I discovered the wide world of Mets bloggers and blogging in 2004. After that season ended, I needed an outlet, a community to share grievances and to laugh and to be with fans like me. I started my own personal blog in 2007, when I was done with school and I wanted to expand my network of Mets friends and family, even calling my blog My Summer Family.
Shortly after starting the site, I was approached by a new forum with original content and rotating writers in the Mets blogosphere called Flushing University. I met a bunch of lovely folks in there, most of them came from the Mets.com forums (I was always blocked during business hours from those sites though), and started their own site. It was fun, quirky. With a name like F.U., there was a double-entendre, but also gave us a chance to “lecture.” But the lectures were fun. I called out the Mets on their lack of love for Bill Shea in their CitiField schematics, talked about how moving the Dodgers to Los Angeles was the right move, among others.
The year 2007 was really the year of the blogger, as our networks expanded and there were a bunch of cool niche sites out there, especially regarding the Mets. It truly was a special time to be a blogger then.
And that was where I met Johnny Lowe.
There was Mike, and Deb, and Gary G, and Dingo (whom I called Dingbat, all in affectionate terms), and there was Johnny. At the time, there was a song by The Killers called “Uncle Jonny,” and in our email exchanges I called him, “Uncle Johnny” or “Uncle J.” We were bonded by our love for the Mets. We also had some other things in common, like our political and social beliefs, and even music. I usually don’t preclude anyone who doesn’t share my political or social beliefs from being a good person, but that of course just gave him favorable points in my eyes.
He disliked living in Florida, which kept him away from seeing the Mets, but he loved his family, wife Stacey and their son Asher.
I could poke fun at him. There was one instance when A-Rod opted out of his contract during the 2007 World Series, and he thought the Mets should go after him. I disagreed. He told me that A-Rod won a Gold Glove, which made him a good defensive player…I told him that I called him “E-Rod,” that only the Yankees would put someone at 3B who was the best SS in the league, and that Gold Gloves meant nothing since Bobby Abreu once won one. He said Bobby Abreu was a fine caliber outfielder who deserved it.
My response was to use an emoticon that showed a smiley face being pulled up to the spaceship. I told him to “Say ‘HI’ to Elvis for me!”
It was all in good fun. Johnny was one of those guys who always had a great attitude, even if you disagreed with him.
Today, Johnny Lowe passed away from a bout of pancreatic cancer.
As with his attitude, he kept a positive outlook, wanted to be remembered positively, and not remembered as being “sick.” I found out on Facebook, today, and even thought that I hadn’t heard from “Uncle J” in awhile, and I hoped that he was okay. Mets friends have lost a few good ones this year, with Dana Brand and our friend and brother Adam Baker. Uncle Johnny Lowe is another one of those guys. His wife even posted that all he wanted was a party to celebrate his life, and not a solemn memorial service. There will be a celebration of his life, and I wish I could be there, alas it is in Florida. I guess it’s fitting, as Johnny was one of those folks I never met in person, but had an impact on me in the cyberworld.
I’d like to think that if there is an afterlife, that he’s jamming with Jerry Garcia with a continuous loop of 1969 and 1986 Mets championships playing in the background. In this lifetime, though, our friend Mack Ade has set up a college fund contribution for Asher Lowe, please see details of it at Mack’s blog.
This one is for Uncle Johnny. I will never forget you, my friend.