejoins family to tears and hugs
or
Family Buys A Home
or
Man Donates HALF his Savings to Charity
or
Woman Opens Door For Crippled Woman at WalMart

Nice guys finish first

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

You can never be too rich or too thin, or so the saying goes, but can you be too nice? Absolutely!! It is possible to be nice to a fault and when you are it is usually you who gets hurt. Being too nice means not asserting yourself, not standing up for your wants and not expressing your needs. This just isn’t healthy. Nice is good, too nice is bad. Are you so nice it’s cruel… to yourself?
I don’t attack people, why do they attack me? If I like taking photos of strange things in my journey through life, why is that a problem to the people that are close to me. My two teen boys specifically.

I never claimed to be a graphic designer a professional photographer or even an artist. A prepress printer? Yes. And a very fucking good one too. It just so happens that in prepress (if you are a “fucking good one” you need to have a flair for design, a sense of what is the current trend and an all out appreciation for ALL arts) In New York I did a lot of design. It was good. Some wasn’t so good. It was actually so good that two years after I got laid off, clients still ask for me.
Of coarse there is certain amount of ego stroking involved, but what’s wrong with that? Isn’t it part of life to ENJOY WHAT YOU DO and have someone say once in a while, “Hey, that is really nice. Good job.”

The same day I was bashed by my children for my love of photography and art, I was accused of being a slave. A slave to my job and my ex wife. Not just once but several times over the course of the evening. Each time I never defended myself or earlier when I was accused as a “wanna-be” photographer, I kept my mouth shut. But inside I was deeply hurt. Maybe that is why I have fallen into my blog for the first time in months.
I am not a slave to anybody. Not the man in the UK. Not my job. Not my ex wife. Not anybody. “Have you ever tried to figure out how much you make an hour?” I was recently asked. Well, I have thought about that but right now, I AM DOING WHAT I HAVE TO DO. I truly believe there are better days ahead so IT IS ALL WORTH IT. God DAMN IT- it was only a little over a year ago I woke up in my fucking car because that was my FUCKING BED. I was homeless and jobless and my kids didn’t know who I was. The bills were stacking up and I owed THOUSANDS in child support. People hated me then, and people hate me now; I have a job, I spend QUALITY time with my kids, my bills are getting paid, so here’s somebody to hate.

Ten years after the divorce I am still a mother fucking scum bag son of a bitch and it was 100% all my fault. The kids were raised on that the past ten years. I have been swimming upstream the past ten years and keeping my mouth shut. In the back of my mind I struggled to BE MYSELF. A nice person. Help others. SHOW BY EXAMPLE. I wasn’t even close to being a perfect example to my kids, in fact, even in sobriety I failed greatly BUT that is part of being human. I am human. We are human. There is no such thing as PERFECTIONISM in humanness. My only hope was that the fucking no good bastard that everyone had agreed I was could only ever so slowly be erased by my actions and prayers.

The funny thing is, now that I think about it, as I was being ridiculed for being who I am by my teenage kids yesterday, what was I doing?? Buying them their favorite lunch, listening to them, and helping the eldest, Joshua, by driving him 0n a 80 mile round trip journey to help him get a car.

Nice guys don’t finish last (as the saying goes) not if they turn the other way when someone calls them a “loser” a “deadbeat” a “wannabe” or a “slave”. If I am a happy hardworking man in my mind, and the simple little things in life make me happy, then that is all I need to know to sooth the fears that I carry when I worry about what other people think of me.

the self refuses to appear

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

then there were three....


Beverly was forever depressed. Even in her toddler photos you can see something is bothering her. I wonder if she was born with some sort of brain chemical disorder. Her obsession with death. Her rebellious lifestyle. Her fears. Her deep dark secretes. Her never-ending escapes from reality. Three marriages. No children. Several abortions. Relentless addictions. Diabetes. Anorexia. Her close relationship with the enabling side of her mother. The ultimate doom. This poor sister of ours. Such a short life (44) . Such a short time with us. Sadly her death overshadowed by the death of Brenda.
Who were you closer to, Brenda or Beverly or is that an even fair question? Brooke once asked me why I didn’t have a tribute to Brenda on this website. It would be so easy for me to say “I never have time.” After all we did have a special Family Ties edition for Beverly and Mom.
When you wake up everyday, to sunshine or rain
clouds or storm
do you ever stop to think it will be the last day you wake up on this planet?
Like the Bible says, it will come like a thief in the night
We are all killing ourselves slowly. This addictive death over and over and
over and over. The definition of insanity was our inheritance in this life
Generations of troubled souls seeking somehow
serenity from a racing mind
erase the pain of everyday strife
stop the cycle and lets live life
let’s show our children a different beach
sandy feet
soothing waves
cool refreshing shade

Do you notice cinematography on TV? Perhaps if you are a cinematographer. And yet if you have ever seen the show, “Breaking Bad” you can’t help but notice. I am not a big TV person and actually the ONLY TV that I have watched in the past year have been the NFL. I accidently stumbled on this show while visiting an old friend but all I could remember was being totally WOW’ed by this show. Based in beautiful New Mexico and shot with a wide lens, it is the story of a guy who loses all his money to a cancer diagnosis that wasn’t. He cooks and sells crystal meth to save his family. Interesting.
BIG BULLY just GO AWAY
I think World War one was started by another country sinking another countries boat. Recently North Korea has for no reason torpedoed a South Korean ship and declared that if anyone has a problem with it, we are prepared for an all-out war.
Would you believe me if I said the world is ending and we are all hurling towards cosmic conflics that are hotter then the face of the sun?

HELP !!!!!


Right now I’m in a book store listening to this negative fuck next to me tell his wife (who never says a word) I don’t see democracy or capitalism working, I don’t see our culture working, I see no help for the unemployed, we watch too much TV, everybody is addicted to something, the cost of education, the crime in the streets…come on let’s get outta here!” They left their empty cups on the table, didn’t put back the magazines and books they were thumbing thru went out to the parking lot, crawled into their Cadillac SUV and drove home to their protected little shell of a home somewhere in the suburbs.
TEENAGERS
Perhaps the greediest, neediest and most self centered bastards on American soil today. They deserve their high insurance rates, they deserve a empty future of resources, they need a good fucking smack in the ass. A wake up call like never before seen. Maybe an angry country on the other side of the world called North Korea.
Is every person in the nation entitled to drive around in a ton of steel, air conditioning blasting, texting and music blaring?
HELP ME TO understand!
While millions upon millions of gallons of crude oil leak into the gulf of Mexico, the price of gasoline has gone down. It is at the lowest that I have ever seen in 2 years.
How are they going to stop this leak? It is already a bigger tragedy then the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. After they stop it, then what? Is anybody losing any sleep over this?
When you cut off the flow of blood to an human organ it dies. When you cut the flow of nature into peoples lives, their spirit dies. It’s as simple as that.
FACEBOOK
Blank Face Face Blank. About Face. How many hours a day do we spend looking at a screen rather then looking at the faces of real people? 500 Million Facebook users!! The company CEO a 26 year old has disabled his “Friend” button. Privacy issues? Who cares if Big Brother is watching, I have created a much better me on-line then the one I carry with me in real life!

I confess to being a lazy bastard. I don’t care. I don’t want to do nothing. I don’t want to be bothered. I especially hate painting rooms and moving furniture so if you need those things done and I do help you, consider me a hero. Waiting for my medal.