By: Travis E. Blythe
Today is one of the saddest days of my life, and today the world lost an exceptional man. Although my friend believes that he is in a much better place, I beg to differ. Because I am sad, angry and most of all I miss my friend terribly. But I do not wish to ramble on about negatives and I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me or my friend. But I rather that everyone who visits this BLOG will leave something to remember him by. Joseph S. Manning was my best friend. I have known him since I moved to Texas in August 1993. For the last 16 years he has been closer to me than my own brother. We fought like brothers too, and if you are a friend of Joe’s you know what I am talking about! I wanted to create this BLOG for his family and friends to be able to tell us all your favorite “Joe Manning” story. It will be really hard for me to pick just one story because I have so many. You probably have many stories of Joe yourself. It is hard for me to choose, but I have many memories of the craziest things.
· Like being in Bobaruba’s (yes I still have a t-shirt!) and singing to the Counting Crow’s – Mr. Jones and Me and changing the words to “Mr. Joe Manning” yes we did that!
· Or when we were in Austin and we forgot to take cold weather clothes. We had to buy jackets and we bought hooter’s t-shirts (who knew?) and Cheer’s shot bar t-shirts.
· One time we went to “Dave and Busters” and only went to play the video game “Beach Head” we each spent over $50 playing the game as we took turns trying to beat every level! Add in the adult beverages and it was a fun day!
· Who could ever forget trying to go 4-wheeling in his new blazer down Padre Island with New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” blaring as load as it could go!
· Or the time he took me to Big Bend National Park to get my mind off of being fired. Jumping into 2-inches of water in our inner tubes! (We thought the water was at least waist deep)
So many more memories came flooding through today, which I had to write more. I spent today going through the “box” of memories we created and here are more awesome Joe moments:
Singing AH-HA as loud as we could, yes Joel I am talking to you! (Take on me, Take on me, Take me on, I’ll be home in a day or TWWWOOOOOOOO!)
· Did you know he made the best beef jerky I have ever had?
· Garth Brooks, I will never forget how after I got him to really listen to his music, he became obsessed with Garth. We even went to the very last concert he did and it was in College Station, imagine our surprise when we found out that you could not drink inside the building because it was on a college campus.
· On my 30th Birthday a group of us went skydiving, except for Joe who on principle decided that we had waited far to long after another group that came after us went first…so we all went except him…Now I am pissed that I will never get to cash in on that rain check he promised me.
I believe that one of the greatest memories I have is when we decided that we were going to ride out hurricane BRET in 1999. After boarding up the house we went to H.E.B. only to find out that most everything was gone so we settled for all the beer we could buy, tortillas, Italian sausage and SPAM…LOL. I can not forget as we “rode out” the hurricane which ended up hitting down by Kingsville, TX and became quite intoxicated over the 3-day period. Looking back, how stupid were we? Everyone else with a brain fled to San Antonio!
Most of my memories and “fun” times with Joe were when we were younger. You could say that we were tweedle dee and tweedle dum for a time. But unfortunately over time we grow up (or at least some of us), get married, have families, and drift apart. Sometimes we never realize how much someone actually means to us until they are no longer here. We have lived in the same city and in different states and somehow that never mattered. I am sure that like most of you reading this, you spoke to him regularly, I did at least once a week. He called me “VERN” after that damn commercial so many years ago and it stuck (we actually called each other VERN). So Vern here is to you, know that you will be missed more than I could ever write about you here.
I could go on and on about all of the memories I have of my best friend. I have attached some pictures to remember him by. Please feel free to post your favorite story or anything you would like to say about our friend. Also check back as there will be updates and pictures added frequently. If you have one you want me to post, please email me.
Please visit the video memorial that was created for Joe at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWfRcfzVvCI
Rest in Peace Joe, I hope you have truly found happiness.
PS….YOU CRACKER ASS CRACKER!!!