Things about Jonathan we didn't know

wonderful, Thanks Andi

I have compiled a bunch of short stories that are attached about Jonny over the last few years as mainly so we can always remember them. Tanya suggested that you may like to read through them as some may give a smile. they have done this to some we have shown and it jogs their memories to lots of other tales about the big guy, do with them whatever you want, may be an idea for others to write some tales and maybe post onto his site, completely up 2 u. hope this message finds you well. take care. Andi
Memories of a hero

Jonny Boy

Jonny was a hero to all of us. He was a big guy in every sense, he lit up a room with his cheeky smile, his eyes twinkled and we all respected him. We would all call on him to help us out and he would find himself at our doors for friendly advice from time to time. It made me smile after a night out and maybe a scuffle he would always be a bit sheepish with Tanya especially. He was always full of energy and he had a gift with the ladies so we were all a little envious of his little black book. He only had two sets of clothes, either fire brigade black or the timeless white t-shirt blue jeans combo. He loved his cars and had a couple of Peugeots, a couple of Novas and a couple of Corollas always being given attention to and extras bolted on. His knowledge of cars helped us all out and especially Trigger who needed advice on where to fill his radiator water. He also had a Suzuki GSX600 which we all wanted to chain saw up as the speed temptation was always there. He was a good eater too as Penny found at Homeleigh when he ordered two breakfasts.

Fire Brigade
The first time I saw Jonny, was on a shout on the road between Ladycross and the Countryman pub. He was a passenger in Simon's car, a yellow Nova I think it was, and they had skidded on a bend straight into a telephone wire pole which split and came between them. I was new to the brigade so this must have been the winter of 1997. We cut Jonny and Simon out and they were taken off in an ambulance and I remember Mark Hutchings being there and Barry Jordan. Next time we were together we were stood in a line in the Dragon Leisure Centre in Bodmin ready for the bleep test as part of whole time recruitment. It was his first time so he stayed next to me like a shadow especially in the early slow rounds and we congratulated each other on finishing, but it was to no avail as we both eventually failed on the application form. We would eventually try again for the whole time again in 2001 which we did together helping each other out along the way with application forms and interview techniques and this time I got through but it was with muted celebration as I was gutted that JVB didn't receive the same good news. But hell, he was determined and went through the process twice more and we again helped him as we could with information and encouragement and I will never forget the feeling we had when the good news finally came through during a meal at Trethorne. Part 1 of our 5year plan to get back on the same fire engine was complete. Then extra good news, he landed Orange shift so that meant a whole lot of time off together to waste on the golf course.

Collision under Southgate arch.
We were both in the Bakers Arms after a drill night as we were still in uniforms when the alerters started, we were as usual like lightning out of the door and both made the decision to go the Madford Lane way. I sprinted under the arch where the cars go through and was turning up the hill when Jonny t-boned me from under the pedestrian arch. We rolled right across the road and were lying on the tarmac outside the hardware centre. JVB was first to his feet and shouted are you ok? I mumbled I think so and he ran off. By the time we got to the old fire station I had blood and grazes all over. Another time about 10 firemen were in the little café next to the station after a long barn fire and were about to tuck into breakfast when the bells went down again. Chairs and tables flew in the room and somehow from being the furthest in the corner he made it onto the engine and from then it was obvious when he used to always take an outside seat so he could be first to the door wherever we were to. We were all in the back room of the White Hart once for Walter Downing's party when the beepers went off so we again dashed across the polished floor of the hall. I skidded on my knees under a table of buffet and we both were met by a jammed corridor containing Sam Logg and two Ham brothers. Between us they were forced back and quite rightly a little annoyed but screw it hey.

Driving mishaps
Most of his prangs had something to do with the alerter in his pocket. We were all in the watch room once when we heard JVB had crashed his Toyota Corolla (the first one) on St Thomas Road when we got there we could hardly believe it the force of the impact had picked up a land rover defender and placed it onto the pavement. He had been doing 29mph even though he had caught air on St Thomas Bridge. Another time he rear ended a new Audi coming out of Pennygillam Industrial Estate onto the round about. One time I came up from Western Road and parked outside Tottles music shop, as I opened the door I heard a screech of brakes and white smoke as his grey Nova anchored up stopping so that my car hardly felt a rub as we were fused together. I reassured him with a big smile as he covered his eyes with his hands.

