Rammer jammer, J.B.

Published 1:56 am Monday, January 28, 2008

By Staff
Not everyone knew J.B. Brazil, but chances are the majority of folks in Brewton and East Brewton had at least heard of him.
This community lost a friend last Sunday with the death of J.B. He loved East Brewton, Brewton, the Eagles, the Crimson tide and most everyone that ever took a breath.
If you ever went to a W.S. Neal football game, chances are you saw J.B. somewhere in the stands near the 50-yard line. If you didn't see him, I'll bet you heard him.
Several years ago when someone, somewhere declared it was unconstitutional to have prayer over the loudspeaker at a football game, J.B. rose to the occasion by having prayer on his own.
During the “moment of silence” announced over the speakers, J.B. could be heard leading the crowd in The Lord's Prayer.
J.B. was one of the best friends the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles ever had. He was also a supporter (which is an understatement) for the Alabama Crimson Tide. As a matter of fact, I'd be willing to bet that J.B. would bleed blue on Friday nights and a crimson red on Saturday's. He was one of the first people I ever knew to put a roll of toilet tissue on top of a Tide detergent box on a big stick to show his support in a humorous way. One of his favorite things to say on those football Saturday's was “Rammer Jammer, Yellow Hammer.” Alabama football fans will know the rest of that cheer.
Having lived just a few doors down from J.B. since I was five years old, I have known him most of my life. Never once in all of those 40-some odd years have I ever seen him without a smile on his face or a kind word on his lips.
As most people, J.B. suffered disappointments in his life and sorrow did make an appearance on his doorstep on several occasions. But, as I said before, J.B. had a great attitude about life. He overcame those adversities with a positive approach that many of us would not have been able to achieve no matter how hard we tried.
I should have given J.B. more hugs than I did. I should have thanked him for putting my husband in my path. I'm not sure he even realized how he played a role in putting Larry and I together.
Larry and I dated through the last year of high school and into his college years. However, we drifted apart and went in different directions. In 1983, J.B. decided it would be a great idea to put together an alumni band at W.S. Neal High School.
He contacted me and asked if I'd join the group. I was happy to be a part of this wonderful reunion of band members. I didn't know at the time, but wasn't surprised to find out, that he had also contacted Larry to be a part of the band as well.
Those rehearsals called by J.B. put Larry and I in each other's path twice a week for a couple of months. During that time we rekindled our friendship, which lead to the rekindling of our love.
After the performance by the alumni band, everyone went back to their regular schedules and their regular paths. Larry and I kept on the path and married in the spring of 1984.
I don't think I ever thanked J.B. for helping us find our way back to each other.
I'm sure many people could thank J.B. for many things. He was always able to bring a smile to your face. If I sit and think for just a few moments, I can remember times when he made me laugh and made me feel better about myself. He was a teddy bear of a man and had a heart the size of Texas beating in his chest.
Ask anyone who knew him and they could probably tell you just how active and supportive J.B. was in so many groups, organizations, clubs and fellowships. He loved people. He loved God. He loved his family.
I hope he left this world knowing that love was returned by so many. This community certainly has lost a great friend. May he rest in peace.
Lisa Tindell is the news editor for The Brewton Standard. She may be reached by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.

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