It's been a good ride so far!

Since I was just a kid all I have ever wanted to do was to make people laugh or just smile. As a child, an educator sent a note home to my parents. It read; If your son thinks he is going to get through life making people laugh he is in for a RUDE AWAKENING! He is not living up to his potential. WELL, I'M STILL NOT! But at this site you will at least see me try. From the heart, thank you for even being interested, it means the world to me. I always say, I have not a single fan but many a friend!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Now that's how you make an exit


As you guys know, I sort of dropped off of the face of the earth for a bit there. If you read my last blog I gave a brief explanation for the reason why. That trouble with the tooth has yet to be resolved and every so often rears it's ugly head. For as long as I can remember my life has been feast or famine and this is in no way, shape or form an exaggeration. When things are good for us, they are incredible but when things are bad for us, famine may not even come close to describing it. One week the lil woman and I may be eating fillet Mignon and lobster and then find ourselves just weeks later, for weeks surviving on Ramen Noodles! In the 25 years that we have been together, conventional is a word that has never been used to describe our life. There were some periods when we got conservative and tried to put some money on the side for a rainy day or in that "just in case" acct. but that only lasts so long anyway. It's just shy of 11 years since my wife was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and that changed the entire game! The reason that we knew something was wrong was the day that both of her feet fell asleep and went pins and needles. To make a long story short, those pins and needles rose steadily like a thermometer being taken from the freezer and placed directly in the sunlight! The numbness and incredibly painful "tingling" got up in to her chest where it made it impossible for her to breathe as if a giant weight lifting belt had been cinched around her and no matter how hard she tried, her lungs just could not expand and shortly after SHE WENT BLIND! I raced her to the hospital praying that she could catch enough breath to survive until I got her there. One MRI later and we got the diagnosis and it was devastating. Neither of us knew really much about MS at all with the simple exception that you became crippled and then you died!

She beat the odds and got most of her sight back which was an incredible gift as a great many people do not! That first major attack ended after a few months of brutal treatment with serious meds and I remember having never felt so helpless and so very angry in my life. Why her? This woman is a saint!
I remember sneaking away to the computer and going online to research all I could on MS and there was not one thing that was in any way positive. Later, I would walk in to the office, see her sitting at the desk on the computer and in the reflection of the windows behind her, see the header WEB MD! I would rip the wires out of the back of the computer and break the connection. Looking back it was silly and stupid. I wanted her to fight for her life and the last thing I wanted was for her to read the same things that I had just seen. It was to no avail, she would just calmly walk around the desk and plug them back in. I would walk out the back door of the house, walk deep in to the pine barrens behind us and cry and get it out of my system and then return to her side.

It turns out that I just may be married to the baddest bitch who ever walked the land! Rather than take that info she just read and say, "well, I have no chance" and just give up, it pissed her off to no end. From that moment on, she would not allow this fucking thing to beat her, no way, no how! With that attitude, I too became inspired. With the meds that she got put on immediately and diet and exercise she has put on the greatest display of staying positive that I have ever witnessed, it's just incredible! What does this have to do with feast or famine you ask? EVERYTHING! The thing with MS is that one night you can get a kiss from your girl at night and off to sleep she goes and then in the morning, she could wake up, blind or paralyzed! That is the viciousness of this monster of a disease. The problem in not so much the disease that gets you, but the unknown that scares you to death deep down. From the moment that she was able to live a relatively normal life again, we decided that was it! No longer would we worry about the future or what it may hold for us but we worried about what we were going to do tomorrow to make it count! We decided from that point on, that we would live each and every single day to come as if it were our last and you know what, it just may be. Look at what's happening in Japan right now. What good does a big bank account do for those people? What did saving for a rainy day do for them? It didn't rain, a tsunami came and took it all! There is no tomorrow!

