HE LEFT US
For Jason Lowe
Like a whisper in the night
He was silently taken
Into the gates above
To fill our skies with happiness
He left us, with his love
Some unknown and others Friends
He meant the world to all
He fought the battle to the end
He left us, standing tall
For Jason was a strong willed man
His passion was sincere
He's in the hands of God above
He left us, with no Fear
We all should take a look at Him
The way that he'd convey
His joy and strength and love for life
He left us, just today
So think of him before you sleep
And help him stake his claim
The Legacy he left behind
He left us, with His name.
Sleep well Jason....
- Rick Petherick
August 9, 2001
**I ask you to refrain from passing this message along to the members of Spirit
or other corps in competition tonight. Our kids need to hear this news from
the people who spent the summer with them, and it would devestate them to hear
it through the grapevine. Please, respect Jason's wishes and let them be told
in person by Spirit's staff.**
This is Ginger, Alan's wife. It has been a very long week here, and one with
an ending I hoped would never come. I'm going to try to give you an overview
of the last few days. Pull up a chair and some Kleenex, it may be a long
As you know, Jason has been back in the hospital this week. On Tuesday, Donnie
(his dad) had to tell him that he wouldn't be going home this time. It was an
emotional day for all of us, and we cried over the phone together as Jason told
us that he "wasn't done yet". He had requested a recording from me of Spirit's
hornline playing the arrangement of "With Quiet Courage" that Alan did in his
honor, and we were having a hard time getting it to him. Finally, on Wednesday
afternoon, we got the recording and headed up to see him.
He was on heavy doses of morphine, so it was hard for him to talk loudly. We
had to work to understand him, but he was still full of one liners and "piss
and vinegar", and we all enjoyed a few laughs while we were there. Even
though he threatened to kick his dad's ass for trying to help him eat, I
challenged him to try and whip my ass. He knew that a dose of the "red-headed
foot" was not something he wanted to tangle with, so he let me feed him and rub
his head for a bit. When I asked if it was pissing him off for me to rub his
head, he said, "Naw!! Can't you hear me purring???"
He was very interested in what's going on with the corps, and asked me to give
some messages to some folks when we get to Buffalo. He was determined to watch
finals on TV Saturday night. On a "it's a small world" note, his respiratory
therapist marched in Spirit's guard in 91 and 92...Lana Lamazales. She and Alan
had a good chat. I passed along the thoughts and wishes from all of you here
who sent me messages for him. He said to tell everyone hello and he misses
We spent a little time alone, and that is time I will cherish always. He let me
baby him a little bit, rubbing his head, helping him eat and drink, and then he
just sat and talked while holding my hand. We were able to say those things
that people usually don't say to each other out loud. Please, don't wait until
a situation like this to tell your friends how you feel about them. That's been
one of his biggest things lately....don't wait, do it now. I'm so glad we did.
The evening was hard, but very good for us. He knew that this was not a battle
he would not ultimately win, but as always, he was doing things on his own
terms. As I've told him before, but also told him again while we talked, I love
him dearly, and he is my hero.
>>Here is a copy of the post I had to put on the Spirit alumni board earlier
Unfortunately, at a time of such excitement for the kids in the Spirit, I have
to bring bad news to our family.
Last night, Jason started getting much worse. At about 4 this morning, Donnie
called Diana to come to the hospital, and they said goodbye to him while he
could still hear them. He held on all day, but was asleep and not aware of
anything. On Tuesday, Donnie had talked with Jason about "when the angels come
and hold out their hands, it's okay to take them and go". At about 5:35 p.m.,
our courageous friend flew with the angels.
He wanted the kids in the corps to know how proud he is of them, and that he is
with them in Buffalo. When I spoke with Donnie this afternoon, he said to be
sure they knew he was with them. He tried as hard as he could to hold on until
finals, but it just didn't work out. He did hold on long enough to hear their
song for him, and he knew how much love went into that recording. Donnie also
made me promise that we would go on to Buffalo, have a good time, and that
Jason would be furious with me if we didn't.
So that you all know, he was not in any pain at all, and was surrounded by the
people he loved and loved him when he let go. When we saw him yesterday, I made
sure he knew that his entire Spirit and Corpsvets family loved him. We were all
so lucky to have shared in his life.
He will be with us in spirit in Buffalo, and in our hearts forever.
I'll post more when I can.
This is awful news.
My condolences to his friends and family in this time of loss.
I wish Jason could have seen Spirit make Finals again.
