It all started when I was wearing my Kermit the frog t shirt w/ Rainbow suspenders walking into preschool. I looked across the room & spotted a fine young \"charismatic enigma\" looking like Rickie Shroeder w/ his brown sports coat & jeans. Right then & there I realized a special friendship was about to be born. We immediately became the center of attention whether it was taking apart the slide in the classroom or standing up & yelling \"Cheeeese\" at the top of our lungs during a group photo while the rest of the kids sat there giving us strange looks. That might have been the 1st, but definitely not the last time we would get strange looks together. Even though we lived across the street from one another between \"know your role boulevard\" & \"gibroni drive\" , the world needed a break from these \"New Age Outlaws\" \"wreaking of awesomeness.\" But the stars did align once again in high school because we were \"Cottage street guys\" & JJ knew I truly belonged w/ \"The Boys.\"
JJ is the type of friend that would take a bullet for you even when he wasn't aware of it. I don't know how many times my parents found \"His cigars & Playboys\" in my room.
We ended up at college together & I'll just say that '97 was a good year. We lived in the same house on campus & were truly rock stars. Parrot Bay, a Handle of Wild Irish Rose, 40s of Quoqui, along w/ a healthy dose of 80's music, reruns of Shogun, Boogie Nights & hardcore matches were standard every Saturday. We even had an answer machine message calling ourselves \"Swingers for Life\", imitating our favorite pro wrestlers. Little did we know that the age when our parents grew up, swingers meant something else. We still laugh together about the message JJ's mom & her friend left one day expressing their concern for his well being & lifestyle.
Whether it was the answer machine message, our \"taste in music & posters on the wall\", a movie where we are shirtless slapping raw meat around & pouring a gallon of milk down our pants for what he still to this day tries to tell me was for a communications class, or our love for pro wrestling. I guess one could look back & see how our lifestyles were in question.
Well looking back now we can all put the questions to rest. JJ is a caring, loving, faithful friend who would take the shirt off his back for you in a heartbeat whether you asked him to or not.
This however is not all that defines him. He is a man deeply involved in his community, in his church, in his faith, in his circle of friends, & most importantly in his family. He has been my Tag Team Partner for the last 35 years, & like every great tag team you break apart for your singles career to attain the Championship Gold.
When I 1st met his wife I saw a caring & loving person who not only had the same core values as JJ, but was smarter, more attractive & funnier. However, it wasn't until she surprised him w/ Wrestlemania tickets in Atlanta, & actually went as well,that i knew she was 100% committed, in love & indeed that Championship Gold for him. I had even told him that \"she is the best there is, the best there was, & the best there ever will be\" for him & that no matter what gets thrown at them in the ring of life, they will always be Champions!
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