Push button start
I was out with Karen in town for the 2002 World cup England game and we were shit faced. I remember being about to stumble into the Westgate when we saw Jonny's Nova pull into the station. As I got to his empty car I wanted to show Karen his Batman starter where instead of a key it was wired so you had to open the cigarette lighter and push a big red button. Vrooom, it started and I was revving like hell. He, from the toilet heard this and came running out thinking someone was stealing it only to find me at the wheel, worse for wear. He asked what was up and before I could answer I had to dash around the back and throw my guts up before coolly going back to greet him.

This was another personal favourite of the big man and we should have been doing this for his 26th birthday. He worked as a Saturday job down at the tactical assault place when he was younger and to us that meant he was an expert. We went there for many birthdays, stag dos and once with the fire brigade on a drill night. Andy Reeves let us down there in dim to failing light and he had night sights on his semi automatic. We could always rely on Jonny, Trigger and Penny to be neck deep in the river with guns above their heads in pursuit of a mangy old flag. I remember his cheeky face as they handed him the task of passing someone else a hi-viz jacket to wear with him in the woods and as he came towards me grinning I knew I was in the shit. The best memory of paint ball with him was when, he was for some violation of the rules, facing a 10 man firing squad. He gave the bird in defiance only to have his ring finger accurately shot.

Lost in St Austell
Trigger and myself were travelling with JVB in his green 306 to Mevagissey so I could buy a cheap summer wetsuit like his. We got to St Austell (where he worked!) and he was darting down side streets to miss traffic lights and stuff. Then he showed us the best short cut of all, we were not far short of Truro before we mentioned that we took the wrong road off the roundabout. Well funny, singing James Blunt at the top of our voices.

Pass Out Day
We were all chuffed to see Jonny finally land the job he so desperately wanted, we had to make it to his pass out. Our day started for Penny, Trigger and myself catching a bus that made an emotional journey to Plymouth via every hamlet in East Cornwall. From there it was only right for a quick pint in Witherspoons, ah no it was quite wrong. We were sat in the window with lagers whilst mums took their kids past on the way to school. During the day we popped forward and back a number of times to the Lord Louis pub between drills and waited in anticipation for his RTA drill that some foolish person had tasked him with the job of 'lightly' crashing the car in the demonstration. We saw him broadside as he entered the drill arena and wallop. Good demo. This day ended up somehow in Destiny's, no doubt dancing like he was feeding the chickens via his local bar for his time in training school, Temptations.

Jonny like most of us, liked to occasionally use the odd profanity. But when he was telling a story or a joke that would become much more frequent. The F word could be the noun, verb and adjective all in one sentence. Tanya and I often wondered if he accidentally swore in a brigade interview. The time that sticks in our mind was when he wanted to tell a joke to Penny and I but it had the C word in the punch-line and Bradley's radar ears were also in the room. Penny urged him to tell the joke but mime the naughty word, good plan. Problem is he couldn't manage this and blurted out the bad word but fortunately Bradley was silent. Later that day whilst discussing the issue of the rude joke Penny used a much milder swear word that Bradley not only heard but shouted out a couple of times, he was gutted but it was a bit funny.

The lobster. Oh dear. After another day of spear fishing into a crab pot he had a beautiful lobster. He was told by somebody that as to not crack the shell he had to bring it slowly to the boil. We could hardly believe it, the poor thing must have thought it was having a bath until it got hotter and hotter. He wondered why it made such a fuss, mmm I wonder.

Chicken legs
I loved going to watch the Castles on days when football was cancelled. Me and Trigger used to use what we christened 'Dutch Taxi' this was a 4pack each from Tesco that if we walked along the fields to Lower Bamham then along the road were just enough to make it to the club. Jonny was usually on the wing wearing the number 11 of one of his heroes, Ben Cohen. He had massive upper body and long thin legs. We all knew he had speed because of our races to the station but sometimes with people watching him he tried so hard to raise his game it back fired with an adverse affect. We still cheered every tackle or run he or Penny made. I travelled down to Camborne to see him play for the fire brigade in the black and gold of Cornwall this was great for him as it amalgamated two things that made him very proud.