For one of the few times in my life, I am at a total loss for words.
"This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper"
- Nikk Pilato
Good grief...I take a break from drill and get this...I'm too at a total loss
for words. Please pass on my most sincere and humble condolescenes...He will
be missed!! I had many a good email with him!!
Dang this activity...it makes me cry STILL!!
- Ryan H. Turner
I thought I had lost the ability to feel...
When I lost my brother to terminal illness after being his caregiver, my heart hardened.
When I lost my mother to terminal illness after being her caregiver, my heart turned to stone.
When I lost my father to terminal illness after being his caregiver, my heart turned bitter.
When I read this news, the bitterness that served as self-defense started to melt away.
By the 5th or 6th post, I was choked up. At first I wondered why, afterall I
never met Jason. Then I remembered that even though I did not know him, we ARE
family. All of us are. We may be generations apart, we may have different
versions, but we all share the same basic stories and the zest for dedication
I regret the fact that when I sent Jason an Email in the hospital which was
returned because I did not remove " nospam" from the address, that I did not
Thank you Jason, for even in death, you have touched hearts.
May you rest in peace, and watch over all of us that belong to your drum corps
- The Other Mike
I haven't cried since I was a kid. I don't know why not, but I was starting
to think I was just one of those people who didn't cry. When I turned on the
computer the morning of August 10th, I had no idea what I was about to read.
One of my best friends had been taken from me. My eyes immediately welled up
I only met Jason twice. Once in 2000 (pre-diagnosis) and 2001 (post). We met
around the buses after the Jacksonville AL show in 2000 and talked for a
little while. We had already become good friends on IRC, e-mail, RAMD, and
AIM. We had my friend who I brought to the show take our picture. Jason
wanted us to look "hardass" for the JPA website. I sent him the picture and
he cropped it, and that is the picture you see of him in the Spirit uniform.
I have attached this picture of us at that show. It is also on my webpage
When I met Jason at the Jacksonville show in 2001, the difference in his
appearance was like night and day. He was pale, skinny, and bald. At no time
in our conversation did he mention being in pain, or complain about
anything. He was a courageous young man. I can't imagine going through what
he went through, and still have the energy to march. He loved it. It was his
life. We had my friend take a picture of us again. It was the exact same
shot. You can see the difference.
On August 10th, when I learned of Jason's passing, my heart immediately
sank. I had been moving across town and had been without internet access for
a while. I had no idea that he was back in the hospital. Like many others, I
didn't ever have a chance to say goodbye. I cried because I had lost a
brother, a friend, someone who could cheer me up when no one else was
around. Guns n' Roses once sang "Don't know what you got, 'til it's gone."
This is exactly how I feel. I had no idea how much Jason meant to me until
he was gone. I can't tell you how many times I have found funny
pictures/stories/etc since Thursday and thought "hey I should send that to
Jason". It saddens me to think about it, but I know he is up there with God,
no longer in pain, watching all of us from above.
I am typing this while watching/listening to the webcast of DCI Finals.
It seems appropriate because Jason loved this activity so much. I know how much
he would have wanted to be there tonight. I'm sure he is there watching from above.
Tonight is the second night that I have cried since I was a kid. I miss him.
- "Agent" Dave Ostertag
Well, it's taken me a few days. I can't even fill out the card I want to
send to Donnie yet. I can't seem to organize my thoughts. I have had to
depend on Frank, Stef, Hien and my two boys to keep me off the deep end
here. I can't apologize enough to Ginger and Alan for my crying in Buffalo.
I guess the one thing I can say about Jason in all the years I knew him was
that I had this overwhelming urge to bring him home and mother him. Not
that Donnie wasn't doing a great job. But he was so loveable. I guess I
thought he and Andy could enjoy a few of my meals together and I could do
his laundry. Silly me. I guess I just really wanted to be his MOM, and he
always humored me by calling me MOM. Thank you, Jason. What a fine young
man you were.
Jim also will never forget your support in '99. He always said what a great friend you
were to him in his time of need.
I have pictures of Andy all over my house and on my fridge.
Well, Jason in his Canos uni is there too.
You are at peace now, J-dogg, Thanks be to God,
I don't often speak on this newsgroup, but at this sad hour, I feel compelled
I've known Jason since 1996 where I met him on the #drumcorps channel on
IRC. He was and always will be by far the most sensitive, humble, and sweet
person I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Granted, I don't just say this in the face of tragedy or with flippancy....he *truely* was.
