I was talking about buying a Blazer and building it to wheel just prior to completing J’s Truggy and here is what I posted about a dream I had:
I woke up on Tuesday morning with having heard from Jason for now the second time; as you will remember, the first time was when I was told to have Cracker come to Bakersfield and get involved because “I’m worried about him and he’s taking it real hard” and at the time I had no idea who Cracker was. Here is a recap the best I could remember as it was told to me, and I truly believe it came from Jason.
“Why are you spending money building a Blazer when for what you will spend on it you can fix my truck as I wanted it and drive it? Repair and complete the truck just as I wanted to do but never had the time, money or nerve. There were items like removing the dash, headliner and carpet that I wanted to do but never had the nerve because I thought you and mom would never understand what I was doing to my truck. Talk to people, they will tell you all the things I wanted to do over the years and if you have any questions, ask me. They will talk about 4-wheel steering, my new F16 switching, they will remember. Also, take my hood off and hang it on the wall of the new shop/barn for everyone to see; but don’t make it a memorial to me. Make the barn a place where all my friends in both clubs can meet quarterly for a Bar-B-Q gathering so they can remain close. This is important to me, I want them to celebrate all of our friendships and not morn me but remember me as one of them and with them, because I am.
Now for Geoff , I don’t want him to give up on his truck, so I want his truck taken to the same shop that does mine, have them install the mogs exactly the same as mine and that way if they have any questions they can look at mine. Use the mog axle that is in the rear of my truck in his and then have them install a steering axle in the rear of my truck. Geoff doesn’t have a lot of money and I was planning on helping him in that area so what I would like you to do is pay for the installation of the axles as a loan to Geoff that he will pay back someday when he’s a doctor.
I want you, Esteban, my brother and Chris to take my truck and I want Geoff to go along with you in his truck and drive my truck to honor me.”
Also, every night for the last week I kept hearing; “put a sign on the back of the truck –
God is my Spotter
Willyswanter is riding shotgun!
I was thinking this was for the Blazer but now I realize it is Jason’s Truggy. I told Debbie what I remember from my sleep and she said Jason has been saying all along, “Take my truck and wheel it, I think it will be fun to watch you guys trying to drive it; but don’t worry, I’ll watch over dad”.
This is about the cover story in the local newspaper that ran on January 6, 2008:
Off-road guru had knack for helping others
BY JASON KOTOWSKI, Californian staff writer
| Saturday, Jan 5 2008 9:05 PM
Jason Paul Payne seemingly knew everything there is to know about off-road vehicles and electronics.
But he might have been best at helping out others.
"He would do anything for you," said Kyle Crowley, a friend of Payne's.
Payne, 25, of Bakersfield, drowned near Lake Tahoe on Aug. 23.
His father, Ken Payne, said he knew his son was very knowledgeable about vehicles, but he didn't realize how many other people also knew it. Jason Payne went by the name "Willyswanter" online and dispensed advice and information about off-roading to anyone who asked.
After his son's death, Ken Payne began receiving e-mails from people across the country and even other countries about how Payne answered their questions about any off-roading problem they encountered. Ken Payne was stunned by the response.
"We knew he liked building trucks and off-roading, but he was a quiet, humble type of guy," he said.
Payne graduated from Garces Memorial High School in 2000 and attended Bakersfield College with a focus on industrial technology. Ken Payne said his son was always the go-to guy whenever someone in the family had a question.
Most recently employed at Croad Electric in Bakersfield, Payne excelled at welding and electrical work. He often gave friends advice on how to outfit their off-road vehicles.
Geoffrey Graham, who, like Crowley, met Payne online, said he misses discussing off-roading with Jason and the friendship he provided. His death was devastating, Graham said.
"That day was nothing but sitting at the computer and crying," Graham said.
Bakersfield resident Esteban Solano, another friend, said Payne had a knack for explaining detailed equipment online and how to build different parts. He could provide in-depth information on whatever off-roading question someone had.
Solano remembers days spent driving through the hills at Hart Park and how Payne even befriended Solano's children. His death has hit the children hard, too.
Payne was born Aug. 2, 1982, and by the time he was 11 he had his life planned out, Ken Payne said. He sometimes told his father that he didn't expect to live past 30, and he spent his days always on the move, as if he didn't have time to rest.
"We were lucky to have him for 25 years," Ken Payne said.