Jelo Short Stories

Eric Lamothe: One of the things that Jelo and I enjoyed together was talking about Family Guy or South Park episodes. We would go back and forth on the details of the episode pointing out the bits we found funniest. A number of these mini-quotes became inserted into our regular vocabulary. The episode with Towlie (a cybernetic towel) had him trying to punch in a entry code, but instead he punches in the melody to funkytown.

Towlie: "Wait a second…..that's it."
Stan: "That's it?"
Towlie: "Yeah, that's the melody to Funkytown." Sings: "Won't you take me to Funkytown"

Both Jeff and I put Funkytown as our ring tones for a stretch and I'm still using it for when someone I don't know calls me. It just makes me smile.

With the episodes, I would always have to be very careful if I was going to see Jelo on the weekend. I needed to catch up and watch the most recent ones, because he would want to talk about them. He would generally be so excited and regularly forgot when I hadn't seen it and drop the funny lines anyway. I'd have to do the "LA-LA-LA - I'm not listening to you" to keep from hearing it.

Same with Family Guy - there was just no stopping him on Family Guy. Giggidy, giggidy, gig-gi-dy!

Greg Goodwin: Once while at a gathering held at Arlo and Bessie's place in Los Angeles in 2005, I remembered that I had forgotten something in my car (for those of you that can remember back that far, this is the same car that I once lost in North Beach for a week) and grabbed my keys off of the table next to the door on my way outside. Halfway down the steps I pressed the "Unlock" button on the remote, and to my amazement Jelo's car beeped, not mine. I quizzically looked down at the keys, pressed the button, and BEEP!…Jelo's car beeped again. I had never seen that before…one person's remote opening another person's car. I thought about it for a moment and figured it wasn't completely impossible for that to happen, although it seemed improbable to say the least. Amazed at my discovery, I called Arlo over and repeated the process over and over. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! While marveling in quasi-awe that we had stumbled upon a one-in-a-million probability, Jelo appeared in the doorway and asked what was going on. I pushed the "Unlock" button on the remote again and his car beeped, pointing out that my keys were opening his car. Jelo looked at the keys, and then looked down at the table where another set of keys lay.

"Dude," he said while trying to contain a shit-eating grin, "of course it's opening my car. You've got my keys."

Turns out, our keys - both for BMWs - were nearly identical. Mystery solved, Jelo shook his head and went back inside.

Yeah, it was late…

Rebecca Donaldson: We're hanging out in Molly's room - when Molly and Joel where roomies on Page Street - Jelo is there among a dozen of us talking at the same time, listening to music, while a party of friends are strewn throughout the apartment. Tiffany walks in and surveys the scene. Someone shouts out, "Tiffany! Do a cheer!" It takes a minute to convince her, but she gives in and does a cheer that includes an aerial, mid-air splits, and a lot of happy shouts that end with an Olympic-worthy stance of victory. She immediately turns and leaves the room. We're stunned. No one speaks for what seems like a long span of time but is likely just 10 seconds. Jelo breaks the silence saying, "Tiffany, Ladies and Gentelmen." We roared with laughter and with love - knowing we just witnessed something that is truly gorgeously skilled.

Tiffy Elo: For most of my life, I've been afraid of the open water (maybe due to watching Jaws) but I always admired Jeff's love of the water and diving. His stories sounded amazing and after many years of suggesting that I become certified, I finally relented and started with the basics…swimming lessons! After that, Jeff enroled me into surf school (wasn't my thing). Finally it was time to enrol in dive school. I took the 12 hour online instruction and the night before the training, I had a classic meltdown based on fear of failing.
Jeff ran me a warm bath and insisted that I relax. Then he brought me a snorkel and asked me to breath under water using it. I thought he was crazy, and after a few successful breaths, Jeff handed me a dive mask and helped me attach my snorkel to it. It was quite a sight to see, I'll spare you the photos! From that point forward, I knew I'd be safe and ok. I got my open water certification and have nearly completed my advanced certification. I think that was one of Jeff's proudest moments of me.

Joel Henderson:
The last time I saw Jeff, he was on his most recent San Francisco trip. He was the happiest I've ever seen him, and so excited to show us why: he was thrilled with his new life in Australia, and he showed everyone the photos of his adventures— he sounded like Crocodile Dundee, saying things like "Crikey! Look at the size of that monkey!" and "Get a load of that spider! Can you believe it??" He was telling me about cooking classes, gorgeous beaches, new friends, and how he wanted us all to visit and explore with him. His enthusiam shone through so clearly, and I hope that many of us can still visit and explore and feel his excitement.

The most serious experience I had with Jeff was packing up to leave Los Angeles. Jeff and Tiff were emptying out their apartment; Molly and I went over the day they were having a garage sale, selling all of their final possessions. I remember Tiffany was so exhausted, so stressed… because random passers-by were literally coming in off the street and scooping up her books, carting away her furniture, even disassembling her bed! And Jeff was also exhausted— and stressed— because he'd been up all night packing. And yet at the same time, he was also checking in with Tiffany, again and again, to make sure she was okay, to help her if she needed anything. That day taught me two very important lessons: first, if you have a garage sale be sure to have Molly help because she'll double your money in English and Spanish, and second, be sure to marry an amazing person like Jeff who will take care of you even when things are hardest.

For a fun story, I remember one of Jeff and Tiff's New Year's parties so well Everyone was having a great time, dancing, socializing, celebrating. The room was filled with feather boas, champagne, and laughter. Jeff and I started talking about music and which records he loved, and then within ten minutes we were deep into discussions of math, physics, and parallel universes. Jeff believed that we all may have many existences, in many parallel universes, and in each universe we get to have different experiences. In all the universes, we can experience everything that may be possible, everything we want, and everything we can imagine. I like that idea a lot— and I hope that in many of those universes, Jeff's there, still having a great time spinning records, dancing, socializing, celebrating, and we're all there with him.

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