Over the last year or so we had sparse contact and only spoke off and on. I've spoken to him only
a few times since he became ill, but he never mentioned how bad I knew he was feeling.
The last letter I recieved from him was dated June 29th, to an email
address I rarely check.
I did not recieve this letter until a month later.
I responded, but never heard back. I was worried, of course, and knew he
back in the hospital. When I read Gingers post, my heart dropped to my knees.
Knowing I'll never speak with him again on the phone, or online, or see him in
person is nearly unbearable. He was my only a few months older than I, and to
think one of my peers has been taken at such a young age when he had so much to
offer the word seems cruel and unfair. If there is some majestic force that has
a plan for our souls, then I believe that God, or however you refer to this
spirit, has wrapped Jason in eternal light and love. Drumcorps was one of
Jason's few temporal pleasures, and he simply lived for it. The fact that this
activity can make such an impact on a kid is a phenomena in and of itself. As
Ginger said, never wait to tell your friends you love them...every moment is
fleeting and fickle and could be snuffed out at the whims of a universe.
I'll be watching finals with you Saturday night, babe. I'm sorry I did not get
to say goodbye. I'll think of the laughs we had (don't forget Waffle House and
the Dirty South, Dukes of Hazard , and Dooing the Deww), the conversations, the
endless drumcorps debates, and you always being a shoulder.
You have my love, always.
May flights of Angels wing you to your dreams....
- Sarah Brooke
Jason will be attending Finals in Buffalo...He is soaring above the stadium
checking out the corps from all angles. He is able to hear the music better
than anyone in the stadium...He is there...
He is discussing the marching
with some of the most special people our activity has known...those who have
been taken from us too early.
Yes there is music in Heaven and Jason is
smiling and enjoying eternal music...
I'm SO sorry to hear this.
I bought Jason a nice card with a picture of "my" beach a couple of days
ago. I wrote a little note on it and hoped that the picture and the
sentiments might make him smile.
I finally mailed it early this morning.
Took my son to the beach. We were wading in the warm waters, quietly
enjoying ourselves. All of a sudden, to my amazement a young sea turtle
swam right between us, brushing his shell against my leg and just ever so
briefly allowed me to touch him. I felt I was blessed.
I came home and read of the sad news. After I had a good cry I thought
about how Jason will never see or read my card.
Then I thought about the turtle and my morning.
Jason was warm and bright as the sun shining down on me. As beautiful and
rare as that turtle...and he touched the lives of everyone who ever met him.
We were all a little bit blessed to have him around.
He never got to read the card.
But somehow....I think Jason was right there with me...
And I think he was smiling.
- Nancy Holgate
just in from honolulu. i got to spend friday with nancy. it was great to get
out of waikiki for a change. the drive to the windward side was beautiful. we
grabbed a couple of smoothies and headed to "nancy's beach". we walked for a
bit, and then she told me the news. i had left home without knowing. although
it was the saddest news, it was comforting to be in such a beautiful place,
with a new friend.
last night i had to explain to my crew that i might not be at my best. i told
them about jason. folks, these people had never heard of jason, had never
known his sense of humor or determination. they never saw his spirit. they
cried with me.
during the flight i had a call from the cockpit. the captain wanted to see me
immediately. usually, this is bad news. i entered the cockpit, which was
pitch black. brian, our captain told me to take a seat. i thought this was
really bad news. i had no idea what was going on. the first class crew had
told the pilots what had happened. they wanted me to take a moment for myself.
the moon was just rising. it was glowing the brightest orange i have ever
seen. brian told me to look to the northeast. as i did there was the most
amazing sight. we're at the tail end of an annual meteor shower, and it was
going full force. as i sat and watched, i started crying again. i muttered
something about "having to get myself together" and brian told me that the
"girls" didn't want me to come back, they didn't need me to work. they needed
me to see this and to remember jason.
he's with each one of us, that's for sure. i just came in, switched on the
computer, put in a cd (andrea bocelli, romanza. track 15, on repeat) and began
reading. i'm crying my eyes out now.
he has been a friend to many, an inspiration to all.
time to say goodbye.
Two years ago I spoke at the funeral of one of our soprano players, Angie
Reich. It was one of the saddest days of my life. It was like losing one of
my own children. I loved her that much as I do many of the youngsters who
pass through here. She was 18 years old and loved being a Buccaneer. There
is a bugle inscribed on her headstone. She will always be a Buccaneer. She
lives on in all of our hearts every time we take the field. We lost her to a
Reading Ginger's post about Jason's valiant but futile struggle reminded me
how I felt throughout that ordeal and makes me realize just how many people
are heartbroken over this news. I'm so sorry. God only knows how many Jason
touched with his sense of humor and enormous courage. He will live in all of
our hearts for a long, long time. My deepest sympathy to all who loved him.