We looked at each day as a gift. We travelled to places that we have always wanted to go. We packed up and up rooted our lives back east where the weather can be brutal and moved to THE VALLEY OF THE SUN! We would spend the money as fast as it came in on "living life". We have no kids so there is no guilt in not saving for them. Because of the businesses we were in, we had money rolling in hand over fist and life was looking pretty good. Then the market crashed, everyone around us, the people that we loved were losing everything. Some time to be in real estate right? It caught up to us as well. In that first 9 years since her diagnosis we blew through an utterly insane amount of money. We spent nearly a half a million dollars on meds, treatment and all the other great stuff that comes with being sick and we spent all else we had left on making every day of life the best it could be and we never looked back! Then the economy caught us by the tail as well. The money stopped rolling in and for nearly one year we had virtually no income. We never imagined at that time that for real estate "it was over" and that the entire economy would crash 18 months later. That river of cash turned into a dried up stream bed and we were in deep shit! There would be an occasional storm and we would have some water in that stream bed to give us life but for the most part it was time to liquidate. Do I need 3 bikes? NO! Do we need a convertible, a jeep, a bmw, a truck and water toys? NO! We needed a roof over our heads and mostly, we needed that life giving medicine that was costing us 4thousand dollars a month to get! So I cleaned house and that kept us going for a while. While everything around us was crashing down I noticed one thing, she stayed positive and she would say, "it could be worse".

When times are tough, you need to cherish what is good and that will give you the strength to carry on. No matter how bad things were, we would go out of our way to do something to help someone else and although it didn't help to keep the lights on in the house, it helped to keep the lights on in our Souls! We gained hope and inspiration through always doing the right thing and never turning our back to anyone in need and believe me, over the last 4 or 5 years there have been a shit ton of people in need. Thanks to our being such good people, there were people there to help us when we needed a hand up. People who see Diane's spirit down a bit and ask what's wrong? You are always the "up" one and now you are "down", what's wrong? Well, money is the problem, right now we are short and won't have any coming in for a few weeks, not sure how we are going to make it through till then. Next thing you know, there is a check in your hand for 2, 5, 10 grand and a message, pay it back when you can, if you can. If you can't, don't worry about it. That is karma coming back around. We had done so much good for so many and it was noticed. Well we have never not repaid a debt and those hands that reached out to us and kept us from slipping away will never be forgotten. Cherish friendship, always do the right thing no matter what you face and somehow in the end, you will have more Feast than Famine. Your pockets may not be full but your heart will.

So I say this to you my friends, you can fill your tank and take off on a ride. You can stay in third gear and ride at a safe pace but where is the thrill in that? All you have done is travel from one place to another in the most mundane way. I say fuck it man! Give that throttle a quick twist, shoot some gas in to that engine and cause an explosion and feel that adrenaline shoot in to your engine. I am not saying ride with the throttle wide open non stop. All that will do is get you tickets and maybe get you killed. I am saying that sometimes you have to crack that throttle, hold it wide open, grit your teeth and hang on for dear life. You may or may not even make it to your destination. I have always said that for me, it is never the destination but the journey there that matters! A few days ago we had a friend come back to Arizona for court because on his last trip, he had held that throttle wide open just a bit too long. It was great to see him. We ate, drank and just enjoyed each other's company. When it came time for him to go, he kick started that bad ass shovel of his on my driveway. He could he have jut pulled away with a nod and a smile and ridden off, sure. But rather, he jockey shifted that bitch into first, dumped the foot clutch and smoked the tire as he rode away and that is how you make an exit! We never know what life is going to bring us. What I say is the hell with it, I don't want to be heading to my grave with regrets of the things I never go to do and get wheeled in to a room to die. I want to come screaming in, throttle wide open and come in skidding and sliding in, fist pumped in the air screaming THAT WAS ONE HELL OF A FUCKIN RIDE. Make a graceful entrance but make an insane exit! Here is a quick video of Frankie who shares this philosophy and lives each day, one moment, one memory at a time! Now get out there, live it and when it's time to go, MAKE ONE HELL OF AN EXIT!


