Fly the Flag


I fly the flag on the back of my scooter because I stand with the men and women in ALL kinds of uniforms.

I fly the flag   because I know even though I am no t always proud of my country, I am still proud t o be in this country

I fly the flag in times of sorrow because it is a reassurance that everything will be alright

I fly the flag during parades out of respect out of everyone who marches

I fly the flag every time someone in the service gives his or her life so I can live mine

I fly the flag out of respect for the military  police, fire, medical and other emergency workers who protect me and  people I love

I fly the flag to remind myself no matter what comes my way I am blessed to have so many wonderful people who care about me

I fly the flag because I pray every day those leading our nation find a way to make the country great for everyone.

I fly the flag as a symbol of hope and a promise to never lose hope even in the darkest of times

I fly the flag the red represents the blood that was spilled defending this country, the white represents the innocence, the blue represents we are all under one sky and in this together

I flag the flag because whenever someone smiles or waves at me I know they're also acknowledging the flag

I fly the flag because I support the ideas and fundamentals that founded this country and continues to make it strong

I fly the flag proudly because every time I see the flag I am reminded how lucky I am to have  these freedoms

The shooting in Virginia is on every body's mind and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims. Every time a tragedy like this happens,  people are always preaching how we need to put aside our  differences and focus on things that unite us as a country. Personally I can't think of a better thing to unite us than Old Glory. In times of doubt it's comforting to turn to something that should makes us all proud.


Thanks Gregg Allman

There are too many good Allman  Brother's songs I could write about, my two favorites are Jessica written by Dickey Betts and Midnight Rider by none other then Gregg Allman. The song to me is about a loner weary motorcycle rider and his journey t o a better life. However the longer he rides, eventually he realizes he can't outrun he's problems, hence the phrase "The road goes on forever". It's n ot really a cheery lyric but the hook is a slap of reality everybody needs frome time to time. However the other part of it goes "I'm no t going to let them catch the midnight rider" which to me means  he       won't let all his problems in life ruin his life. They  almost did a few times, but in the end I hope All;man made peace wit h himself. The  "Them" are multiple demons, the murder of his father and losing h is brother, Duane, in a horrific motorcycle accident, drugs, illness you name it, Gregg Allman surviived it Truthfully I don't think he could  have written the song if he didn't have these and other demons haunting him.

Both my brothers are huge  Allman Brother's fans, my one brother saw them more times than  I could even attempt to count. Ever March right  around our birthdays he would scoop up tickets with his friends. They would go to multiple concertss at the Beacon Theate\r. One year, I don't know how, he invited our other brother and myself along with some friends to the Beacon for the anual concert. Of course he just seen them a few days before. What made it special was we were together, enjoying music, laughing and creating meories I will cherish forever. We knew each time we saw the Allman Brothers could be the last and every time the curtain came down it might never come up again. I was disappointed the first few times they didn't play  Jessica but that changed the last time we saw them  at the Beaco. I turned to them with the biggest grin on my face, they know how I felt whenever I  listen to that song.

Then came last Christmas rolled around and  my brothers again surprised by tickets  to see Gregg Allmann solo at the Sands in Bethlehem,PA. I jumped at the chance but during the concert I noticed time was catching up to Gregg Allman. It was just the three of us hanging out and having a good time just like so many times before

When  I heard of Gregg's passing my first thought was  he's finally reunited with his older brother and other bandmates he lost over the years. Their deaths certainly were a heavy tool on his own life. The only good things from Gregg's death is the fact he's finally reunited with people he loves and no longer has those demons haunting him.They are  up there jamming away! !

T hanks Gregg for all the memories you gave me with my brothers! May you finally have the peace that you have been seeking for a very long time


Special gift-- Hardest RSVP

I have been listening to police scanners for over twenty five years,When the fire whistle blew I would grab my scanner and race down to the firehouse often when the trucks were just leaving and kwait until the trucks returned. Over the years I got to know all of them pretty well. I saw folks my age join as juniors at 16 and go through the training firefighters need. At times I tried tor give them some encouragement or just be around them. I went to all of the wetdowns and even showed up at a few calls when I knew I could observe at a safe distance. They all  smile when I show up  at the firehouse I watched kids my  age first become juniour firefighters and then regular firefighters. I wanted to be with them as m uch as I could!! One of my dreams was to make it to the Chief's Dinner at least once, but it was for memberrs, family and special guests like the Mayor.

As soon as my parents bought  the house in  Cape May I knew the clock was ticking. It was always thier plan to move down to Cape May, even when my mother say she'd never do it  during their many arguments over building the house. b Although they want to add a secoond floor which eventually meant rebuilding the entire house. Well long story shorft, an architect, a lawyer and a varience hearing later it turned out the house was to be rebuilt from  the ground up. That took a year and more, so that meant a delay in moving. Folks around town knew we were moving and it was brought up every where we went. I was sick and tired of people asking me "When is the big move?" After all I spend all of my 37 years in that house.

