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Nightingale

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Wow! To pick just one would be so hard. So many stories about JP.

I remember when I was working late nights and had a hour plus drive home at night. JP was the one I called to keep me awake on the road till I got home. He never once complain about me calling late at night. Instead we would share stories about our children. He was one proud father and loved his girls so much.

JP took the time to help with the photo shot out at Perris for the JFTC calendar. He was there to share his talent behind the lens and never once showed any ego.

I guess one of the best JP stories that sticks out in my mind, was the photo shot that JP and I did under canopy. We wanted some up close and personal pictures of me under canopy. I wasn't worried about getting too close to him, as I trusted him. The plan was to do hop n' pops at 12,000. The problem was there was a cloud cover over the DZ, but we had a limited about of time, and needed to get those pictures. So, we decided to go ahead and do the jump, and just try to remember where the DZ was, since we wouldn't be able to see it from the air.

Most of the time was spent with JP yelling at me "Where's the DZ?" Silly boy, I knew just where it was at, and was getting mad at him and kept yelling at him to get closer.

The pictures turned out great, so great that we made the back cover of Parachutist three months in a row:)
http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=1422887;search_string=Brialliantly%20clear;#1422887
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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I think my all time favorite stories is Deuce after a beer or two, or three telling all his old stories from working as a police offer for Bart and the crazy people he would run into..

The way he would re-enact the stories almost made me cry laughing..

Although my all time favorite story is when he brought me to his house after the Eloy 2003 boogie video was done. We had a couple of drinks to celebrate the finished job and when I woke up the next morning his two girls made me a peanut butter sandwich for brreakfast.. JP telling his girls to leave me alone at 6:30 am in the morning, and the girls telling him it was ok because they were making me breakfast..

I'm gonna miss you bro.. I will never EVER forget my tandem with you, the only tandem I have ever done (your 9th EVER I think?) .. telling you at 2000ft "He dude.. how comfortable are you landing alone with this thing?" and you answered: "WHAT? Don't tell me you are gonna pass out on me.. " ha ha.. I think I am man.. just make sure I dont break anything... I couldn't get comfortable in the harness.. We landed fine, I stayed conscious and we laughed that one off many times after..

You taught me many, many things my friend.. and I will never forget...

Love you JP..

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I hope everyone here will allow this to be what it is; a quote from JP, and not something that is meant for debate:

May 4th, 2004
Re: Catholic First Communion and our daughters, which are pretty close in age

Quote

Yeah, the kids are cool. Even some of the boys try to get my attention and help with stuff cause I'm the only Dad-mom in the group. That, and I'm just so cool in my "Skydive Team Wings" T-shirt.

My girls have veils too. Our little Brides of Christ. Calling them that drives the agnostics nuts, but that's what they are, and they are going to wear their little "wedding dresses" Saturday and be all beautiful and grown up. They believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Jesus. They believe that marriage is forever, and that God will greet us in death.

Faith is a value-added thing in life. It detracts nothing. I love my lesbian vegan buddies just as much as the folks I go to church with. I leave judgement to the thing that comes after.

Even if nothing comes after, faith has added to my life, and the lives of my family and parishioners.

I just smile when I'm mocked for it. It's something that a fictional character named Christ taught me.

;)



This was a topic that Deuce and I used to talk about publicly on the board and privately on PM...we both had our ups and downs within our faith, and I just hope that this moment, when he was proud, confident, and joyful within his faith, might be preserved now that he is on the other side.

I bought two different medals of St. Michael from St. Patrick's Cathedral when in NY two weeks ago, and I thought about JP when I was buying them. I didn't get around to sending him a message telling him about that when I got back from my trip on the 9th, and of course that stings now...:(

Regarding St. Michael, another Deuce quote:
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The prayer of St. Michael used to be said regularly in the Catholic Mass.

St. Michael, Archangel,
Defend us in battle
Be our defense against the wickedness
and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him
We humbly pray,
And cast into hell Satan,
And the other evil spirits
Who prowl the world
For the ruin of souls.

He's also the patron saint of Police officers, as well as paratroopers and other dangerous professions, so we've been hanging out for a long time.

I've had my St. Michaels medal for 16 years and was afraid I'd lose it once I started skydiving. I got a more permanent reminder.




I love you buddy for helping others stay strong, even when you couldn't see the light for yourself.
~Jaye
Do not believe that possibly you can escape the reward of your action.

