Casey “Jones”

“Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors.”

“It was Saturday night in America, and I felt like a native son.”

-Hunter S. Thompson

Casey….By far one of the craziest, most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I met him through our parents way back when. I was in seventh grade and his father and my mother both worked at some crappy little salon on the side of the bowling ally in Roy. I remember when I met him and his brother Dennis, I thought to myself “what a couple a dorks” not knowing how much  that was the pot calling the kettle black.

Fast forward into eighth grade and suddenly Casey has long hair and is sporting tye dye Greatful Dead t-shirts and hanging out with a lot of the same people I do. Naturally we started hanging out because of our common ideas and styles. Man we had good times of innocent and not so innocent fun while always seeming to try so hard to find our niches. We spent a lot of time walking everywhere we could and while he would tag graffiti art,  I would be a lookout because of my lack of artistic talent.We would frequent a laser tag arena in Murray riding in the back of Dennis’s little blue Toyota truck while listening to the Wu-Tang Clan and sipping on IBC creme soda 40oz.’s, wearing different colored fatigues while talking about a lot of what if’s about our lives and the future as well as using our imagination a lot to make our situation seem a lot cooler than it actually was. We used our imagination for most of what we did; whether it was playing Warhammer 40K or Necromunda, to our walks and what we did when we hung out. Our time spent together was often split between A.J., Larry, Brandon (Larry’s brother), and Dennis, to name a few; but the one person ended up making us a little click was Mike Hoopingardner. We spend a lot of time with him because his house seemed to be free from parents most of the time and he had cable. Mike was fun to hang out with for the most part but there were a couple of things that bothered Casey and I about him. One was his mom; she was seriously bi-polar and would freak out often and harshly. Second was the fact that he always thought he was more smart then both of us and would try to cheat at anything we played because of his ego. Third he could be pretty OCD and stingy about things; but what normally redeemed him was his moms weed which I spent plenty of time trying to smoke as much of as possible.

One of the most memorable moments I’ve had with Casey was during the construction of the overpass on 5600 S. in Roy. At the time all it was, was a couple of hills connected by very long and large steel support beams. Well we decided that we where invincible and would cross area by walking across the beams. We are damn lucky we made it and didn’t plunge to our death; which would have been ironic because that overpass was being constructed because a classmate of mine was hit by a train on the way home from school when I was in 7th grade. I think about that time these days and I almost panic because of how stupid and crazy it was to do. I’ve diffidently either have grown up or have become a total pansy.

One of the other times I remember the most, is one crazy day of when we where tagging an underpass and someone shot at us. I don’t remember another situation in my life where everything seemed so surreal and so real at the same time. Suffice it to say it scared us pretty good and had us both thinking about our lives and what we want out of them. Later that day we ended up at a party and ended up sharing a box of wine we had stolen from the kids parents and had a nice buzz going on until the cops came. As neither one of us got a chance to escape; we both ended up in a line to have a breathalyzer taken. Now the shooting had us freaked out, but getting busted by the police and having to explain this to our parents was a bit too much. So when it came our turns I ended up almost dying because both of our tests ended up negative and we where able to leave without issue. How you ask? because both breathalyzers suddenly went on the fritz and ended up shortening out and the officers oddly couldn’t smell anything on us. The day had a big impact on both of our lives and perspectives and would go on to change our friendship for a few years.

My thoughts and feelings that day where that of being saved; a confirmation that there was a God and He, She, It, or  They where watching over us and protected us because we had a purpose. Casey on the other hand felt the rush of getting out of a bad situation (I have to admit, it’s a great feeling) and decided that he wanted to get as much out of life and push it to the limit which is what he did. Shortly after all of this we stopped hanging out as much as I started to search for a church/religion that was right for me and thought I had found one in Roy Christian Church. He on the other hand started to hang our with more of our stoner friends and got more into that and other things. After some time in the church I became a over zealous, judgmental, holier then thou, and fully anti-Mormon and was “worried” about Casey so much that I harped on him to the point that I drove him away.

During a couple of years of not speaking to each other, we both ended up changing quite a bit. I pulled my head out of my butt and stopped being such a jerk while at the same time becoming an Agnostic stoner with really bad depression (this was the time that Jesse lived with me), stopped going to church because they didn’t seem to care and I didn’t take it as seriously as I thought; But I will admit I was still pretty anti-Mormon. Casey got big time into weed and hallucinogens, tattooing and body mod as a whole.

After a while we ended up running into each other again somehow and started hanging out a little here and there until he started moving around from places like Cali to Hawaii, and anywhere else his gypsy heart took him. Around those times we kept in touch via phone or when he would visit and had good times. I remember one time He, Torey (his best-friend who’s birthday it was), Larry, Brandon, Jesse, and myself went bar hoping all over Ogden. Now for the record I don’t remember how Casey and I where able to scam so many drinks because neither of us had money so keep that in mind for this next part. We ended up at the Lighthouse which at the time was a strip club on 24th st. and where some poor girl with a C-section and a not so stripper body was trying to dance make her money while no one paid attention to her. Suddenly she snaps and ends up starting to yell at everyone until she zero’d in on me! Long story short, she tried to attack and a bouncer had to grab her.

I also remember one time we stayed out all night having drank and snorted some cocaine and at the end of the night he asked for a ride to the airport so he could head back to Hawaii. I didn’t do a full line but it was more than enough for me to get a rush and speed like a bat out of hell to the airport, dropped him off, and then floored it on the interstate all the way home while the sun came up and not having a care in the world.

These days he is living back in Utah working at a Tattoo shop and landscaping company and trying to keep his gypsy heart at bay so he can settle down and find the right woman (depending on how he feels in any given week). He’s recently done a tattoo for me which having him do has always been a dream of mine. Regardless if it’s tattoo’s or graffiti, random drawings like the “KKK SUCKS”, or painting figures for games, I truly look up to him for his talent and ability to do what he wants and doing it well. I also look up to him for being able to live by his own rules and to be sincere in a lifestyle that rarely seems and is sincere these days. That he’s lived in hard times and in times of richness and is still the same Casey I’ve always known, for good or ill and I love him for it. He is so much more than people realize and only a choice few people have really gotten to know who he really is, what he stands for, and that we can have the honor of calling him a friend. I hope one day he really finds what he is looking for, whatever that maybe and find the one who will be able to share in it with him.

Casey on Christmas Eve 2012

Casey in all of his glory because this is how he rolls!

Casey working at a shop either in Nevada or California. He’s one of the best artists out there and is for sure the most slept on!

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