Jason TNT

Jason TNT

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"Now That’s A Set List"…by guest blogger, Joe Bramuchi

A guest post from friend, former coworker, Downtown Orlando neighbor and drummer for Under Arrested band, Joe Bramuchi...

I first met Jason around 2002/2003 and grew to know him only gradually early on. I was working at Marriott Vacations Club International in the Capital Markets group which tended to be a bit sequestered from the broader business and I continued to hear about Jason as a sharp, witty and young VP that easily managed through business matters based on his smarts and his ability to relate to people in an endearing manner. Inevitably, our paths would cross on certain projects and I came to appreciate Jason for all of the above and also for his up-tempo outlook on most everything. This was less about his attitude toward work and more about his attitude on life - it’s short so have some fun diligently managing your affairs and don’t take the lumps too seriously. I came to realize quickly that Jason tactfully infused humor into most any and every situation.

So here and there Jason and I would cross paths on certain business points. At one point I visited Ireland while Jason and Jennifer were living there and I had some time to sit with him over a most bland Irish lunch. That evening would be better over Irish beer and Jason and I quickly discovered our common interests and appreciations:  we lived in the same Downtown Orlando neighborhood, we bled Orange & Blue and both of us came with financial backgrounds.  I enjoyed quick wit that evening while he effortlessly dispensed it. Perhaps the real point of trust came when I told Jason I needed to find diamonds for my 10 year wedding anniversary and Jason referred me to a family friend, Rick, who came from a family of jewelers.  Rick owned a construction company, yet continued to dabble in jewelry on the side. In the end I purchased diamonds from this character out of his house and Rick and I eventually became good friends and fellow baseball coaches. Point being, I was confident that if you came referred by Jason, you’re the gold standard even if you’re selling me diamonds from your garage!

Back in Orlando I was coming to know Jason’s brother, Jim, through different folks and saw Jim finish in the Final Two in my Bramuchi Poker Tournament. Soon we’d all be spending time at Gator gatherings and neighborhood events. I still have the vivid memory of a Bama beat down of my Gators at Jim’s house. The game was so painful for the Orange & Blue Gator Nation but Jim found some relief for everybody by pausing and replaying in slow-mo the play of Bama’s Tyrone Prothro’s excruciating ankle break during the game. The slow-mo ankle dangle was projected to a nauseated gathering (including Jason) in the living room over and over. I wish no harm to anybody but that was a damned good time and it lessened the anguish from the beat down we endured.

DPLL Red Sox Rookies 2010
Connor and Colin in middle - perhaps
 "inspired" by the movie Warrior's "Yankees"
(see photo below)
Sometime after, a mutual friend, Mat Tyndall, and Jason teamed up for Delaney Park Little League - coaching for a baseball team that in our minds became the infamous “2010 Delaney Park Rookie Red Sox.”  Jason and Tyndall saw a young Charlie Bramuchi on the draft list and knew he was a coveted pick- not necessarily for his prowess on the diamond - but perhaps because he would come with an extra coach!  Our time with the kids on the diamond was something special. Coach Beaird and Coach Tyndall loved to dish out endearing caricatures of the kids that still bring tears to my eyes.
I was always so entertained with Jason and Tyndall, their constant lampooning of fellow friends and neighborhood characters, their quick prognostications of kids in later life, and, of course, their outlook on Gator football was always something I enjoyed. I couldn’t match their wits but I could fuel their flames and listen to them cut loose with repartee. 
Downtown Orlando living is like living in a bubble and over the years house parties ensued while we and the kids grew together. Jason, Tyndall, Dave Morrissey (a UM Meatchicken fan) and I would be sure to make time every 6-8 weeks to get out for a “Coaches’ Night” to scout out new drinking/eating holes. One Coaches’ Night we were wrapping up at Tilted Kilt out near UCF when a steady stream of 20-something-year-olds (obviously UCF students) began trickling in. We decided to postpone our departure and ended up sitting through several hours of party bingo and thinking- "damn we’re old—who’s got next pitcher?"

