One of the great achievements that we've been blessed with for nearly seven years at Cincy Jungle, is the development of a passionate community, loyal to the site but more importantly, loyal to each other. More importantly, friendships. Sure we'll bicker and argue like any other community, but at the end of the day we'll pat each other on the back for personal achievements and pray for those that take an unexpected turn. It's a true community.
Several days ago I received an email from one of John's closest friends, letting me know he's not doing well. Characteristic of his personality, one that preferred a low profile with intense loyalty, John wanted us to remain positive with the Bengals this year.
I asked John's friend, who knows him far greater on a personal level, to compose a letter for John to his friends here at CJ.
JungleJohn is not doing well guys. I am a 40-year friend and 26-year employee of John's and I help manage one of his small businesses separate from his main facility. In our first conversation when he regained consciousness, he first told me to keep things going in the office. His next sentence was to get to this site and encourage everyone on Cincy Jungle. He wanted me to let all of you know that he has not been absent from the site because of their recent struggles, but rather because he is unable to visit. He feared that some may have thought his loyalty is falling but you shouldn’t. John is a very loyal man and it is paramount in his value system. He is in a hospital out of state and all of us hope he will be well enough to be transported back to Ohio soon.
As many of you may know John has, for several years, suffered from Relapsing/Remitting MS. He held it at bay for all of this time and, being who he is, it never affected his manner or competence here in his company. But, it finally overtook him and due to complications he suffered a series of minor but debilitating strokes that has left him comatose several times for days at a time. He seems to be recovering gradually through what his doctors call a surprising force of will. They seemed surprised by this inner strength, but I am not. He was my squad leader in our Ranger Unit for 13 months in Vietnam. Years later he heard I was struggling. He pulled me out of the gutter, paid for my education and put me to work. He helped reunite me with my wife and two daughters. He is just that kind of man. Since that time in Vietnam I have never known him to fail at anything. If this can be beat he is the guy who will do it.
He is also a great fan of his alma mater tOSU and especially the Bengals. I am running things from his office while he is out and as I look around his office pictures of his family dominate his desk (and his heart), but his walls and shelves are filled with Bengals items and autographed pictures. He is also a great fan of CincyJungle, or CJ, as he refers to it. He spends a lot of time reading the posts and loves the back and forth discussion. He misses all of you. He mentioned many of his friends and I can only remember a few of them like bigdaddy, AMA, Whyus and someone who calls himself chili. He told me to tell all of you to hang in there with the team as he sees good things in their future. If he says so I believe it and I would suggest that you do too. He is the smartest man I ever met as well as the toughest and kindest. It is said you can tell a man by his friends and there are many of them. I answer a couple of dozen calls every day from people wanting to know how he is doing and asking how they can help. All of us here at the company, to the man (and woman), consider him a friend much more than a boss. We are all praying for him and I hope you will too. He would be embarrassed to read this. He views himself as just a regular guy, but I know better.
Keep John in your thoughts and prayers. We'll keep you updated on his condition.