And now I’d like Mr. Harrison to come forward.
Now this is going to be a bit of an uncomfortable experience for Mr. Harrison. For one thing, he is facing a crowd of people and isn’t allowed to talk. And secondly, he doesn’t know what I’m about to say about him.
Mr. Harrison has been an Associate Advisor with us since 2012, after his daughter Sarah joined. He was a bit reluctant at first to get involved because he was helping his son finish Cub Scouts.
But then he jumped in with both feet and was definitely noticed.
Mr. Harrison, among other things, is our crew stand-up comedian. You may have picked up some of that tonight. I told him before the cookout that we had special guests and he had to be on his best behavior, which brought a reply that he mostly behaves, which is true.
I learned of his irreverent side early when I sent out emails and I would get quips back from him.
It started with his reply to one of my emails in which he explained that he doesn’t read long emails. These are some excerpts from others:
“I’ll drive unless you don’t want me to in which case I won’t.”
“Are you planning on still being alive for the meeting? We should be able to handle the elections if you’re still under the weather. When you get a chance, can I get the contact info. for the two volunteers helping out with the ski trip? I should probably do my part of the agreement and at least try to stay on top of this training stuff.”
“We have more charcoal than Ireland has freckles…”
“It’s hard not to go for the jugular. Being mean is what I do when I’m being nice. I guess I’ll figure out how constructive criticism works with my own kid.”
His mimicry is usually hilarious as he spoofs clerks, family and youth alike. Even when he mimics Sarah, she just smiles.
Even with all his joking and teasing, Jayson has been dedicated to this program and is actually a softee inside. And he remains one of our more fascinating adults.
Who else would bring scorpions, tarantulas and snakes to the crew and handle them like a family pet (which they were until Katie listened to a baby mouse screaming as it was being eaten)?
Or get more excited about Haunted Forest than the kids? Or break his arm skateboarding?
Or agree last year to take a group of crew members on a road trip with Katie of thousands of miles to the Badlands and back for our crew’s summer adventure?
Jayson genuinely cares about our youth and works hard to serve them, whether it’s taking time to listen to their problems or to talk to them about skateboards, or packing his truck, trip after trip.
When it came time to name him, I couldn’t find a Native American name for joker and snake handler didn’t seem appropriate. But one other name stuck out. And it has a lot of meanings depending on what tribe you are from. This animal among southwest tribes is considered disregarding of social rules, so there’s that likeness, while in other tribes elsewhere it is considered powerful and skilled, able to see in the dark and through masks, a great hunter, with healing properties.
Again, there is some likeness to some of that.
Of course, the whole crew will know the reason this name belongs to him and only to him, for its cry is one crew members have been startled by many times on our trips, usually late at night or in the mornings.
So it is my honor tonight, Mr. Harrison, to award you the Cherokee name Gvhe, which means Bobcat.