As I travel around the USA I can always count on meeting a lot of strange and unusual people. But there are also the good and kind people, the interesting and intriguing folks who I get to know who really make my days brighter. And there is no more of a bright and shining star than JC Cramer.
Oddly enough, we met on the Internet. JC is a lady who read my blogs and became fascinated by A DRIVING FOOL. She was generous with her comments, such as "You are one helluva good guy Bill. When that guy got into your face, I would have been throwing punches, but you just roll with them. There's some good karma to be learned from you." I read this and all of her other comments, and I thought that THIS LADY GETS ME. So I wrote to her, and she wrote to me, and for the first time in my life I had made a real, true friend without actually meeting face to face.
Next thing you know we became friends by phone, and she wanted to keep up with all of my travels. I began to learn that she was a pretty special and wildly outrageous lady, who spoke her mind and damn the consequences. She told me that she has homes all over the USA, including a farm in upstate New York, a penthouse in Las Vegas, a beach cottage in Panama City, a ranch in Montana, and an estate in Dallas. Plus a place she refers to as "the mansion" in Orlando.
I asked JC many times what her initials stand for. Every time I ask, or anyone else asks, they will get a different answer. "I am Joe Cool, don't you know?" Or once, "I was named after our nation's greatest President, Jimmy Carter." No really, JC, what do those initials stand for? "I am named after the son of God." The fact is, she legally changed her name to just her initials, so JC is officially her name.
She is one spitfire of a woman, a real whirling dervish. She will keep you on your toes and always keep you guessing. She comes up with the most unique sayings. Once I heard her talking to a girlfriend, and she said, "Just keep right on giving your man good wild sex, he'll follow you anywhere and do anything for you. For him, you'll be the cat's meow!"
JC has a big emotionally challenged dog named Jonz, who I find lovable but who has been known to bite folks unexpectedly. "You know Bill," she told me one day, "Jonz is a perfectly normal, wonderful dog, except when he snaps and goes nuts and starts biting people. But other than that..."
I wrote about my time at the Census bureau, and I needed a place to stay long term during that job. I mentioned it in passing to JC, so she asked where I'd be working. I told her it was Miami, and she said "Perfect, I have a condo there and its sitting empty. You'll live there as long as the job lasts. This will give me an excuse to come over and spend time working on it, painting and doing repairs and such." So I was treated to just over a month in a luxury 3 bedroom 2 story condo, with the added pleasure of her frequent company as she'd come and visit what she dubbed our "love nest."
Which leads me to the confession that No, we don't have any rolls in the hay. She is a very attractive and very fit woman, with energy to spare. I should be so lucky! But she is mostly attracted to much younger men, finely chiseled specimens with recent college degrees. Alas, this does not describe A Driving Fool. Frankly, I don't know if I could keep up with her level of energy, either. She is a non-stop work machine whenever I'm around her. Her daughter's friend dropped by the "love nest" in Miami one day while JC was busy cleaning, and the girl said, "Gee, is there anything I could do to help?" JC just stared at her, then waved the rag and said, "Well, you see a rag in my hand, don't you? Get a clue, sister."
I have now stayed with JC as I travel in 4 of the 10 homes I know of that she lives in. We both keep saying how strange it is that I happen to be headed where she happens to be staying at any given time. Its like its meant to be. Just recently, I visited at the farm in upstate New York for the first time, and it was amazing. She has a 150 year old farmhouse with clapboard floors and an old iron tub, a big red barn out back and green rolling hills all around.
We took a ride in her new tiny Honda, as she traversed the back roads and dirt trails in a fashion that would impress the Duke boys from Hazzard County. After sitting out by a roaring bonfire that night, JC made another round of White Russians for us, and then we came inside and settled down for what she calls "VHS theater." None of those modern DVDs for her. We watched ON GOLDEN POND and we laughed while Jonz growled softly. And we celebrated finding each other and having such a warm and loving friendship. I know that I am truly blessed to have friends around America who open their hearts and their homes to me.
But there is none other quite like JC.