To his immediate family, JSU Spirit, The Corpvets and RAMD'ers everywhere:
Your mutual caring, love and support have been a source of great inspiration
to so many.
Then again, so was Jason.
Godspeed little drum corps nut! I hope you enjoy the show Saturday night
from your new vantage point. If you can find a way to let me know - tell me,
can you still get goose-bumps in Heaven?
- Donnie Solinger
I'm in tears right now.
I remember how I met Jason last year at semifinals, and how excited he was
about his time with Spirit.
As many conversations as we have had, from 9 am till 1:30 am, it hurts me
deeply that we will not be able to speak again.
This just made my decision for me. I wasn't sure if I would be able to march
drum corps, that maybe I'd be just a fan. But someday, I will march, and I
will do it for him. He urged me to try, and by God, I'll do it.
Whenever I look at the stars, I know you'll be watching over me. I love you
Jason, and I'll miss you so much.
There are just no words.
Jason has obviously touched many people in the offline world. But here on
RAMD, his personality and love of life has been demonstrated quite compellingly.
Although I'm a lurker, with only the slightest connection to drum corps, his
story has touched me. My prayers and wishes for peace go out to all of his
family and friends.
- Susan J.
It's funny .. I haven't posted to this newsgroup in 3 years.
I marched Americanos in 1998 and I loved every minute of it. I even loved
the parts that I hated. 1 week before finals, I found out via email that my
best friend at home had passed away. After I left tour, I never went back.
I never went to another drum corps show .. I packed away my videos and cds,
and I put away my pictures and never thought of it again.
But because of Jason, I felt compelled to return. .. and I have to admit
that I'm sorry for everything I missed out on. I remember the day Jason
told me he was going to march Canos. He was so excited that we had another
thing to share with each other. I pushed all that away, and I regret every minute
On the other hand, I'm glad I'm back. I miss Jason .. everyone misses him.
He was a shining beam of light. A pillar of strength.
To everyone who knew him .. who spent time with him .. who shared their
dreams with him ..
We're a blessed group. My sympathy goes out to his family and friends.
From one redneck to another -
I love you and miss you, J. Always and forever #1. :D
- Jennifer Jones
I can't promise this won't be long, but for my own purposes, I need to say a
few words about Jason...this is quite possibly one of the hardest things I have
ever had to do in my life. I honestly think performing in front of 25,000
people at DCI finals and graduating college in 4 years were both easy compared
to trying to collect my thoughts right now.
I received the news tonight right as I was arriving home from work. Geoff
Jones had the unfortunate luck of being the one to get to me first...I wish I
wouldn't have had to hear it at all, but I just keep reminding myself that
everything in life happens for a reason. I will be trying to understand the
reason for this one the rest of my life.
Jason was perhaps one of the strongest and most wonderful people I have
ever met. I can remember the first email I ever got from him, concerning a
post I had made on here last February when I first started reading this
newsgroup. He was completely supportive of what I had to say, and the thing
was he didn't even know me...I can only hope that these last few months he
truly knew that I was trying to be as supportive of him as he ever was of me.
Most people don't know the kind of relationship Jason and I had. As I
left for tour last summer, I was unsure as to whether he'd be marching with SOA
or not...he had some recurring back pain last spring that was getting in the
way...if we had only known then what we know now, things may be different. I
wonder if perhaps he would have stayed home, found out what the problem was,
and received treatment sooner, if things would be any different...even so, that
would have never happened as Jason was too stubborn to sit out a summer of
something he loved so much just because of a little back pain. I can only wish
to be to be as strong as he has been this past year, for the rest of my life.