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Thanks for posting that. I was trying to find it yesterday, and couldn't find the right words.
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Faith is a value-added thing in life. It detracts nothing. I love my lesbian vegan buddies just as much as the folks I go to church with. I leave judgement to the thing that comes after.



Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Thanks for posting that. I was trying to find it yesterday, and couldn't find the right words.

Quote

Faith is a value-added thing in life. It detracts nothing. I love my lesbian vegan buddies just as much as the folks I go to church with. I leave judgement to the thing that comes after.





And he really did... he had his faith and was happy to talk about it if the subject came up, but AFAIK he never judged anybody for believing differently.

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Jaye,

I too shared my Catholocism with JP and I always loved that quote you posted. That was so JP! He had an incredible way with words.

I remember feeling really proud when I learned that JP was born just 2 weeks before me on Aug. 14, 1963. One year I think we posted eachother's b'day thread. I remember giving him the business when he turned 40 and I was still 39. I have this weird way of remembering dates. It was JP's b'day that helped me to always remember SkymonkeyOne's b'day. His is exactly 1 month later in the same year. I felt pretty cool having my birthday sandwiched between their 2 b'days.:)
JP always liked to call me Muenkey.:D I hated when I was called that as a kid, but coming from him was coming from one of the cool kids.:)
My best memory is when he set up the "@#$% Muenkel" jump after I was injured. He sent me the video on DVD, but being always behind in technology, I didn't have a DVD. The man made a copy on VHS and sent it to me. My favorite part is when everyone was departing the skyvan, he zoomed right into my lady Skybytch and she looked at the camera, said something real crude to me and then stuck out her tongue. I laughed so hard and that video lifted my spirits more than he or Lisa ever knew.

Corinne, if you're reading this; please know that he made a lot of people smile when it felt almost impossible. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Chris



_________________________________________
Chris






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My girls have veils too. Our little Brides of Christ. Calling them that drives the agnostics nuts,



:D:D:D



jfields and I were laying base for Betsy to perform her "Jungle Gym" tricks upon, with Deuce filming. In the boarding area, I made the huge mistake of confiding to JP that I was a little nervous jumping with someone of her ability, and should Justin and I try a stronger grip, or should we try to fall faster, or what ? He laughs and says "Just get stable....Bets will do all the work."
So on the ride up, he leans over at least 3 or 4 times and says things like....."Betsy is world-class"....."You'd better not f*** this up"......"I can't believe she's actually jumping with you two".....you know, nice little confidence builders. By the time we climbed out, my palms were soaking wet, I almost lost my grip on the bar, and when Betsy gave the key, I IMMEDIATELY funneled the exit....there wasn't even a split-second of coherent flying, just straight into the shitter. I'm plummetting like a lead house full of fat people, Justin's hanging on for dear life, and Betsy's flying her ass off trying to get us flat and stable, which she eventually does, and the rest of the jump is great. After we land, Deuce walks over with this huge shit-eating grin on his face (you know the one I'm talking about), shakes his head, and says "Man, I just can't believe you did that to Betsy." And thereafter gave me shit for it every time we talked. :)

Don
"When in doubt I whip it out,
I got me a rock-and-roll band.
It's a free-for-all."

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jfields and I were laying base for Betsy to perform her "Jungle Gym" tricks upon, with Deuce filming. In the boarding area, I made the huge mistake of confiding to JP that I was a little nervous jumping with someone of her ability, and should Justin and I try a stronger grip, or should we try to fall faster, or what ? He laughs and says "Just get stable....Bets will do all the work."
So on the ride up, he leans over at least 3 or 4 times and says things like....."Betsy is world-class"....."You'd better not f*** this up"......"I can't believe she's actually jumping with you two".....you know, nice little confidence builders. By the time we climbed out, my palms were soaking wet, I almost lost my grip on the bar, and when Betsy gave the key, I IMMEDIATELY funneled the exit....there wasn't even a split-second of coherent flying, just straight into the shitter. I'm plummetting like a lead house full of fat people, Justin's hanging on for dear life, and Betsy's flying her ass off trying to get us flat and stable, which she eventually does, and the rest of the jump is great. After we land, Deuce walks over with this huge shit-eating grin on his face (you know the one I'm talking about), shakes his head, and says "Man, I just can't believe you did that to Betsy." And thereafter gave me shit for it every time we talked. :)



That is a well told story. :)

Blues,
Dave
"I AM A PROFESSIONAL EXTREME ATHLETE!"
(drink Mountain Dew)

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Please share your favorite memory or memories of Deuce... I'm going to print them and put them in a scrapbooks for his family and the dropzone, along with the photos everyone's posting. Please keep it clean if possible. :P



BTW, this is VERY sweet of you to do, Kris. :)
~Jaye
Do not believe that possibly you can escape the reward of your action.

