I watched the news from New Orleans today. No mention of it. A tower is missing over there today. To us, Joby was New Orleans. A great big tower of a man with a voice that sounded like a deep foghorn.
I think I 'met' Joby even before I 'met' Cappy in the Cooking Room on Yahoo. Since I was such a newbie online I was always having technical problems, so Joby, as he did with others, patiently talked me through all the mazes. And it was amazing; so much so that I began calling him "Jobyson" as though he were my sensei, and I was the 'grasshopper' who had much to learn. I never was able to be good enough to 'snatch the pebble from his hand', but because of him, I learned to at least be able to navigate online and know where to go for help. Whenever I'd thank him and say, "Thanks again, good-bye", he'd say, "Nooooo, Boo, (he called lots of us, "Boo", as it's a Cajun term of endearment)....Nooooo, Boo, don't say 'goodbye', that sounds too permanent, like you'll never see me again...say 'Cya' ". He also introduced me to real Cajun music. He sent me ("pirated" Cappy would say) CD's that he'd burn of his favorite music. WONDERFUL stuff! One of his screen names in the Cooking Room was "They Call Me the Breeze". I asked him where he got that name and he said it was the title to one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's songs. Believe it or not, 'til then I'd never heard of ol' Lynyard's band. (I'd led a very sheltered life). He also requested that I learn a song called "Lola Lola Lola Don't Go Out to Bingo" to play on my accordian. Which I did, and played for him at one of our family jambalayas when I moved down to South Louisiana. That made him happy. I'm glad I did it.
Now there was a reason Joby was in the Cooking Room; the man could cook! I have printed out so many of his recipes and tried them and they are fantastic. Most every year he would come to our family jambalaya and bring a dish to pass and a special surprise for me that was celiac friendly...no wheat or gluten carefully prepared so as not to have any cross contamination, which is a hard thing to accomplish. Every year the family would wait in anticipation to see what he would bring. LOL...I think it almost hurt Cappy's feelings sometimes because Cappy was working so hard on the main dish, either the seafood courtboullion or the jamalaya, but everybody kept talking about Joby's dishes. No matter how hard Joby tried keeping my food separate, 'the buzzards', not content with what he brought for the crowd, always swept down on the aluminum covered container clearly labeled, "Peggy's Special Food" and began grabbing with both hands. It was so funny to watch. I actually got some of it...deLISH.
We just loved the big guy. We hadn't heard from him in awhile, tho...at least I hadn't; I guess Cappy had. He had undergone a lot of upheaval in his life of late; had intestinal bipass, and when we were all wondering where he was for the family jambalaya this year, we learned that he had gone off and gotten remarried to a beautiful woman, so was honeymooning . aha, that explains it. Today was his birthday, so yesterday as I do every year, I went to BlueMountain ecards and sent him a card with a note saying how very happy he looked in the photos we saw of him on Facebook, and that we HAD to get together SOON with him to meet his lovely new wife.
Then last night Cappy called and said that he had heard that Joby had died last Friday. No way. We would have known...somebody would have called us. We didn't believe it and thought it was a mean practical joke. Cappy called Joby's cell phone and told me to look and ask around online. Since Joby is one of my friends on Facebook, I went there and saw...
Sighhhh...then I went to the link that took me to the funeral home on Canal Street in New Orleans. We just can't believe it.
This morning my plans were to go to New Orleans to see the ship USS New York depart with much fanfare to leave, going down the River before heading north toward New York City. This is the ship to which Cappy spoke about in an earlier post, which has been made of steel and materials from the Twin Towers in NYC. Today's departure commorates the birth of the United States Navy. October 13, 1775. The ship was to pass two big Navy vessels that prominantly sit in the River in New Orleans. Joby was responsible for those two ships. Joby worked for the Navy making sure these two supply vessels were well-equipped and well maintained. He would have been there today. Cappy and Joby had a running joke whenever they'd talk on the phone. Joby would always address Cappy in his deep booming voice, "HEYYYYY Coo-zan!" and Cappy would say something like, "Hey ya ol' pirate, how ya doin'? I just passed by your two old rusty buckets sittin' over there in the River the other day". And they'd joke back and forth, laughing raucously. sailors.
So today, Joby's birthday, Oct 13, also the birth of his Navy, and sadly, was also the day of his funeral. When I went out to my SUV to head over to New Orleans, I found my back passenger side tire flat. Well, that's about right. Too late. I wasn't about to unearth Cappy's Jeep, Tinker Bayl and head over...oh yeah, she'd like that for sure; it was thundering and lightening and pouring rain again today.
I wanted to go over and tell our Joby good-bye. It's strange, but all day it just felt like Joby was around. The only way I thought I could stop 'puddling' up tonight was to come back to the computer where I found him,... or he rescued me, and tell him "Cappy and I will dearly miss you old friend"...so..."Cya Jobyson".