Posted by: 2russ | September 9, 2013


I first met Josh at Blue Jay.  I was walking my dog and he came around a corner of the wooded campground by himself.  He said:  “May I walk your dog?”   I later created a relationship with his mom, and then of course, with him and his brother, who was younger.

But then, it was at first sight, a trust relationship:  “Sure, here you go!” and I turned over the leash attached to a 65 pound red Doberman to a complete stranger!

I felt free!  I was on a camping trip, and now, no dog!  My co-pilot, my immediate family, in the hands of a 15 year old.

And that was the start of my long relationship with Josh!  Nearly 20 years. I think that the kind of encounter could actually be the best summation of what he was all about!  The here, the now!  No pretense was there, ever, with Josh!  Just pure science and understanding or a wish to find out how things worked.  Even dogs or pets he’d never experienced, he was fascinated over.

Josh was born shot from the womb, and he started walking early, and he was skinny, and fast.  He always had a hard time breathing and suffered from asthma, so he used a rescue inhaler from time to time.  He was quick and quick witted and very intelligent.  His inquisitiveness ended up getting him into trouble.  He loved guitar and all of the old Classic Rock from his mother’s era.  And he was good on guitar, although later he complained about tone deafness.  By that time, I was taking lessons for guitar.  I didn’t believe in tone deafness, although I too find it hard, as opposed to natural to pick up melodies and hear changes.  But he said he had to learn and memorize anything he played and ultimately he got discouraged over his playing.  But he appreciated guitars and I remember jamming with him, me on bass and him on guitar, a few times.

He played my old Guild OM model six string acoustic a few times and did a fine rendition of Greensleeves on it.

We moved to Northern California and he came with us.  His brother did too. It was the country.  There were bikers and thus, drugs – Meth!  Josh liked it because it made him seem alive.  Ironic.  It led to his undoing.  He got in trouble with the law.

Josh loved kids, animals, music, photography, cars, cooking and eating good meats and drinking beer.  He was so alive.  We loved it when he brought a girlfriend to dinner with us who he’d met at rehab.  She had a kid and he liked her too!  We had many good times but when he was crashing, we didn’t.  He was sick.

He moved back with his dad when we moved to Washington.  He got a good job with a countertop firm.  Then he was pulled over.  He and his mom were going to go back to the north to take care of it.  With money and time off to take care of it, he couldn’t stand the dread of maybe being back in jail in Auburn. So he stayed up nights.  On the computer.  Not making good choices.  He always said:  “Don’t blame your selves, it’s all me, and it is all about the friends you choose.”  He always knew exactly what to say to his family to allay fears.  He had Halcyon and that is one drug that can’t be mixed, but he did.  He could not sleep.  His pain was overwhelming. On February 26, 2007 a month and a day after his 34th birthday, he died.  Our life ended that day, too.

After that we never looked at life the same way.  We can see carefree people.  Now we sit and wait.  We wait for God’s whispers, as Josh is in our minds and hearts every day.


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