John lived with his parents Big John and Cissy next door to my grandparents Gaga and Pawpaw so we were constant companions as children. We grew up attending FUMC together. We followed each other to graduation from DHS and beyond as fellow hippies and soulmates. My grandmother told mom about Miss Cissy coming over all freaked out over Little John being sick with a fever as a small child. My grandfather died when John and I were three, leaving Gaga in that house on College Hill alone.
John was married before, but Jana is the love of his lifetime. I came to know her through him and she accepted his hard headed ways with some trepidation but always tolerance. He was an artist and musician as well. I remember a period when he would scout graveyards and take mesmerizing black and white photos of the stones that told life stories of the generations. He recognized that I had a gift for photography and gave me what will forevermore be known as the badass Leica. Back in 1995 he probably paid 2K for it and it was state of the art. He delivered it to me in a bag complete with all the supplies I needed including cards and lenses. I had a ball with it for years until I left it in the rain one day. I think the camera itself still works, but the cable doesn't.
Fast forward a few years and he contacted me about a gift of his parents' 95 white Cadillac Seville with less than 100K miles on it. It was a money pit....always something going wrong and costing an arm and a leg to fix but we loved it. He thought my parents would enjoy riding to church in it, and they did. That car is still sitting in my front yard here on the lane and hasn't moved in a year. It's a classic, for sure.
That kind of generous heart is something that has always meant a lot to me. He could have sold that camera and that car and pocketed the money but instead he chose to enrich my life. My heart breaks for all of us who loved him. Like Chucky said " See you on the other side buddy."
Spirit in the Sky ~