Jimmy Martinez- Taken Too Soon
by JoAnn Bragg Marrero
(Staten Island, NY USA)
Jimmy, JoAnn + Brian 2011
My dear friend Jimmy, you are gone too soon.
There is no neighborhood on earth, like Bergen Beach, the friends I made there , growing up are forever. Even before Face book!
The memories I cherish are endless.. I need to put them down out of fear of losing them!
You helped me practice my polka and lindy for High School gym (how many people our age know how to Lindy or Polka? ) . You danced with me at my Sweet 16, You 'slept with' me in Leeds,(all you needed was the lily) - cause you were safe, reliable. I woke you up when I got ahold of some beer, and what did you say " you woke me up for Schlitz?" .. and let's not forget 'here comes the Sunrise! You took me to Vegas for the First Time! Caesars, even though you had a kidney stone.. and when you won big - you wouldn't let me pay for anything You worried about me in my crazy youth.. always gently lecturing me on the evilness of my ways. You were a brother, and a guidance counselor all rolled up into one.
When Gary was leaving me for California, you offered to pay for me to go to Italy with you, you worried about my tender broken heart. You promised to marry me by 30 (if no one else 'bothered' ) Sitting thru the saga, JFK, you came up with the amazing idea to get a shore house, which led to some of the most amazing summers ever.. even if you did have to sleep with one-eye open. You were the best BBQ'ers and the hours we spent kibitzing about Brian's messy tendencies were some of the best! You exposed me to the joys of German (and Yiddish!) You kept your home impeccable clean! You were always there with a 'Veeeeer' - when it was needed.. (oh and it was so needed so many times..) You were there at my 30th to intervene with the Yard Sale!!. The house meetings.. "mortified" , "I've Never" . You expanded my vocabulary, in ways I still use today. Ever the gentleman, ever the friend. We thought alot alike, we had the same attitude towards the world in general. I will miss this immensely. Reason within all the chaos.
Something happened, in the late 90's - neither one of us ever figured out what it was , but we did know who did it.. and we lost touch.. we missed so much of each other's lives, but by 2011 we had reunited and it was fabulous. I didn't realize how precious that was until now, now that you're gone.
I promise you I will never forget you. You really were such a big part of my life, and again, I should have put more effort post-reunion. But I truly cherish the dinners and chats we did have, catching up with each other.
Rest in Peace my dear friend, I will see you on the other side. Where we can lindy and drink tequila sunrises for all eternity..