"And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears and love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there, with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."
~ from Mumford and Sons' "After the Storm"

Hi all,

Thirteen years ago tonight, I was in the AOL TBAA chat room.  The members drifted in and out until only four of us were left.  We came up with a goofy idea: a faux 12 Steps program to "help" the obsessed John Dye fans (of which two of us most assuredly were).  Thus was JABB born.

In the past six months, I've thought often of the fifteen year old girl in that chat room.  And I wonder how, in a year's time, she went from the freshman who started crying at the lunch table because a friend was teasing her about her unconventional crush to someone who could re-write the lyrics of "The Addams Family" theme song, turn it into "The Boy from Amory," and put it on the World Wide Web.  Then I look at a photo of John or watch Touched or Tour or simply hear his voice echoing in my memory and I understand.  I'm sure John's love, dedication, good humor, and compassion often broke down the walls of cynicism, mistrust, fear, and grief in those who met him.  Though I never did meet him, those qualities broke down barriers in me, too.  They made possible my participation in this group I have come to love and rely on and care very much about.  While there were only four of us in that chat room the night it began, JABB is really the product of five people.  We four co-founders were merely responding to John and to his work.  One day I hope to thank him in person for the gift that is JABB.  In the meantime... we will celebrate his life here and we will always, always remember him.

Happy 13th anniversary, my friends!

God bless,

PS- Before we get any further, I would like to thank Michelle for creating the beautiful graphics.  Thank you, Michelle!!!

Reflections on JABB's Thirteen Years

From Rebecca:

I had been a huge John Dye fan for many years and somehow I finally stumbled upon JABB in Jan of 2010.  I had just had surgery and was at home more.  I have truly enjoyed being a member of JABB, it is a great way to honor John and now his memory.  I have met some wonderful people, had a lot of fun, as well as finding great comfort after losing John.  I can't imagine what it would have been like losing John without having JABB.

We have great discussions on many different topics and I feel that by being a member of JABB I have not only met great people but have also learned a great deal.  We talk about books, movies, ideas, our feelings about life and even share how we feel about our religious beliefs. 

Jenni,  I thank you so much for all of the work and love you have put into the group.  John,  I thank you for your life, and work, which has been such an inspiration to so many of us. 

From Jenni:

JABB and time have always had a complicated relationship in my mind.  On one hand, I sit here completely dumbfounded by the fact that thirteen years have passed.  On the other, it seems like JABB's been a part of my life for much longer than that.  I think it's because I sometimes get confused between the time I was simply a TBAA fan and then a John Dye fan and when JABB actually began.  I watched TBAA at least sometimes during its first season and I fell for Andrew sometime during season three.  It didn't take much longer than that to hightail it to Blockbusters and rent every John Dye movie I could and then steal over to my grandparents' to go searching for information on John.  (Random trivia: I couldn't have used Google... it wasn't invented.  Imagine that!)

I had a great time watching all those martial arts movies and reading John's web page long into the night.  But I was an outsider looking in.  I'd read chat logs and not only envy the people who were able to chat with John himself but who seemed to know each other, to be friends.  As for me, I didn't know a single real TBAA fan.  A friend or family member might watch the occasional episode but that was it.  Then July 1998 came.  And I've never felt alone in my love of TBAA and crush on John since!

So I'd just like to anonymously thank some JABB members for the following over the years:

Finally (and not so anonymously) to the J in JABB, the reason we're here, and the one without whom this band of friends would still be strangers: thank you for an amazing thirteen years.  Thank you for being Andrew, Doc Hock, Todd, Jeff, Virgil, Manion, and all the others.  But mostly thank you for being you.  I'm not quite sure who I'd be without you but I'm glad I didn't have to find out.  May the love of each of us here and all who love you join God's love in surrounding you for all eternity, dearest and loveliest John. 

Love to all,

An interview with Cindy:

1. When did you join JABB and how did you find us?

I have been aware of JABB for several years and would occasionally glance at it, but did not subscribe because it was more directed at Andrew the character, and I was more interested in John the actor. After John's death I NEEDED someone to grieve with...and so, e-mailed Jenni and realized, this site would provide that support...I couldn't find that on any other site-not even Martha's at that time.

2. What would you say is your best memory of this past year with JABB?

...it was the only active site where I could mourn and celebrate John with other people who loved him as well.