Jason and I would talk online for hours, about drum corps, our lives, how if
some one "up my way" didn't get smart and snatch me up that we would get
married someday...he was one of the few people that I talked to on here that I
truly could connect with and felt like I could tell him anything. He'd always
tell me to relax when I'd stress about graduation or that I didn't need a
boyfriend because none of them would even come close to him...if there is one
thing I will miss it is talking to Jason every day...I am convinced that he has
kept me sane. Sometimes he would sign online, and the first thing he'd do when
he would instant message me was start singing...for awhile it was that Kid Rock
song "I wanna be a cowboy". Jason's a cowboy alright, probably reaking havoc
up in heaven in that 78 Malibu of his:-)
At this point, I really can't think of what more to say. My thoughts are
kind of jumbled and I'm even suprised that I've been able to see straight long
enough to write this. I've been crying for the last 2 hours and it doesn't
seem to be doing anything but making my head hurt and reminding me that Jason
would hate it when I'd cry over him...I am sure that right now he's still
telling me 'not to worry'. I just hope that if you've read this and didn't
really know Jason, aside from his smart ass comments on here and always stiring
up trouble, that you have a different view of him and can truly appreciate him
for the absolutely wonderful human being that he was and still is. Jason, I
don't know when I'll be joining you, but I love you sweetie...you will always
be my cowboy...
Love you always,
You know, I've had two years of emails and only one face to face weekend at
He can be witty, he can be sarcastic, he's not beyond a lampoon and, yes, he can sometimes tick me off with his comments...
I find myself wondering why I LOVE Jason Lowe...
Then, I realized that it's because Jason Lowe is the only person I've ever
met who loves drum corps more than me...
- Tom Peashey
It has taken me a couple days to come up with the words that I want to say.
The past few days have been hard, to say the least. The posts on here have
been wonderful, and I am amazed at the number of people who responded,
especially to the silent post.
To be honest, I don't even remember how Jason and I began talking. I know it
was a couple years ago, but the circumstances are not so clear. I do know it
was just after he came home from the Americanos. At first, it was a
conversation maybe once or twice a week, normally about the various posts
and people on RAMD. As time progressed, however, we became closer friends,
talking almost daily and getting to know each other's lives outside of
drumcorps. I always looked forward to talking to him, as he would constantly
make me laugh with his wit and sarcasm. I can't tell you the numerous times
my boss would ask me what I was laughing about, and I had to explain to him
that my friend, Jason, was just cracking me up, as usual. I only hope that I
was able to make him laugh half as much as he did for me.
I remember when he had made the decision to march with Spirit. I was so
happy for him, but at the same time concerned, as he had told me about
problems with his back, and he wasn't sure if was going to be able to do it.
I remember telling him that he had to do what was best for him, and that he
should just be careful, as he shouldn't risk having back problems for the
rest of his life, just because he wanted to march. However, I was extremely
happy for him for making the corps, and I thank the powers that be at Spirit
for taking a chance on the scrawny kid with the bad back.
I took a couple days off last summer to drive to Syracuse during the week,
as Spirit was going to be staying at the Brigadiers hall in Syracuse. I got
to the hall and the corps arrives shortly after for dinner. I immediately
found Jason and joined him for some spaghetti dinner. I also was able to
meet his good friend, Nick. During dinner, a package arrived for Jason that
I had arranged for him to get on tour. You see, one of Jason's favorite
actresses is Leah Remini, of King of Queens. I had written to her via her
website, and asked for her to send an autographed picture to Jason on tour,
care of the corps. Well, when Jason got the envelope with the CBS Studios
name on it, his face was priceless. He thought it was a joke, until he
opened up and read the caption "To Jason, all the best, Love Leah Remini".
He couldn't believe it, and I was glad that I was able to make him smile, as
he had done for me many times. He told me after the season that he had put
the picture up on his bus window, and only a month or so ago, he told me he
still had it, and it was on his wall beside his bed.
The next day I watched Spirit's rehearsal for a couple hours, and was able
to say goodbye to Jason before I left. We hugged, and I told him to take it
easy on his back. He told me not to worry, and then ran back on the field.
This was actually the last time I ever saw him. I looked for him in Erie, PA
last year, but I couldn't find him. I was later told that he was lying down
on the bus, resting his back. I started to get concerned, but I was glad he
was taking it easy for a change.
After he got home, we started talking frequently again. Jason had such an
amazing time with Spirit, and was always telling me stories about the
summer. I don't remember exactly when he told me about his cancer, but I
remember being so upset for him. I couldn't, and still don't, understand why
someone so young and so full of life would get this terrible disease.
Over the past year, Jason and I "feuded" a lot on RAMD. Our fighting was
100% fake and all in fun. Often, we would be talking on IM, wondering what
our next fight would be about, or how we could make things interesting on
RAMD. I received many emails over the year, telling me to leave Jason alone,
asking why I was fighting with him, stuff like that. But it was all in fun.
