Posted by: johannalee | October 5, 2009

Joe’s Jersey bro weighs in

Hello fellow friends of Jo..
First off let me say that I fucking HATE to be writing this!! My friend is gone and I am angry!! At pain, at dis-ease, at poverty, at the Goddess (please forgive me) and at the fact that I had such a short time to get to know such a luminous person..
I first heard of Jo through friend to all “LOST BOIS” Artemisia. who has MOTHERED me as well as Jo (and others) for as long as I have known her..Jo would have approved of my mentioning this loving and supportive SISTER SPIRIT here and would be even more thrilled to hear me praise her from the rooftops!!  Artemisia never felt the need to “warn” me of Jo’s living situation and chemical challenges from within..she never spoke of frustration..or dissappointment about medicine decisions or any of that stuff….when A spoke of Jo her eyes lit up in an interesting way and she said she thought Jo and I might be fast friends…she was right..

But it was not A who introduced me to was the Goddess herself, really, unwilling to wait till all of our schedules coincided..I was busking for change on 18th and Castro…pasting on my “chin up” smile and feeling sorry for myself and trying to keep from giving up the ghost already..having dealt with my own issues of dibilitating pain and the disbelief and shunning of my own tribe… when next to me I noticed a handsome bearded and hairy fella happily humming an old “Times Square” tune, I think it was “SPIC, NIGGER, FAGGOT, BUM-(YOUR DAUGHTER IS ONE)” She was reaching into the trash can next to me looking for some glass or cans she could scare up a few bucks with…I started to join her on guitar as Times Square was one of my favorite films growing up in the early eighties too…but Jo knew EVERY SINGLE WORD to that song and so many other old greats like L7 Fast and frightening and when Jo started to sing all the words to Snarkism by Tribe8 I knew I had a pal..and I couldn’t have needed one more.. Jo knew that too.
Anyhoo, it finally occured to me that this was the infamous and beloved Johanna Lee that A had told me about! What a laugh we had praising A’s fabulous high femme ways and sharing stories about the love she had showed us both..this mutual love and respect for Artemesia was to become the fodder of many great hours of love and laughs…
Fast friends! Belive it!! We sat down with my guitar and her brilliant wit and fantastic resilience and sense of humor and proceeded to put some music together for a acoustic duo with jazz music set to sick ass punk rock lyrics as “the Lexingtones” Our plan was to sit outside the Lexington untill some rich little baby dyke discovered us..We didn’t make alot of money ..but we sure did have some fun!!
Our first album cover was to portray Jo and I dressed in our thrift store finery standing nose to glass in front of a chinese buffet..with a blinking neon sign overhead saying “ALL YOU CAN’T EAT” She was a very very funny ol hag…
The last few times I found Jo she was sprawled out alone and unprotected on a Tenderloin sidewalk trying to keep her self alive and in touch with reality and her mind and body so beaten and exhausted she could barely speak…but she would wake up and grin her fabulous toothless grin and say ” Hey Hunter! How ya doin handsome?” After which I would gather up whatever of her belongings that weren’t pilfered and load her into my truck where she could at least be warm and safe..for a few hours anyway..
I brought her more than once into situations where her schitzophrenia induced poetry midnight slamming would get me into hot water but it was always worth it…we would work on songs and make fun of the “lesbotrons” and “gay bunnies” who did not know they were already in hell..the hell of mediocrity and slavery to the machine..she taught me so much.. and even though we were the same age.. she was way wiser than I ..and I tend to think I’m a real smarty..but she saw right through it..
Friends… I could go on and on about her..her laughter in St Francis Hospital at how her old body had blown up like a balloon…about how she NEVER complained…about how she would have to be pushed to call for more pain meds when it was written all over her face how she hurt..hurt..hurt..
If you knew were touched by her..and if you didn’ missed the fuck OUT!
If this comment was too long..too bad!! And as Jo used to say..”If I’ve offended any of you in any way..please let me know..cuz I might like to offend you again sometime in the future!!”
Don’t miss the celebration of the moving ahead of this brilliant spirit…she was truly one of a kind, special, hilarious, genius, weird..proud..uplifting..caring..and will DEFINITELY BE MISSED!!!
Truly Love You Pal, Hunter


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