Joe Joe

This weekend, Bill and Dannye photographed a wedding that sent me back in my past 30 years. At 16 years old, I met a man who would become one of my best friends. His name was Joe, but we all called him Joe Joe.

                                   Lindsey And Josh 10-14-06 106

Joe Joe was not from a nice family; he’d probably never been to church except for weddings or funerals; he didn’t finish high school, in fact, Joe Joe couldn’t even read. When I met Joe, he was 24 years old. He was a very simple-minded person, didn’t think too much, didn’t want to. He was working as a ranch hand on the ranch across the road from our home. He didn’t have his own vehicle, but drove a ranch truck. I have hauled many a bale of hay with Joe Joe. Well, I drove the truck (I was a little too girly to pick up & throw bales of hay!) while Joe, Dave and Jeanne threw & stacked the bales.

I became closer to Joe Joe through my boyfriend, Billy. They were good friends, both coming from longtime Montgomery families. Joe’s brother owned a local beer joint which Billy frequented. I was not allowed there, although I’ll admit I’ve been more than once. (You young people don’t die of shock – when I walked in the door, Billy’s friends would holler “Watch your language, Nina’s here! They took care of me like a china doll.) Joe and I were the only ones who didn’t drink alcohol, me because of my upbringing and convictions, Joe because he’d seen what alcohol had done to his father and brothers.

Joe was always there for me. Whether I was dating someone or not (it was mostly “not” for me, I was not popular) Joe was there to take me places, ride horses, visit with my folks, whatever I wanted to do. “Joe Joe, I need a Coke!” was a familiar request Joe heard, to which he never failed to comply.

When I was about 19, I dated another fella (this part of my life is where you learn from my mistakes, not from my example. This is history, and as my Daddy so aptly puts it, you can’t change history!). We all ran around together, Jeanne and Mike (now her husband), David (my brother), Joe Joe, David (my boyfriend) and me. In our small town, a night out usually meant driving around on logging roads, hanging out in one of the 2 gas station parking lots, or, on very special occasions, we’d go to Conroe. My boyfriend turned out to be a jerk (they often do!) and the night I discovered his duplicity was one of the most horrible of my life. But Joe Joe was there, trying to protect me from the truth, staying with me through the pain and tears – he would have gladly hurt David if I’d have let him!

When I was around 20 years old, before I met Bill Petty (the most wonderful man in the world!), I made Joe Joe promise me something. I had a fear of being an old maid, so I said, “Joe, if neither of us are married by the time I’m 25 and you’re 32, promise me you’ll marry me!” Joe promised. Joe Joe was fun, he was loyal, but I never loved him in that way. He was my security, though, and he let me use him as such. Then, I met Bill and we got married. About a year later, Joe also got married, but 2 children later his marriage ended. You see, Joe Joe had begun drinking shortly before I met Bill. I never thought he would, but he did. His marriage died and Joe began to slide down the slippery slope of alcoholism: joblessness, instability, & disability. Now Joe Joe spends his hours at charity hospitals (emphysema/COPD) and beer joints. I only see him in passing on the back roads of Montgomery. That is, until this weekend.

                              2 Lindsey And Josh 10-14-06 dans 375_349

Joe Joe’s daughter got married Saturday night. I got to see Joe at the rehearsal and at the wedding. He was thrilled to see me, as I was him. He’s still the same old Joe, simple, loving, laughing at everything – he talks so fast and quiet, you can’t understand half of what he says, but he just laughs at his own jokes and goes on! But alcohol has taken its toll on his mind and his body.

Lindsey And Josh 10-14-06 dans 305 Lindsey And Josh 10-14-06 626

Lindsey And Josh 10-14-06 431                    Lindsey And Josh 10-14-06 617

He was as touched as every father is to see his daughter get married. He obviously loves her.

Lindsey And Josh 10-14-06 631                    Lindsey And Josh 10-14-06 775

No one there held any respect for Joe, but they all looked out for him, and loved him. It was so good to see him. Joe Joe was my friend – and I’m proud to say he still is.

                                         Lindsey And Josh 10-14-06 107

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About pettybunch

I am loved with God's everlasting love, and underneath are His everlasting arms - and I haven't gotten over it yet! I am also blessed to be married for over 36 years to the man of my dreams, and have 3 incredible adult children, an amazing son-in-law, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. I am a retired Home Educator, and loved every moment of it! We are empty nesters, and are endeavoring to embrace this new phase of life. God is so good!
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11 Responses to

  1. ligsar says:

    Bless your heart Nina Petty!  Sounds like you have the kind of unconditional love for a friend anyone is VERY blessed to have.  It’s something I strive for (and sometimes can’t help- think you know what I’m talking about!).  I have similar memories from my teenage/growing years and hope I can say similar things in 20 years. 
    I guess I know why your son is the same way. 

  2. AuntGen says:

    The pictures are precious and so is he.  I am so glad you were able to be there for this.  Joe looks so hadsome in his weddin’ shirt!    LL,KK

  3. chix0rgirl says:

    Awwwwwww….. what a cute/sad/sweet story.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There you go again, proving what I wrote is true.  Wow!  I got all teary eyed reading this.  Poor Joe!!!!  God bless him.  God did bless him with a great friend!  So sad that he let down his guard where alcohol was concerned.  With his family history the gene was there, waiting for him to feed it.  I pray his children both took the other road. 

  5. my word, that was sweet.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Nina, Nina, Nina…………..there you go!!  What a sweetheart you are & I know that’s NOT why you wrote it!  You’re a special person & what a wonderful friend to someone who really needs one.  Who knows, maybe you touched him in some way at the wedding………let’s hope so!!

  7. auntkarl says:

    awwwww That was sweet Nin. I know Joe Joe’s daughter I worked with her at Walmart for a while didn’t know she was getting married. Joe looked really nice
    like a old cowboy..
    haha

  8. MrStranz says:

    Hi Nina,
    We need a grandparentstobe conference call. Don’t you think? 
    Only heaven will reveal what genuine love creates…both in the Lover and in the Loved…
    “the deep places of our soul are altered, when, true love enters in…”
    Grateful for your heart, and life, and smile…
    Barry
    Ps. I personally think the Tigers will win, but I really don’t care, except I want to support Nathaneal…
    Oh, and AL Rules!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is this the answer to Karla’s little secret?  Hmmmm?  I am referring, of course, to Barry’s comment!

  10. AuntGen says:

    B, I am behind in Xanga!  I didn’t see this one.  I only saw the one on Bill’s sight.  Apparently, MrStranz doesn’t know that the news is still on the QT in TX!  LL,KK 

  11. Oh my word, guys. Talk about beans getting spilled! See if my dad OR Karla ever is privy to a secret again…. look at my site for an announcement, which apparently is no surprise. To anyone. Ever. Gosh.
    *grin*

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