3. What's one thing you've learned since joining that you didn't know before?

Actually, I've learned a lot...more info and trivia on John than I'd been able to find in the past few years, I'm also learning more about how to use the computer, believe it or not!  And, because I'm talking with people outside of my social circles here, I'm learning different viewpoints on issues. We have some good discussions, here!

4. What do you hope to see happen with JABB in the future?

That it will continue to be a support group to Johns fans, friends, family and that it will continue John's legacy and pay it forward.

5. Anything else you'd like to say as JABB celebrates its 13th anniversary?

Besides Happy Anniversary?  THANKS, Jenni, for all your effort and time in keeping this site running!  And, you may be John's ALL TIME NUMBER ONE FAN (outside of his family). And, think, this site has run longer than TBAA did! (reruns don't count).

"Finding" John

As we worked on this, it became pretty clear that some of us wanted to talk a bit about how we became fans of John Dye.  Because without that happening first, none of us would be here on JABB!

From Rebecca:

My first memory of John started when I was just channel surfing one Sunday evening in 1998.  Touched by an Angel just happened to be on and they were showing the episode
The Pact.  I believe that was the first time I was aware of either the show or John.  I fell in love with both that evening.  The Pact reminded me so much of my own childhood,  I had spent many summers at camp. 

I loved all of the characters but have to admit I definitely had a special place in my heart for Andrew.  He seemed to be the most loving and caring being I had ever seen.  He brought such sensitivity and sensibility to the character of Andrew.  I then started watching a lot of his work and absolutely fell in love with Doc  from TOD as well.  John seemed to be such a wonderful actor who could bring a subtlety  and  honesty to his roles. 

As I looked more into John as a person I found him to be the completely honest, caring individual I always would have expected him to be.  I know he was a very real human being and was by no means perfect however there was really something unique and special that seemed to come through in all of his work.

I thank you John for everything you gave to all of us,

From Cindy:

So, a conversation with Jenni the other day prompted me to write this.  When did I first fall for John?  Well, it was this way.  I was beginning to sporadically watch TBAA on PAX.  And, my mom would tape current eps occasionally and send them to me.  I was not watching the eps in order, and so was very confused with who the main characters were and how or if the eps were related.  The first time I *NOTICED* John was the ep God as my Witness...and I asked a friend about him and she filled me in-on John AND Andrew...and I decided this show was very much worth watching. Now, I don't know if I had seen any eps with him in them before...it's possible, and with all the different hair styles he had, could have just not registered in my brain.  But, then I did begin to look for him and, I knew he didn't always show up, but there was one ep that had an AOD and I eagerly sat down to watch it...only...he didn't look right, and he certainly wasn't as cute as I originally thought.  So, I was very disappointed.   but this ep was, An unexpectant snow...and it had Adam not Andrew...so, talked to my friend again, and she explained about Adam, Henry, and Andrew and how Andrew became "permanent"-a caseworker AND AOD...and, boy was I glad for that!!! Grew to love the show for what it was, and John personally.  And, I've been in love ever since.  *sigh!*

From Jenni:

There's some question about when I first saw John.  Given my mom's habitual viewing of Young and the Restless, there's a chance I saw one Jason Carter denying paternity on my fourth birthday.  (That really puts the nineteen year age gap between John and me into perspective!)  My mother also watched Tour of Duty sometimes so there's a possibility 7 year old me played dolls whilst a certain hippie relaxed in a hot tub.  But whether either of these events actually happened, only God knows.  But here's what I do know:

On January 6th, 1996; I tuned into TBAA as I often did.  As the episode progressed, we saw a fallen log.  Then we saw shoes walking on aforementioned log.  Ugly shoes.  Really, really bad shoes.  Old man shoes.  Then the camera panned up.  Whether I thought the view was cute, handsome, or in any way attractive... I dunno.  All I remembering thinking was that he wasn't Adam and, thus, should go away.  Especially since my hero Monica seemed not to like him.  Grr.  But fast forward a year...

