He was a fun loving guy who had no problem picking up a conversation with anyone he encountered and easily brought everyone into his world where ever he ended up. A constant life of the party and an immediate good friend. For the 18 months or so I got to know him it was a blast seeing him discover our city. He came from an island that the GTA could probably swallow whole, so the big city was a very new experience for him
He basically knew no one here but his future wife (one of our friends) when he arrived so we became quick friends. I even ended up organizing a stag party for him before his wedding. With the exception of a couple of his wife’s relatives and the one friend in town he knew from home he basically met the rest of the party that night (I’d asked a bunch of my good friends to come out and help him celebrate). As it always was with him you’d never know he just met most of the people there – we partied like we were friends that all went back as far as grade school together.
Unfortunately my wife and I eventually moved out of the city, got distracted with life and lost touch. In the interim he fell in with some dicey friends and got tangentially involved in some sticky situations, one of which ultimately led to his death at the very end of August in 2005.
The day we launched Clay tablet was a bitter sweet one as his funeral also fell on the same day.
The trial of his killer has been unfolding since then – with lots of strange goings on, including the disappearances of two key witnesses. I was relived to get an email this morning though letting me know that the shooter who killed Joines, and critically wounded another (the intended target) was found guilty and will be headed to jail for a long, long time.
It won’t bring back my friend, or his child’s dad but at least some justice is being served.