During our first Coaches’ Night immediately after Jason passed, we ordered a drink and set it up “On the Bar for “JB”.  Our Coaches’ Night tradition has continued and with it, we added another JB to the Coaches’ Night – Jamie Barati; fitting given how close Jamie and Jason were. (Barati is another Delaney Park coach.)   It’s special to us Coaches to know the “One on the Bar” concept continues and we’re looking forward to the next “One on the Bar” event on January 9.  I am especially proud of the January 9 event as I have a personal connection to this one…I’m a member of the performing band, Under Arrested!
The Story of Under Arrested…Sometime around 2008 I took up drums and cajoled some neighborhood buddies to burn off some steam in the garage “studio” (which allowed me to learn playing drums on the job). Several of us had performed little and some of us never played before, but we all enjoyed music so much that we took up sessions and began playing school benefits as Under Arrested (UA). During our first year we signed up to playing in front of 150+ crowds throwing caution to the wind. Somehow, we found the crowds were willing to look past our lack of tightness and perhaps liked the fact that we played songs that many wouldn’t expect; songs ranging from the 70’s to today. Over the years we’ve played at places like The Stardust, The Firestone, The Abbey, Will’s Pub and countless backyards, all in support of various benefits. Like any soul searching band we’ve worked through several bassists and band members, entered rehab, reentered society, reentered rehab, etc., etc., but true to this day we continue to play for the fun of it.  This serves us well as we wouldn’t expect anybody to pay for what we dish out. The band is made up of Dads in the Downtown Orlando community and known by many in the Jason Nation. The UA band members are Jack Walsh, Michael Herndon, Dr. Travis Van Dyke, Dave Canella and me- Joe B.
And now back to Jason…We all know that Jason appreciated all of what life had to offer and that certainly includes music. Jason could spatter off songs and artists as easily as he could quote and identify movies, sports facts, pop culture, historical facts and most any topical tidbit imaginable. Jason was always a great sounding board to us - offering up retro and fringe tunes for us to consider. On January 9 at Johnny's Other Side, UA is honored to carry on the tradition of “One on the Bar” for our friend Jason, Jennifer and all of the Jason Nation. Knowing Jason’s taste for music, I know he will be looking down, tilting a pint back and saying, damn JB you guys haven’t improved much but that’s a hell of a set list.”


Thursday, May 28, 2015

"Here's to you Jason"... by guest blogger, Kelly Olinger

A guest post from friend, former coworker and former fellow triathlete, Kelly Olinger...
Sean Stanton, Kelly Olinger and Jason at the St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Pete
Hello Everyone!
I’m Kelly Olinger, your guest blogger for Jason’s birthday.  You may know me better as “That guy who wears a kilt to the events”.  It is an honor to be blogging to all of you on such a momentous occasion.  I have never blogged before (as you can probably tell) and even this has required Jennifer’s intervention on my behalf to get it posted.

Jason and I met while working together at Marriott Vacation Club in the mid-90’s.  As you all know from your own experience, it was very easy to get to know Jason and become fast friends.  While we met at work, our friendship soon extended outside the office to our joint effort to become triathletes.  Of course the tricky part was that neither of us had ANY experience with proper swimming or cycling techniques.  Of all the triathlon guides I read, NOT A SINGLE ONE recommended the dog paddle as an effective technique to compete.  As such we were both thrown into the deep end of the pool and taught ourselves how to swim properly, or at least close enough to it that we could survive a quarter mile in the open water.  With time, the quarter mile grew to a half mile, then a mile, and eventually for Jason - over two miles in his Ironman competition.  As with all aspects of his life, Jason pushed himself to be the best that he could be – as a Triathlete, Father, Husband, Coworker, or Friend. 

Morning swims were made more memorable with our not-so-healthy post swim breakfast at Bob Evans where we discussed work, life, and everything under the sun.  We also had great weekend rides through the hills of Clermont with John Rader, Sean Stanton, Scott Benke and Paul Lopes.  While we parted ways on the work front for a few years, it was great to work with Jason again at Hilton Grand Vacations starting in late 2011.  At Hilton, as at Marriott, he was respected by everyone he came into contact with for his intelligence, wit, friendship, and courage to say what needed to be said.  He continues to be missed by everyone at HGV and amongst all his friends and family as you well know.

So from all of that, I now have had the chance to work with Tony Terry and Jennifer to pull together one of Jason’s lifelong dreams – The Obscure Bar Tour.  I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory or his Birthday than this!  It was the often-talked about pub crawl that none of us ever quite had the time to organize.  I remember going to an Orlando Magic game with Jason and passing “Hoops” on Amelia Avenue and talking about the concept.  I’m sure quite a few of you were given the vision as well, and on this Saturday - May 30th - it will be brought to life.  I know Jason will be looking down on it all with a smile on his face, watching a dream of the past brought to life.  So whether you’re with us on the bus, or sitting at home in your living room, be sure to raise a glass in honor of our friend Jason on the evening of May 30th – I know I will!

Here’s to you Jason, and Happy Birthday!