He's crying on a staircase.  He's defending a gay man against his bigoted father.  He is... glorious.  And, at fourteen, I've completely fallen for He of the Ugly Shoes.  As N Sync and the Backstreet Boys cluttered up my friends' lockers, photos of John Dye decked mine.  While the "crush of crushes" exhibited itself in various ways as I matured, it never went away.  Sometimes I think it's as immortal as Andrew is, as immortal as John now is.  And I'm totally okay with that.  And I also learned something: never judge a man by his shoes.  :-)

12 Steps Revised

As I was trying to decide what I would contribute to this newsletter other than the usual intro, a bittersweet irony struck me.  JABB began as a mock support group.  But it became so much more.  We have done what we can to help each other in the past thirteen years and especially in the past six months.  It's become a real support group in the best and truest sense.  And so it seems appropriate to end this newsletter the way JABB began.  Below is an updated 12 Steps.  This one is meant to be seriously followed and we hope doing so will continue the comfort, joy, and peace John brought us all.

Step One:
Admit you still love the guy.  It's okay.  We do, too.

Step Two: Take it one day at a time.  Some days you may be reduced to a giggling, grinning starry-eyed fan girl at the memory of Doc's Christmas jig or that time Andrew literally went nose-to-nose with Tess in "Millennium."  Or simply John's appearance on The ViewOther days you may find yourself misty-eyed if not outright crying at the most random things.  It's normal and it's healthy.  God gave you emotions for a reason and He gave you a good heart that He meant for you to use.

Step Three:
Remember to laugh.  Days can be hard and tears will fall.  But when you need a smile, think of the angel dancing with his umbrella, the army grunt impersonating a turkey, or the sublime wonder that is John's Campus Man wardrobe.  I think a plaid shirt, suspenders, and khakis tucked into one's socks is a look due for a comeback, don't you?

Step Four: You know what the song says: "When you walk down the road; heavy burden, heavy load.  I will rise and I will walk with you."  You're not alone.  You have friends here to listen and help you as best as we can!

Step Five: Pay it forward.  On those days when the world seems a little less kind, less compassionate and you find yourself saddened that someone who gave so much is no longer on this Earth: do something!  It doesn't have to be huge.  Donate some canned goods, go through your closets for items you can give away, call up a friend who you think may need to talk, write a thank you note to someone who means a lot to you.  The possibilities are endless.  Remember what John said: "There are possibilities for goodness in a world that's very filled with turmoil."

Step Six: Watch out for yourself, too.  For me, one of the most profound and inspiring moments in John's career comes in the ToD episode "Lonely at the Top."  Ruiz asks Doc why he won't fight for his country and his answer is "I know that if I ever killed anybody, I wouldn't be any good to myself or anybody else for as long as I live."  While one would hope none of us were ever placed in as dire straits as Doc was, I think embedded in that statement is something we can all relate to.  If you don't stick to what you believe and ensure you have what you need to carry on, you won't be good to anybody.  So take care with yourself!

Step Seven:  Be a goof ball!  Remember, Andrew thought being called "weird" was a compliment ("Fighting the Good Fight").  And, more importantly, it certainly doesn't seem like John was too terribly concerned about always being seen as a dignified, serious individual.  So don't take yourself too seriously. 

Step Eight: Cindy writes: "John's death has taught me this... Let people know you care! As Melissa said in Most Likely to Succeed ,'It's always nice to know someone cares for you.'  When someone is brought to your mind or heart, pray for them and let them know that if you can. If you can't, then ask God to let them know they are loved and someone cares. Treat other people as if it may be the last time you will see or talk to them."

Step Nine: Also from Cindy: "We are so fortunate to have John's work to watch and remember him by.  As we watch his work, think of the message of that episode or film and find a positive way to apply that in our own life and the lives of those we 'touch.'"

Step Ten: Thank God daily for the nearly 48 years He shared John with the world and the unending years to come that John will enjoy in Heaven.  And from Cindy: "Continue to pray for John's family, friends, and co-workers.  As much as we fans miss him... they miss him more."

Step Eleven:
Fear not!  Rebecca writes:  "I always felt that John would somehow encourage people to live their lives with a sense of adventure and not be limited by fear.  I always felt he was the kind of person that lived life to the fullest.  Fear can be such a limiting factor in people's lives.  I know it has been with me.  I know it was Andrew who said "On one side, there's life.  And on the other...there's life, too."   I somehow feel that is what John would say, as well."

Step Twelve: Take the love, peace, and compassion that John left us with and carry on.  And never, ever forget what he told us so often: God loves you.

Happy 13th Anniversary, JABBers!!!


JABB 333

(Photo Credits: The photographs used in Michelle's graphics are from as assortment of John Dye's projects.  Credits can be found here.  They are not being used to seek profit.)