After hearing that Jessie had passed, the sadness I felt seemed at odds with how little I really knew the man. That's when I got thinking about the connections we can make over a shared love of something like cars. Sometimes it seems like a singular passion, but once you get sharing it with others, you really can create a connection. I've had the chance to meet many different members of various automotive groups over the years, and came away each time with great memories and lasting friendships.
I wanted to know a little more about Jessie, so I got chatting with his lovely wife, Natalie, who agreed to me writing this story and was even willing to share some personal photos. Jessie and Natalie have two beautiful boys, Jackson (4) and Kingston (1.5), who, according to her, already have the 'car' bug that their father instilled in them. She even said: "I will miss his talking about cars, and it all going over my head", which made me laugh.
In searching through his Facebook photos for this story, I came across a few other conclusions about Jessie:
1) He really had the same taste in cars as me. I found pictures of his Escort, as well as a Peugeot 206, Pontiac Grand Prix coupe, and a Mitsubishi Delica van. Even his taste in expensive, classy cars leaned towards the more obscure, such as the BMW Z8 and Vector WX-3. There's no doubt we were on the same automotive wavelength!
Natalie, thanks for sharing with me and helping me feel like I got to know him just a little bit better. Know that I'll never see another Aerostar without thinking about Jessie!