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jfields and I were laying base for Betsy to perform her "Jungle Gym" tricks upon, with Deuce filming. In the boarding area, I made the huge mistake of confiding to JP that I was a little nervous jumping with someone of her ability, and should Justin and I try a stronger grip, or should we try to fall faster, or what ? He laughs and says "Just get stable....Bets will do all the work."
So on the ride up, he leans over at least 3 or 4 times and says things like....."Betsy is world-class"....."You'd better not f*** this up"......"I can't believe she's actually jumping with you two".....you know, nice little confidence builders. By the time we climbed out, my palms were soaking wet, I almost lost my grip on the bar, and when Betsy gave the key, I IMMEDIATELY funneled the exit....there wasn't even a split-second of coherent flying, just straight into the shitter. I'm plummetting like a lead house full of fat people, Justin's hanging on for dear life, and Betsy's flying her ass off trying to get us flat and stable, which she eventually does, and the rest of the jump is great. After we land, Deuce walks over with this huge shit-eating grin on his face (you know the one I'm talking about), shakes his head, and says "Man, I just can't believe you did that to Betsy." And thereafter gave me shit for it every time we talked. :)



That is a well told story. :)

Damn straight... that's awesome... B|:D
Livin' on the Edge... sleeping with my rigger's wife...

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Please share your favorite memory or memories of Deuce... I'm going to print them and put them in a scrapbooks for his family and the dropzone, along with the photos everyone's posting. Please keep it clean if possible. :P



BTW, this is VERY sweet of you to do, Kris. :)


:$ I hope so. These are wonderful stories everyone's sharing... keep them coming!

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I hope Bonnie does not mind...:$ she posted it in another thread and it's so touching, I hope you can include it:

Quote


To the friends of John Kelly, aka JP, aka Deuce:

I hear your cries.
I feel your pain.
I sense your anguish,
Your tears like rain.

Why did he do it?
What could I have done?
Oh God it hurts.
Why is he gone?

His pain as dark as the blackest night
His demons never giving up their fight.
The shadows deep within his heart
Constantly tearing his soul apart.

I do not know his painful depths
For that I thank the Lord
For I have only just begun to learn
To balance mine with His word.

But this I know to be true.
This I choose to share with you.
Our friend was with us many years.
Through the joy and through the tears.
Because of the light and love you chose to share
Because of the freedom he found in the air.

Please find peace in knowing well
You did your part to subdue his hell
Turn now to each other.
Hold your sister, hold your brother
Stand behind the girls he loved so well
Be there always so they may never fall.

In closing please know it’s more than words when I say, “I love you all.”

……and Peace and Blue Skies is more than a catchy slogan.



http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2812359#2812359
~Jaye
Do not believe that possibly you can escape the reward of your action.

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I've never met Deuce or talked to him but I do have a story to share:

When I first started jumping, I posted here asking for a picture of what it looked like in a crowded Otter because a friend of mine had asked what the plane ride was like. One of the mods suggested that I ask Deuce, but before I could PM him he posted a pic from Eloy. With someone I knew on the load...wearing my rig (I'd recently bought it from him)

Skydiving is a small, small world. Blue Skies, Deuce.
Owned by Remi #?

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Where to start? I have so many JP stories that ir is impossible to even think so I guess I'll just start from the beginning.

JP and I met at the first DZ.com Eloy Christmas Boogie. We had talked online some but back then the group was so small that we ALL talked to everyone at the same time. We arrive and of course JP knows me right away being I'm so short etc. We hit it off immediately. He and TallGuy made a point of looking after me by making sure I made it to the hotel while my buddies were nakid in the pool.:o I jumped with the gang all the next few days and really got to know everyone. JP was on EVERY jump I made that year. He introduced me to Guiness, his daughters (via pictures and stories), Corinne, Byron, and myself.

For those of you who knew me then I wasn't real into dating or anything...throwing rocks at guys was my comment. But, JP was different. We connected and talked for hours. We talked about everything like we had known each other for years. The connection wasn't physical but emotional. We understood each other. I listened to his happinesses, joys, excitements, fears, and concerns.

