| Writing about Jason will be almost as hard, as it was to write about Jesse. It seemed like they were pretty much joined at the hip. Where ever one was, you would most likely find the other. They did everything together. The both worked at the Puget Park Swap Meet for 2 or 3 summers, and then they both got jobs at Interstate Batteries. They played basketball, video games and football together. They cruised together, partied together and just plain "hung out" together. Even if there was nothing going on, they were happy being bored together. But the thing that they both excelled at, was eating! Those 2 boys could really put away the food. Their main staple was Top Ramen. Not just one package, mind you. No, they had to have 2-3 packages apiece. Thank God it was cheap and it was really wonderful if you could stock up when it went on sale at 10 packages for $1.00! I remember once, that I had made a crockpot full of cocktail meatballs to take to work the next day. I had to go out and run some errands, and made the mistake of leaving Jason and Jesse alone in the house. By the time I returned home, they had completely devoured 3/4 of the meatballs! Needless to say, I had to stop at the store on the way to work the next morning and pick a vegetable tray instead. Oh, they felt bad about it, but I think that they liked their full tummies more! They gave me the, "Gee, we're sorry but they were so good, we couldn't stop" story. How could you stay mad at them?
When Jason first started coming to our house, which seems like such a long time ago, he was very shy. He only spoke two words to Ken and I. "Hi" and "Bye." If he did speak more, it was almost inaudible. There were many occasions when we forgot he was even here, until he walked out of Jesse's room. But all that changed, as he hit his Junior year. He finally came out of his shell around us. The music would be bumping in Jesse's room, and you could hear them laughing. Jason's laugh matched his size. HUGE! You just couldn't help but smile. Both of the boys would take turns spending the night at each others houses. There were times, when they got older, that Jason spent the night, and we didn't even know it! I'd walk into wake up Jesse in the morning, and there would be Jason, sprawled out on Jesse's floor. I had to gingerly step around him, as he took up most of the floor space. There were other times when Ken or I would go into the back bedroom, and Jason would be sound asleep, spread out on top of Jesse's clothes. Jesse had his TV and stereo in his closet, so he used the back bed to pile his clothes on. Did that matter to Jason? No way! He'd just flop on top of them and go to sleep.
One year, Jesse had a Superbowl party. There were just a couple of his friends, that spent the night before the game. Jason was one of them. Come the morning of the game, I made the boys football-shaped pancakes. I made 2 batches of batter that morning. Jason was eating them as fast as I could make them. Throughout the day, the rest of Jesse's guests arrived to watch the game. They nibbled on appetizers all day long. We barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers, and then they had a chocolate football cake for dessert. The kids painted their faces green, with a big "G", for Greenbay. All in all, they had a blast!
In the summer of 1998, they all decided that they wanted their hair bleached. I asked all of them if they were sure their folks wouldn't mind, and they all said that it was ok. I must have bleached 5 heads that summer. Jesse usually did the cutting of the hair for alot of his friends. If there was a pile of hair sitting outside by the back steps, you knew that one of his friends had gotten their hair cut. Jesse did a pretty good job, too.
Then Jason got his car. It seemed like they were always out and about. We rarely saw them anymore. Both families equipped our sons with pagers, with strict instructions to check in often. They were usually pretty good about it. They would pile into the car and who ever got the unfortunate chance to sit in the back seat, paid dearly. Whenever Jason pulled out from in front of our house, he never minded about the speed bumps. The back end of that car would bounce up and you could hear the back seat passengers cussing away, and Jason laughing his head off. He knew only one speed. FAST! Jesse told us a story about him and Jason driving out under the Tressle one winter. He said they hit a patch of ice and the car just spun in circles. They were so afraid that they would hit the guard rails and go through, but they didn't hit anything. When the car stopped spinning, they just looked at each other and said, "Whoa!" That's teenagers for you! A couple of times, it cost Sonny some bucks, having Jason here. He had to buy a new tire and come out and put it on the car, which was parked in front of our house. I wonder if those speed bumps had anything to do with all of Jason's tire problems?! Another time, it was a little more expensive for Sonny. Seems that the boys had gotten a ride from someone out to a party and Jason left his car parked out front. After the third day, it got towed. I had to call Sonny and tell him about it. He wasn't real happy.
Ken has a favorite story he likes to tell about Jason. Jesse, Jason and some of their friends were heading up to the school to shoot some hoops. Jesse had asked his Dad if he wanted to come along and he said yes. They came home about 2 hours later, and Ken was beat. He said that he was chosen to guard Jason. Ken was 5' 11" and 165 lbs. at the time. Jason was over 6' and well over 200 lbs. Ken said he just bounced off Jason, like a ping pong ball off a brick wall! It sure didn't stop him from playing with them again, though.
In the Fall of 1998, Jesse went through some major depression. He turned suicidal. One night, the week before Thanksgiving, Jason came over and went in to visit with Jesse. Jesse came out of his room awhile later and said that his friend Chad was on the phone and wanted to talk to me. Chad told me that Jesse had called him and told him that he had taken some pills. Jason didn't even know it, as Jesse had taken them before he came over. We called for an aid car, and when they arrived, they had the police with them. They had to cuff Jesse for his own safety, as well as their own. Jason couldn't understand this and went off on them. It took Ken awhile, but he finally got him to understand and he calmed down. Chad showed up from the football field, in his uniform, and drove Jason and I to the hospital in our car. Ken rode with Jesse in the aid car. They had to pump his stomach and run tests every hour for 6 hours. We told the boys that they could use our car and go home, and we'd call when we were ready to leave. They wouldn't hear of it. They went in and saw Jesse and you could just sense the relief in all of them when they found out he would be alright. Those two boys stayed there all night with us. I gained a new-found respect for each of them
Jason was larger than life. I know that everyone says that, but it's true. He had a huge heart and would help anyone if they needed it. He was a gentle giant. The last time I spoke to Jason and Jesse, was around 11:00a.m., the morning of May 30. I was at a friends house and called Jesse on his cell phone. Jason answered it, and then gave the phone to Jesse. He said they were over at Jason's eating and were going to go to the Go-Kart track later. I'm so sorry that Jason had to be in that car that night. I'm sorry I had to call Mary and tell her that the boys had been shot. The only thing that comforts me with Jesse being gone, is the fact that he has his best friend Jason with him, to continue on their new journeys. As they were here on Earth, so they are in Heaven. Together.
We love you and miss you, Jason and Jesse. We will see you both again, when the Lord comes to call us home. Until then, please continue to pray for us and give us all the strength to carry on without you.
Donna and Ken Stoner www.jessestoner.net
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