Competitive Streak
Jonny had a competitive streak like no other and it was obvious in everything he did, brigade, sport and even eating. His rivalry with Penny was the most obvious especially as they joined the retained together, were the same age and played for the same rugby team. There was always 2way banter with that pair even when Penny sprained his ankle outside the Liberal Club or when Jonny was dump tackled by a gentleman in his late 60s. The rivalry came to a head one night in the White Hart, Penny had drank some vinegar so Jonny had to down the whole thing. To top it all off, Penny then tried to snort a condom through his nose and out his mouth which to his credit he managed but only after a Loz style gagging fit and the rest of us feeling queasy.
Another time when myself and Trigger were in Bude in the Jacuzzi we were having a game of holding our breath and we ended up like Red Mick. This turned into a competition so when Jonny was under water we legged it which wound him right up. This one of many times we went pampering, a few times we went to Woodford Bridge for a swim and sauna, and we can't forget that he had a sun bed in his parents house hat he fell asleep on and was a gorgeous shade of purple for a bit.

Surfing tricks
I will certainly never forget riding in a wave next to Jonny on his mini mal and shaking his hand mid ride. It made both our days and we were talking about it at work for days. He was doing really well at stand up surfing and I really enjoyed forcing myself out of bed to go with Dick Wilson and him at 5 in the morning just to prove to him that I could. On one occasion we had the most civilised tea party ever. Trigger and Jonny constructed a make shift coffee table of a plastic box with a body board on top covered with a towel. Trigger then picked some lovely weeds to set things off so we could really enjoy the luke-warm tea, then back to the Pie Stop café for some real food.

Camel trail
A great day, that was not so well organised. By the time we had transport to Bodmin and three bikes with air in their tyres it was mid afternoon but hell to it we were on our way, that was until our first beer stop at the Borough Arms which was about half a mile from where we set off. We were going to fill Penny's camel back with Bacardi Breezer until we worked out how much it would cost. When we were on our way again, I for some reason did a little bunny hop, and of course the competitive streak between Penny and Jonny did not fail to amuse as the next 7 miles the passers by were given a free bike stunt show by three adults trying to perform stunts that included standing on seats and crossbars, bunny hops, skids, side saddle and a whole range of funny crap.

Football sidelines
Landkey FC at home. After beating them 4-0 in the league they came for vengeance. I was well chuffed as I was stand in captain for the day and he came to cheer us on. To add to this rare occasion I scored which is just as seldom an event. We were winning the game but they were winning the physical battle and at the start of the 2nd half my knee was kicked and I twisted it on landing. I was then subbed and hobbled around to Jonny who was shouting for us with gusto. The funniest but most cringing part was his on going 'war of words' with the Landkey manager, he was revelling in it and as we won the game he rubbed it in as far as it would go but light hearted enough for a wry smile from the losing boss.

Golf mishaps
Three times I have been hit by a flying golf ball, three times coming from JVBs clubs. The original and best was on the first tee at Trethorne off the winter mats and a bunch of beady eyes from the club house. Jonny took his usual crouching stance and I was looking directly down his 3iron shaft. As he struck it with a shank that defied the laws of physics the ball came at my nose literally a metre away. I had just enough time to duck as the ball skimmed off my baseball cap that was rarely worn and over into the driving range. Another time on the 6th hole he was traditionally in the trees near the 17th and I was walking ahead (yes my fault this time) and I was gesturing a hello to a crusty old player with a disapproving look in his eye coming towards me. I heard his strike and then another strike onto my bag that went straight through me with the ball going on past. As I was being so closely watched by the old gentleman I did not react or break stride just smiled as I could hear Jonnys nervous guilty laugh followed by many not needed apologies. I loved playing golf with Jonny as he improved like no other, in the early days all he wanted to do was drive the buggy, then as he got into it more and more with new clubs and talk of lessons he proved to be very good, occasionally 'smoking us'. I remember being on the 8th tee many times willing his ball to clear the lake because of the jubilant smile when it did. Penny also had a close call with Jonny too, thinning a chip straight at him and he pulled a Matrix/Naseem Hamed style swerve to avoid a black eye.

