Friend Encounters is a weekly series about friends meeting celebrities. Today is a special birthday edition for my pal Jason.(aka JayHawk Evans).
I have known Jason for 25+ years. He came into Lerner Newspapers as a part-time telemarketer and proved to be horrible at it. (Maybe he just didn't care to be good.) In either case, telemarketing's loss was the company's gain. More importantly, I had no idea back then he would become a great friend.
Shortly after his arrival at Lerner, he quickly became the "go-to" guy for any computer issues.For the next several years, his value to Lerner was immeasurable.
Over those same years, Jason and I grew to be great friends. Jason joined the crew of Louie, Chuck, (the other Jason) and Jim (and later Cuzz).
Jason and I have had lots of great adventures. One of us (him) tripped off the security when he went to the backroom of a store to look for Star Wars figures. One of us (him) acted very thoughtful when he feigned concern looking for Canadian Coke when he was actually looking for Star Wars figures again. There were many more, but you get the picture.
Also, one of us (me) proudly stood up for the other's (him) wedding. I admit, I got a little teary-eyed seeing how happy Jason was (and still is). He deserves it all.
With no offense to his bride Heather, was he happier that day or the day he met Martin Brodeur, his hockey idol? In his words, "It's not every day you get to meet the greatest goaltender of all time Martin Brodeur. But at tonight's Rockford IceHogs vs Chicago Wolves game, I met one of my all time favorites. He was cool enough to take a photo with me and sign my jersey. So freaking awesome!!"
I joke. I am sure Heather is tops on that list (certainly no worse than second to Brodeur LOL).
I am also sure Heather and their two cute kids will be celebrating Jason's big day. From across the Chicago area, I raise a toast to my dear friend. Happy birthday, Jason!
Jason Fleigel and Martin Brodeur in Rosemont, IL-January 2016.