Much like Jason and Amanda fooled people into thinking they didn't get
along, we did the same. And we used to laugh ourselves silly about it. This
past year, Jason and I were nominated for the Best Online Friends gRAMDie.
While we didn't win, and believe me, no one should of gotten it but Jason
and Amanda, it was still an honour that I will never forget.
I have to finish this now, as it is very hard to think and type through the
tears. I am sitting here alone at work, and crying harder than I have the
past few days.
Jason, I miss you more than you could ever imagine. I miss the IM's, the
emails, the posts, the stories we shared, coming to you when I needed to
vent, and you doing the same to me. I sit looking at my little yellow AIM
logo on my screen, just wishing you would pop up, to say hello, or to insult
me with some smart ass remark like you always did. I will think about you
every day, and I will never forget you, man.
Rest in peace, JL. I love you.
- Geoff Jones
My deepest heartfelt sympathy's to Jason's family, friends and all of the
drum corps family he loved. I know the feeling of loss so well. Jason was so
sweet in his note to me when Mark died. Although we never talked on any
regular basis, I enjoyed his love of the activity, and love of his fellow
drum corps brothers and sisters. It's times like this when I realize just
what an impact this activity has had on my life. The good and the bad.
Heaven is richer tonight, but I still wonder why? Our heavenly drum corps
family has a new member. I'll be listening for the music from heaven
- Chris Glasscoe
God bless you, Jason Lowe.
Thank you for touching my heart, for
touching my soul, for your strength
and courage, for showing me how to be
strong in the face of adversity.
Thank you for being you.
God bless you, Jason Lowe.
- Jeff "DRUMAJOR" Johnson
Jason, say hi to my grandparents for me. She'll be meeting you at the
gates along with all the other drum corps people who are up in Heaven.
And to the rest of you reading this right now, whether I've met you or
not, whether I've made you laugh, smile, cry, yell, or angry, I want you
to know that I love you all. You are my drum corps family and I will
always cherish that.
- Kevin Gamin
Being a first year member of the CorpsVets, I found out about Jason
really fast and about his passion and love for drum corps. I only
talked to him a few times, but being a part of this corps this year, I
have learned what a special person he is and how much he means to so
many people...some who he has never met.
He means a lot to this corps, and seeing us give so much of ourselves to
him and for him and his cause has been awesome this year...
wish he could be in Syracuse with us, but in a way he will be...in our hearts...
Yall are very true...he's in Buffalo...hes right above that stadium, getting a better
and listen than any of us, and darn it...
heck, he probobly knows who wins
on Saturday already ha ha.
Take care lil' buddy....see ya in Syracuse.
- Windham Vance
CorpsVets (especially the Drumline) practices are as much a social
event as anything else. I can honestly say that the mental picture
that I will have of Jason for the rest of my life is one of him beet
red in the face, laughing his ass off at some sarcastic comment one of
us had made. I can't possibly imagine him any other way.
- Andy Smith
Jason and I didn't know each other for very long. Only a year or so, and that
only through RAMD, e-mail, and 2 or 3 IM's a week. We never met face to face,
although we had planned to at the Reading show and Syracuse.
That being said, I am at a loss to explain how I am feeling right now.
I feel as though I lost a brother yesterday.
Tom Peashey wrote a few days ago that he'd finally figured out why he loved
Jason so much. Because Jason was the only person he'd ever met that loved drum
corps more than himself. I'm glad Tom found that. I don't know what it was
about Jason that drew me to him, but I find, in his passing, that I don't
really need to know. Jason is in me, and no matter how he got there, I feel I'm
a better person for that.
- Glen Hazlewood
I just got off the phone after about an hour and a half on the phone with
Donnie, Jason's dad. He was very excited, and wanted everyone to know that
Jason's eyes are being transplanted. Some other kid will see because of him.
As Jeff Pastor said tonight, I hope they see things as he did.
He said to please let everyone know that Jason was very peaceful and not at all
in pain. Matthew Smith had called to tell him that Spirit was about to go on
the field. When they got off the phone, Donnie said he wasn't sure if Jason
could hear him, but told him anyway that Spirit was about to go on. Within 10
minutes, while Donnie held him in his arms, he was gone. Donnie and I both
believe that he left when he did so that he could be there on the field with
them. He was with them every step of the way, just as he always belonged.
We had a very good talk, shared a lot of good stories, laughs and a few more
tears. He wants everyone in Jason's drum corps family that he and Diana are
honored and blessed to have watched Jason be a part of this wonderful group of
people. He could not express how special it is to know that his son was loved
by so many people, and watch his son love us back in return. I promised I'd
pass his message along. I also spoke on everyone's behalf and told him that it
was us who were honored to have known him.