Fire Station fun
He used the station for all sorts, showering, car maintenance, meeting place, anything. He once used the Hurst Combi-tool to cut stricken maiden out of hand cuffs, wonder why it took him so long to release her? We also remember watching while he was adjusting his brakes on his red Nova, I kept him chatting while Trigger rolled his wheel up Dunheved Road and hid it. Jonny also returned to the station once to find a 70kg dummy sat in it with his tunic on smoking a rolly.

Oasis bus rides
Every night out during the weekend seemed to turn out the same way. Even if we were at another party like a fire brigade dance or football club presentation there would be an expected early exit to oasis for JVB. Often the next day we would see a sheepish Jonny on the door step as he would recall the events usually admitting he should have stayed in town, what a waste of money, same old faces but hey next time would be no different. He has been known to get a ride on top of or clinging to the rear door of the minibus that shuttles oasis goers to the shed.

Jonny loved karaoke and if we were in the liberal club, Bell Inn or anywhere with a mic. he would have a go. Always persuading me to sing what he always called the jungle book song with him, this was a favourite of mine from my Widemouth manor days (The Tokens-The lion sleeps tonight) and he would 'wee a wumba way' along to it. On our nights in town they nearly all had a set format that started with lager and over enthusiastic table Fussball where we would play him only to see orange streaks of a ball flying into the goals with enough force to almost smash the ply wood . I could tell if he was serious by the veins in his arms and the focus in his eyes. I am not sure now as when I played others it did not happen but when JVB and me played it was nearly always a 5all draw followed by his demand of a rematch. Problem is if we were going to another pub this would now have to be the Bakers so a rematch could happen.
Food was a must at the end of the night so the chicken house was a regular stop and while his mighty burger was being constructed we would have a draw off of an animal for 'Chemical Ali' to judge, we still do a draw off but the animals theme has been retired with him.

Looe tattoo parlour
We were checking out the tattoo parlour in Looe for a touch up. He wanted a change of outer image and wanted barbed wire to become a tribal band only to almost arrange the ordeal while England were playing a world cup match. We soon put a stop to that and on exiting the place we went for fish n chips. We were cowering from a flock of swooping shite hawks when JVB launched his entire chip tray sky ward and we all legged it across the car park from a screaming mass of feathers and beaks.

Music bad taste
I always smile now when I hear a 'Jonny song'. This was anything with a hi tempo house beat (for his shagz side) or a soft romantic fist clencher usually a film sound track. Here is a few to list; Scooter Logical song, Flip n Fill Shooting star, DJ Sammy Heaven, any James Blunt, James Morrison, Goo-goo dolls iris, soundtrack coyote ugly, top gun, young guns. I especially remember when he said to Trigger and I listen to this then this will impress you, only to follow it up with Travis and a groan of disappointment. All these bad taste songs are among our favourites now mate.

House Warming
He was so happy to finally own a house and that was all too obvious with the way he kept it. We teased him a bit when he was picking out soft furnishings and matching them with accessories like candles. We are not sure how he got onto the housing list but I believe he made a persuasive case with the kind list lady. He was so chuffed with it, he changed his mind three times on the height of his down stairs towel rail. On the night of his house warming it was looking awesome (even with an air compresser in the attic-handy). He had spent all day accurately slicing carrots and lining up prawns into lettuce leaves it was so well presented it was a pity to eat it and 'cos we are blokes we of course called him gay. He showed us his best mans speech that he was nervous but looking forward to and it was great. That evening Penny, Kate, Andy, Kerry, Tan and I played games and drank a toast to how he had got things pretty sorted for himself, and we were all very proud of him. This was the very last time I saw my mate and he was sparkling. It was all Gravy!