We moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1990, the boys were pretty young then. We all made very dear friends, which we keep close to our hearts. Occasionally we hear from them and them from us. The boys made a friend almost the second we moved in; his name in 1990 was Joey. Not that he’s changed his name or anything like that; just that I believe he might prefer being called Joe. We’ve always love Joe like a son, and were so happy when he recently got married to a beautiful sweet young woman, Stephanie Bible. Joey lived in the corner house just down the street from us and seemed excited to learn that the new neighbors included boys his own age. He quickly befriended Jake and Aaron and soon the three bonded like brothers – they were inseparable – as these pictures show. Since Matt was somewhat older, he was more like an older brother, but a brother nonetheless.
I have so many fond memories I could share -- like how they'd ride their bikes to the “whoopee dos” by the Rillito River. The Rillito River is a dry riverbed most of the year except during the summer monsoons. Anyway the “whoopee dos” were a series of hilly dirt trails and row upon row huge dirt piles they would ride (or push) their bikes up and ride them down as fast as their legs could take them. It’s the fast ride down and the “whoopee dos” way it made your stomach feel that were named from. The piles of dirt at the whoopee dos brings to mind another one of their favorite activities – Digging in dirt! They loved digging in dirt, making forts and playing army. Sometimes when we would go to visit my Dad in Safford, Arizona, Joey would get to come along. All the guys would hit the trails for a hike to a nearby mesa for hiking but mostly for digging who knows what?
When we moved to New Mexico the guys were bummed out to say the least, on the bright side Joey was able visit us a few times. I remember that on his very first visit, we had no sooner arrived home from the airport, when Joey disappeared. I looked out the window and he was down in the yard a ways digging in an ant pile. By his next visit, they were all in their teens. Wow, how time flies!
Soon after that visit (there might have been a year in between), Matt enlisted into the Navy and less than year later Jake headed into the Coast Guard. Aaron soon followed Jake into the Coast Guard.
Joey, like his dad became a Tucson Firefighter. That was the last time they were all together, except when Jake got married.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over five years since they’ve all been together at Jake’s wedding. I know my boys miss their buddy, and wished they could’ve made it to his wedding. One thing’s for sure, when they do hook up, it will be like old times - without digging in dirt. That is unless maybe they're doing something that might require a ditch. Ha-ha, LOL.
Love to you both, Joe and Stef. Congratulations again, we pray that your lives together well be filled with all of God's blessings.
We love and miss you Joe.
A friend loves at all times,