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Couch #13 – Jon – June 12th, 2010


Couch #13 belongs to Jon.  The couch came from Bakersfield.  It was given to him from a nice little old lady.  It didn’t match the decor in her house.  It was in Jon’s storage house until the last one was destroyed by the dogs.  It will stay  ‘til someone gives him another one.   Jon lives in house that he built about 20 years ago, at the end of a dirt road, at the top of the Mountain, at the edge of the great Mojave Desert.  That is, Tehachapi, California.  There are lots of wind farms nearby.  Jon is retired general contractor and a widower.  Are there any rich ladies out there?   Jon has a niece, who is his child.  He also has 4 dogs and 24 parrots.  At one time he had 450 parrots as that was his business.  The animals are the most fun for Jon.   He also has old British cars, motorcycles and his passion is  electric guitars.  Jon also dabbles in painting his guitars, his cars, and likes to go target shooting.  He was born and raised on a rural North Dakota farm about 60 miles from the Canadian border.  They still had stagecoaches and horse and buggies.   I was drug into his life by Indira, my friend and his niece.  We met at the Farm sometime back as far as maybe 10 years ago.  It was probably a holiday.  Bonnie, his late wife, was making dinner.  It was by default that I ended up on Jon’s couch.  Indira was coming up for a visit and I was invited to come along and it just happened that I had the night open.  Jon likes the Rolling Stones and would probably pick one of their older songs among his favorites. He also likes ‘70’s and ‘80’s rock and roll.  Jon likes T. Rex “The Wizard”.   He likes hamburger and is very creative with it.  Jon doesn’t watch movies very much.  He usually watches concert videos.  He has an Eric Clapton one that he likes and some Rolling Stone ones that he likes.   He believes that I’m getting to experience the world in a way that I never would have been able to if I had a home.

I left Jess and Ben’s place around 3pm on Saturday June 11th, already late to meet my friend Indira and ride up with her and her two dogs to her Uncle’s place in Tehachapi.  My originally scheduled host for the night had to cancel and as has happened a few times on this journey, someone else immediately and unknowingly stepped up and offered me their couch for that specific night.  This time it was Jon. Uncle Jon.  Or UJ as Indira calls him and as I like to call him as well.  The trip from Jess and Ben’s to Indira’s was short and so I arrived not terribly late.  I had some errands that I had hoped to do in between, but that was not to be.  Lack of time was not the only reason either.  As I was still recovering from my stomach illness, I really just wanted to get out to Jon’s and relax.  I arrived at Indira’s and she was ready to go.  I moved my car into her secure parking area, moved my things into her car, and took my seat, riding shotgun.  It was a relief to be a passenger, but I was not alone.  Indira has a two-seater and also has two dogs.  They are small dogs, but they are dogs nonetheless.  The miniature pinscher, Cougar, was comfortable riding in the small area behind the seat, but the French bulldog, The Bunny, would definitely not fit.  So, he took his place on my lap and we were on our way.  Indira had done this trip often enough that she could probably do it with her eyes closed.  We zipped through the traffic quickly and efficiently.  We hadn’t seen each other in a little while, so we caught up as we made our way.  It’s nearly a two hour trip, so conversation is necessary to make the time pass.  As I was still recovering, and I was still relatively caught up on my blog at this point, I didn’t take many notes on our conversation. Besides, this trip was about Jon.   But I do recall discussing the project and what I had learned thus far.  Indira also caught me up on what was going on at her job as well as giving me some brief updates on some of her friends that I know, including that fact that she knew Todd, of Sweeney Todd’s Barber Shop, where I had recently gotten my hair cut.  I always enjoy our conversations.  They are some of the most honest discussions I have.

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