  1. I have never met you in person, so thanks for the insight. I really like your outlook, and yes, you are married to one tough lady! I hope to meet you and your wife someday, but until then, keep on keepin' on! Shovels, pans and knucks rule!

  2. You guys are so like my dear friends. I have yet to meet you, but we think the same way. Your wife is one tough woman, and GOD KEEP HER SAFE AND WELL. You totally understand the one day one shot idea, and you hit perfectly.
    Sometimes it takes a serious upset in the everyday that so many take for granted. Once that shake up happens, you either roll with it, get pissed off, or beat it. You guys are doing it right.
    Screw a quiet exit.
    I got hit by lightning last summer, and it didnt kill me, only slightly fucked me up. But that one moment changed my life, and it made me realize this aint no video game and you dont get another quarter...
    Shiny side up
    And big accolades to your lady.
    She is a pillar. And you, right there next to her, holding her strength, and supporting eachother. You guys will make it.

  3. Nice Jack!! real your way of thinking man.I wish you and your wife the very best .If Karma has anything to do with it, you both got some good shit coming for sure.

  4. Jack thanks for sharing from your heart. Takes a real man to admit the emotional side of everday problems and life threatening issues. My brother fought MS for years. Served 4 tours in Nam and was brought down by this disease. It was a pleasure meeting you brother and I look forward to my next chance to see you again. I wish you and your wife the very best you can have.

    Dave D.

  5. Jack ~

    I borrowed a bike from a mutual friend over the weekend.

    I rolled her out of that garage, sun shining off the chrome, the street quiet, still waiting.

    I turned her on, started her up and eased out towards the freeway.

    At the top of that on-ramp, I twisted the wick, engine jumping, pipes screaming taking me down that long stretch of roadway, merge lines blending into a solid white.

    Putting miles behind, forgetting the crimes, the sorrow, the heartache. Moving in time on two wheels, that signature Harley sound loud, the rushing wind, the road, the blue sky before me.

    All of it happening at once and enjoying each ticking second, a stillness within myself as I raised my fist into the air as I rode on.

    I'm free...

    Thank you Jack!!

  6. Very well written! I have a great admiration for, Diane! I pray all the best for the both of you. Ya'll definitely deserve it, friend! Much L&R

  7. Thank you all for the kind words about this post. I have never gotten more "letters", comments, messages and emails about any thing that I have ever written as I have gotten regarding this post. This post is the furthest thing ever from what it began as! I just wanted you guys to meet Frankie and this is how it ended up... Thank you all, I am one lucky mother fucker!

  8. Amen, Brother!! Gotta cherish each one cause ya never know! The timing of me reading this was unreal - just pasted the 1 yr anniv of a buddy's passing - real inspirational for me - thanks for sharing man!

  9. Jack... I can remember vividly when I found out one of my dearest girl friends suffers with MS.

    A bunch of us were hanging out at a cabin in woods during Thunder Beach one year. We were drinking beer around a big bonfire and singing rock songs to the radio when she stumbled and almost fell into the fire. What happened after that scared the holy crap out of all of us! Her legs just went numb and gave out. We had to lift and carry her away from the fire and set her down on a sleeping bag. It was over an hour later or so, before she was able to move around again, and that's when she made her confession to us.

    From then on, we understood why she would just up and go to sleep on us (right in the middle of a great party!) or easily loose her train of thought, or just not be able to do anything for days at a time.

    Living life to the fullest is the best attitude! Sounds like you laid some good ground work with your pals... time to let the table turn.

  10. It's nice to know that there are two other people in this world that understand how much the journey means in life:) I hope the sun always warms the road in front of you Jack. Hug the lil Lady for me, I have so much respect for her. It's hard to fight when you have all the odds stacked against you, but she's an Angel and knows how to buck up!

  11. The strength of a man is.seen when the one he loves he feels her pain. When the pride is set aside at any cost if it is for her. Your tears are not weakness they just remind you there is something you love that is more important then you. You my friend are an incredible example of a man. You and Diane remind those who have not found such a profound love that it still exists. Thank you for sharing your life, it is humbling.