Shortly before Jason SSG passed away in 2013, I had put the question to him “What was your secret to being creatively engaged and connected to so many people?” His response was simple, “I just want to help my friends make stuff. That was Jason in a nutshell. So many people took inspiration from his endless good cheer, his deep well of ever-present, jet-black humor, and the warm inclusiveness of his company, that it’s occasionally overwhelming to consider.
He was always heading in new and unexpected directions, typically letting the needs of others guide him forward. This is true of his time running open mics, booking bands and running sound at clubs, painting and sketching, writing poetry and putting together a Dada-ist humor zine, working on films, and even sitting in on bongos for my Velvet Underground Christmas Spectacular back in 1996 – and this is just part of what I experienced first-hand. He was also one of the few people I ever trusted enough to be my co-pilot (or I was his), often taking over the wheel on long road trips, reveling to the strains of Parliament and the Sugar Hill Records box set.
To Me, he will always be the most massive of inspirations, a guide-post to continue to find art and beauty in the most dire of life situations. Regardless of finances, health concerns, or whatever struggles life can throw at us, it’s imperative to always remember to create. And if you’re feeling stuck, or alone, reach out for the company of friends to share laughs.
Lastly, to quote James Brown (one of his favs), “Get up, get into it, get involved.” This is SSG, now and forever.
This is a need based scholarship. Recipient receives one week of camp enrollment, a $375 value.