Have a good night, and know that Jason is smiling on each of us.
Matthew Smith had called to tell him that Spirit was about to go on
the field. When they got off the phone, Donnie said he wasn't sure if
Jason could hear him, but told him anyway that Spirit was about to go on.
Within 10 minutes, while Donnie held him in his arms, he was gone.
Donnie and I both believe that he left when he did so that he could be there on the field
with them. He was with them every step of the way, just as he always belonged.
Ginger, I think you are right.. Matthew called me to tell me.. and said
after he'd hung up from saying goodbye.. he put his phone on vibrate.. the
corps was performing.. and they had just started to play "Salvation" when
the call that he was gone buzzed on his hip.
He knew it. Jason was there. IS there.. there are still two days left.
God's peace, Ginger.. I don't know how you guys at the epicenter manage to
do it.. my heart goes out.. amidst my own sobs.. to Donnie, Diana, you and
Alan.. Matthew.. all of his closest loved ones and confidantes.. and to
those of us on the fringes..
And I hope this kid getting Jason's eyes one day says inexplicably to
his/her mom or dad.. "I think I'd like to march drum corps.."
Tonight was the opening ceremonies... instead of patches, they had decided
to give each age out a very nice little lapel pin the says "DCI Class of 2001"
My wife and I - (showing how important we are) got to pin all 700 pins on a
little thank you card... I have the bloody fingers to prove it...
It was my privilege, as all corps were on the field, to go onto the field
with the age outs and help pass these out to all the kids...
The director of Spirit and I were talking just before and he asked me to
give him one of the pins...
He took it onto the field and told the kids he had one special pin and he
wanted every one of them to sign it... When I got to Spirit handing out the
pins - they said that the director told them to give it to me when they were
done... he had not told them who the pin was for... Just that it was a "special" pin...
but being the smart kids they are... the last kid in line handed it to me
and said "This better be for Jason Lowe"...
Jason's age out pin autographed by every age out in the 2001 Spirit corps
will be sent Federal Express with Saturday delivery to Cobb Hospital...
Please advise specific room number and address... It will be delivered by
You can tell Jason that he was on the field tonight with Spirit..
- Tom Peashey
Yes, folks I'm a newbie here on RAMD, but.....
not to Drum & Bugle Corps.
This question seems to me, has been answered on every level possible !!
If you have been reading all of the posts for and about this kid
God, I wish I had known him personally.
My loss. He sounds like so many people I've known over so many years.......
all wrapped into one. These posts have totally overwhelmed me.
Some of them I couldn't even get all the way through in one sitting.
If you have somehow missed these postings, please check out the tribute sites.
In answer to your question....
What is Drum Corps?
I lost a friend today.
And I'd never even met him in person...
But over the years here, I found him to be a brash, optimistic,
determined young man who never hesitated to tell you exactly what he
thought. He wore his heart on his sleeve, and was *fiercely* loyal - to
both his friends and his drum corps.
After I got the news I went to his website and read his words and
looked at his pictures again.
It made me laugh - and it broke my heart.
To me, his attitude and dogged determination represented everything
that is right with "Drum Corps People".
I'm sure Hy, Winkie, Butch, Pepe, Cos et al are laughing their asses
off at rehearsal every time that scrawny redneck rookie gets up on his
hind legs and says, "You want some of this!? Bring It!"...
Farewell, buddy... and save me a spot...
From my favorite artist, Jimmy Buffett..."Lovely Cruise"
"Drink it up, this one's for you
It's been a lovely cruise
I'm sorry it's ending, oh it's sad, but it's true
It's been a lovely cruise
"These moments we're left with
May you always remember
These moments are shared by few
There's wind in our hair and there's water in our shoes
It's been a lovely cruise
"These moments we're left with
May you always remember
These moments are shared by few
And those harbor lights, Lord, they're coming into view
We'll bid our farewells much too soon
So drink it up, this one's for you
It's been a lovely cruise"
Steer by the stars, Bubba. Second to the right and straight on 'til morning.