While I love Cape May one of the hardest parts of leaving Woodcliff Lake was not being able to ride the scooter down to the firehouse any more.  I told my friends on the department, who I have now known for 20+ years. We've grown together, I watched people I went to school with rise through the rannks, I went to high school with the chief. W ell  folks in the department decided to/ have a little going away party for me. I got a, dinner at the firehouse. At the end of the dinner the chief called me to the front of the room

Months went by and  I got an email from someone from the fire department asking for my  address, I excitedly gave it to him knowing what was coming in the mail. As soon as  it arrived I opened it the best I could, thenw my heart sank, it was on Chris's birthday and at the end of the week Zander and Quinn were visting. I knew I kcouldn't go but it was so special I got the invitation. This entry was a month in  the making!~!!!


Mattes Musings 2.0

Welcome to the slightly new and very improved Mattes Musings!! I was reading previous entries of the blog and figured I needed a different look, a different feel. This blog started out as Mattes's  Madness, a title with a double meaning, although I am seldom post when I'm angry I have used this blog to vent anger, maybe I should use it more in this capacity. However this blog became a test tube of ideas for poems or even articles.  After first I wrote frequent, short entries about observations I had about my life mixed  in with comments on current news events. Some of the entries I wrote just when I felt like I had not other outlet. While I realize nothing on the Internet is private,  I also didn't actively advertise this blog at the time.

The original address of this blog was jaymatt1978.blogspot.com because "jaymatt1978" was attached to all my e-mails and IM screen names. Actually I created "jaymatt1978" at Cittone Institute the instructor wanted us to use Yahoo instant messenger and I needed a new screen name, it stuck with  me. My family always calls my "Jay" and my dad and his best friend share the same first name "Peter"they refer to each other by their last names "Mattes" and "Brennan". I was born in March of 1978, so I put all three of them together.  When I fought to get Bergenscanner.com back I quickly registered Justinmattes.com just " so because I was so paranoid about  losing another  domain. Hindsight being 20/20 I don't think my name is a high commodity. Anyway I redirected it to this blog as a temporary place holder.  My license plate website was still on a free hosting website called Tripod and I hastily threw some poetry on the now  defunct Geo cities. When I moved both sites  together to the same sever, I decided it was time to move Justinmattes.com to the main website, have my license plate website be justinmattess.com/plates and obviously my  poetry website be justinmattes.com/poetry.

After doing some exploring on Blogger, I found out you can change the URLs of these blogs without redoing the entire blog. Some I changed the URL of this blog to its current address http://justinmattes.blogspt.com. This is the final change of the actual domain itself. I actually started another blog "The Prequel to Mattes's Madness" but deleted it after one entry. I might actually add another page to this   site. Stay tuned for details!!!!


Twenty Years Ago Tonight

It took me all day and a lot of distractions before I sat down at the k,eyboard. Kind of like what happened 20 years ago tonight,  the night journal was born.   First a few ground rules, I will only use her initials, even though people know her. I was going to include the original entry, I'm still debating this while I type. This is kind of a double anniversary, it's the night I went out on a dinner date, that wasn't the Junior Prom and it's the night I started writing again after about a two year break. To put March 14,1997 into context easily understood, it was what I called "Senior Year Number 1" because I went to Pascack Valley High School for five years.  SG  entered  into my life two years earlier at the start of my sophmore year (her junior year) in high school, we had an art class together it  took a few weeks but a few things became clear. First was a year ahead of me, art classes had people from different grade levels together.

 We struck up a friendship and eventually went on a date, well sort of, at the Paramus Park Mall,. SG and I hung out a few times and even though she was a grade ahead of me, I asked her to my junior prom. We had a lot of fun and I didn't think I could ever feel they way I did thaqt night ever again. It occured to me she'd be graduating in a few weeks, so I needed to do something special, So I started writing a letter. I had written letters before it was the right thing to do, I was sad I wouldn't see her as much. So I took her out  and presented her what later became referred to as an "J.M. Original. She cried when she finished reading it.  That was the first time I ever saw her cry.

I only saw her one time after that, but I wrote her while she was away at college. That was our connection. She didn't have time to write me back, it didn't matter, s he saved ever letter I wrote her. I saw her once right before Christmas she surpised me, I asked her to my senior prom, she accepted. SG  promised we would go out to dinner the night before my birthday because she was busy  on my actual birthday. I didn't really care because the times spent with her were rare so they were always special. Up to this point we went to the Paramus Park Mall, danced at my junior prom and had all kinds of fun in between. We had a lovely dinner afterwards she needed cigarettes so I directed her to Fusco's Market. I got home to find my dad asleep on the couch. I climbed upstairs and turned on the computer, just started typing..............and never stopped....The night before my 19th birthday......twenty years ago tonight!