I feel like I’m starting to repeat myself as I’m writing this blog series on my family, but I can’t help it. JP is really warm and friendly, and like the rest of us, loves to laugh and joke around. When I was growing up, JP and his family would occasionally visit from out of town, and it was always a big deal because JP was “the cool cousin from California.” When I grew up and lived out west for a short time, I got to hang out with JP and find out he really is the cool cousin from California.
You remember when I was talking about my Uncle John and all the times my dad, Ray, and I were over at his house playing cards all night? Well, a lot of those times, John’s eldest JP was there, too. Whether horseback riding through the Mojave Desert or taking me to cool places like Robber’s Roost or just kicking back at his house, JP is a great guy to be around.
One weekend JP took Ray and I camping up in Mammoth Lakes. It was a blast. I remember JP and Ray came up with the idea that the three of us should get matching tattoos and for a short time we drove around looking for a tattoo parlor. I knew two things for sure:
- I didn’t want a tattoo
- If Ray and JP got one, there was no way I wasn’t going to get one. I couldn’t do that to them
Fortunately, we didn’t find a place and I secretly breathed a sigh of relief.
When we got to the campground, we tossed around the Aerobie for about 2 minutes before it got stuck in a tree, and JP and I trying to put up a busted tent was an experience I still recall quite fondly (Ray would have helped, but he was busy videotaping everything).
As night fell, the card playing commenced and well…I don’t know if it was the mountains, the cards, the full moon, or something else, but it was just….hilarious; I don’t know when I’ve ever laughed so much. At one point, JP made Ray eat a moth. Don’t get me wrong, JP didn’t hold Ray down and force feed it to him, we were sitting at the picnic table and one of those huge moths was dancing around our lantern.
JP pointed to it and said to Ray, “Eat that.”
The words had barely been said and Ray had slammed his hand over the moth, grabbed it, and stuffed it in his mouth. Seconds later, it was gone.
I no longer have any proof this night (or the moth moment) existed. Unless I made Ray and/or JP a copy of the videotape, all of the evidence has been destroyed. Seeing as how Ray and JP are both parents, that’s probably a good thing.