August 18, 2001
As I sit in the quiet solitude reliving today's final farewell to Jason, I
cannot help but smile. The presence of so many people both young and (not so
young) amazes me. As Jason's Dad, I of course always believe him to be very
special, but today truly was an "in your face" confirmation. The service
although very simple was indeed very beautiful. Very fitting for our "little
hero" with the big ears and even bigger grin. When the sun rises tomorrow, I
will believe that it is Jason's smile greeting each and everyone who put such
an effort into saying goodbye. CorpsVets, Spirit members, Alumni....thank you
all from the very depths of my heart for changing what could have been the
worst day of my life into something so breathtakingly beautiful. I will cherish
the events of today for the rest of my life as I will the friendships I have
gained from you through my beloved son. God Bless you all, as I am certain that
he will.....the "Spirit" of this thing you call drum corps is unmatched in
anything I've every experienced before. I thank God for allowing me to become a
part of such a glorious thing. Sleep well everyone and look for Jason's smile
upon you tomorrow. I know that he is very proud of you all.
- Donnie Lowe
From: lowejh@bellsouthNOSPAM.net (Jason Lowe)
Subject: Dunno if you can make it? Read this.
Organization: JPA Protection - "Cause we need tour money."
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 15:43:22 GMT
Now that we're rapidly approaching move-in times for drum corps big
and small, I know for alot of new guys n gals out there, it's getting
"I dunno if I can do this."
"What if I don't make any friends?"
"3 months... I dunno if I can take it."
"I hope I improve, I really feel behind right now."
How do I know? Because I went through the same thing last season, and
this season, to be honest. Yeah, I may be on home rest healing a major
injury... but come June, we'll see what's going on...
Anyway, I know this all can be really intimidating for you. Especially
those of you who filled a spot late and haven't really had the time to
make any new friends. I've been there, too. It's scary, you don't konw
anyone, and you feel like everyone despises you. It's a bad
feeling....and you may feel like what you're feeling is unusual...it's
not. It's completely natural. I know alot of people that joined late,
not even KNOWING what drum corps was, and ended up marching 2-3-4-5 or
I'm not gonna lie to you. It's hot. It's miserable. It's not Sesame
Street. It's not a perfect world. You deal with everything you would
in the outside world. Things are tough. Especially all days. Remember
that thing called band camp? Yeah, I know, you think THAT'S bad... so
did I... then there's the 2nd level of hell called all days. But,
don't worry. That is the hardest part of tour, usually. Once you clear
all days - it's smooth sailing. So don't worry. Last year, when *I*
got through all days, I wrote it in my tour diary. "I made it! I made
I know it's scary. I joined a corps in late March last year, not
knowing ANYONE. Hell, I didn't even know how to play mellophone. I
couldn't do percussion because of my back problems, so I picked up the
horn. Hardest thing I've done in my life. But well worth it. I'm going
into my 2nd year, now. I was just as scared and confused as you are
right now.....unsure if you can do it...unsure if you want to. Believe
me, there's times on tour where I wanted to go home. There's even
people in the big corps.....like Blue Devils, and Santa Clara
Vanguard.. they want to go home too. It's normal! Just don't go home.
You'll be glad you stayed.
Sure, you may hear horror stories. Believe me, most of them are true.
Getting sick, that parking lot brawl, seeing that fat chick naked in
the bus next to yours...
But when you experience them on tour, it's nothing. People WILL get
sick, there WILL be parking lot brawls and there will ALWAYS be a fat
chick naked in the bus next to you. You just gotta know how to handle it.
I know the biggest fear of alot of rookies is.... "showering....with
other guys?? (or girls)"... especially to younger kids, this seems
like a big end of the world fiasco. Being naked with alot of the same
sex. A few weeks into tour, you don't even notice. Trust me.
Now, as for Pilato and Jones... we won't go into their shower fun. But
that's low brass for ya.
Anyways, never fear. You can do it. I did. And I'm the biggest pansy
of them all. Even the ladies say so. Hey, in drum corps, any comments
from the ladies is a sure winner, my friend. In the end, it doesn't
matter where you placed, who you beat, or if you're on the CD's. The
memories.....THAT'S what matters. From bus breakdowns and losing staff
to meeting new friends (that last a lifetime) and mooning that "other"
corps' busses as they pass by... that, my friends, is drum corps.
Plain and simple.
Oh yeah, kickin' a little ass doesn't hurt.
My advice? Don't think about it. Just do it. Pick it up and go. "Don't
let the roller coaster surprise you." Whatever you do, GIVE IT YOUR ALL.
No regrets in the end.
Now, what are you standing around for. Go kick some ass.
c/o CorpsVets Drum Corps
2250 Cheshire Bridge Rd. #320
Atlanta, GA 30324