One of those talks took us to a fire pit where people were playing music and walking in the fire. JP always being a photographer has the camera in one hand and a beer in the other. The pictures speak for themselves as he falls into the guitar cases still holding both and not missing a beat. Only a true professional could pull that off. :P

On the day we left we hugged tight and I told JP I loved him. Not like something it wasn't but like someone who was special to me...because he was. Because he will always be. I also gave him hugs for his girls simply because they were so special to him and wanted him to know that they also heald a special place in my heart because they were his. He called me later to let me know he delivered those hugs.

--
Hot Mama
At least you know where you stand even if it is in a pile of shit.

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One of my favorite memories of JP started with the Giant Lizard thread.

lizard thread

That thread started fairly close to his birthday, so Lummy and I decided to find him a lizard to replace the one that died.

We searched quite a few stores before we finally found a Godzilla, but we did find it. You can see him with it in one of the pictures. He played with the Godzilla all day, like a litte kid.
Life is too short. Don't sweat the small stuff.

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Surely we've got more stories that this, don't we ?

My dad died in Vietnam when I was 10........my mom recently sent me two shopping bags full of cards and letters she received at that time, and I've spent many hours reading them all. Of course I loved my dad, and was proud of him, but reading all those letters from people who knew him, and cared about him, showed me the real person he was....not just the all-knowing father figure he was to me.

I'll probably never meet Deuce's two little girls, but I would certainly like them to know their father better someday -- through us.


Don
"When in doubt I whip it out,
I got me a rock-and-roll band.
It's a free-for-all."

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Here's a quick one that I've shared with a few others:

(heard while climbing to altitude and being next to him since I had to sit "bitch" on the hump of the King Air since I'm not of large stature)

Deuce (to French tandem passenger from Marin): "And over there you can see the Golden Gate bridge and Mt. Tam."
Passenger: ......
Deuce: "Now down below, the square-ish area with lots of boats is Discovery Bay...it's like a redneck Venice."

Redneck Venice...I like that.

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He was the reason Rich and I visited Byron when we took a California trip a couple of years ago. It was the only skydiving visit of the trip, but, well, he promised to buy me a jump :ph34r:.

Turns out it was one of the few low-wind days that they have at Byron, and every AFF student around was there to get as many jumps as they could. Between that and tandems, obviously he was slammed, and so was everyone else with any involvement with students. He'd come by every hour or so and say "sorry, but, well, the students just don't get to jump that much here."

But at the end of the day he and Gareth organized a fun load that was awesome; we had a great time. And at the end of the day, we stayed for the obligatory beer, stories, and to admire his bike.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Please share your favorite memory or memories of Deuce... I'm going to print them and put them in a scrapbooks for his family and the dropzone, along with the photos everyone's posting. Please keep it clean if possible. :P



WTF - what happened to Deuce??

"Skydiving is a door"
Happythoughts

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Holy shit i don't know what to say. I never met him, but i chatted to him through here and loved what he had to say.

Here is a PM he sent me when we had an initial exchange way back in July 2002 when i was just starting out jumping but looking into buying a video camera, and was curious about what to get and helmets etc in prep for being able to jump one. I was thinking of making a trip out to SF in 2003 that never happened but this is what he had to say....


Quote



E-mail me at home: *******@aol.com(removed email from this post)before you come out.

I love to meet and jump with new people.

I'm getting my first "pro" video job this weekend in Lodi, shooting 4-way. I've never had a reason to jump there before, but I figure if I stay between the grape stakes and the highway I should be OK?

Take a second look at the Aviator Hawkeye. I just love mine, but I had to add some additional foam around the jawline to make it as snug as I wanted it.

Are you in Europe? Those Y2K composite helmets look pretty darn cool too, but would be silly without a camera in them.

JP



Just giving me his email and inviting me out to jump with him when i was green with no jumps whatsoever and after just a couple of PM's said a certain something about him. I'm gutted i'll never get the chance to meet him now, RIP man, you'll be missed.

"Skydiving is a door"
Happythoughts

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Another of my alltime favorites is the first time JP showed me pictures of his girls. They were so cute and he went on and on and on and on (...you get the picture) about how smart they were, how much they loved playing with him and basically how sweet and special they were.

Next night...same story.

Next night...same story except instead of asking their names I told him their names. JP asked, "How did you know?"

JP was so proud of the girls that I guess he forgot who he showed them off too.

--
Hot Mama
At least you know where you stand even if it is in a pile of shit.

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