Growing up in my family there were two things for sure. One, you were a kid with way too much energy. Two, our parents worked basically leaving my two brothers and I with a handful of babysitters that we would run havoc on. I mean I remember my mom telling me the story of one calling her at work and telling her that "she is just going to leave, and that my little brother was possessed (sorry rick)." So as you can imagine babysitters came and went, some lasted a few months some a few days. That was until Adam Perez walked into our lives.
Adam was the perfect babysitter for our family. Simple reason being he was almost as crazy as us. Adam came to our family, I can't remember our exact ages but I would say we were in elementary school? Maybe middle? Either way we were young, but not young enough to know how to have some fun. Adam was in high school over at Morristown High. He listened to good music, he had style, he made us laugh, he would do crazy things with us. My brothers and I just adored him.
Here are some of my favorite Adam stories:
-Adam one time got in trouble after my older brother tattled to my mother that they were burning smurf figurines in the backyard using a mirror and the sun.
-He went to that concert Woodstock 2.0. His pictures he showed us when he returned are burned into my brain for eternity.
-He was actively trying to quit cigarettes basically the entire time he babysat for us. My favorite moment came while driving up Mountain Way hill he turned to me in the front seat and said "I'm done!" rolled down his window and threw the pack outside. We continued to drive to our house where he dropped me off and said, I'll be right back. I gotta go find those cigs. He was back 10 minutes later with the pack.
-Adam was just hilarious to be around. He was an actor, loved music, loved to make people laugh. He would play us music until our ears hurt. The band most played was the Cure. He absolutely loved that band.
- The two of us again almost died on Route 10 one day heading to Hanover Lanes to bowl. A huge truck tried to merge into our lane, (and into Adams blue little VW Rabbit). His quick thinking of slamming on the breaks and stopping the car causing the truck to miss us by oh about 10 inches. I know saved my life.
-Some of my greatest childhood memories is of Adam taking us down to the pool and just playing with us for hours and hours and hours. He would always have some fun game or something that would keep us busy until my mom got home from work.
My parents went back and forth with Adam. Sometimes they loved him, sometimes I think they questioned what exactly he was teaching us. One thing was for sure. We absolutely adored this man. And they quickly realized it as well.
Adam was our babysitter for a few years until he left to go to college and then pursue his acting career in NYC. Looking back on childhood there are a lot of great memories to me, but besides my parents no older figure is tied to them more than Adam Perez. Adam taught us a lot about life but the two most important things to him was being able to laugh and the Cure.
Adam died a few years ago after being struck by a police cruiser who was on pursuit while he was trying to cross the street. I still think about Adam every so often, when I hear the words "woodstock" "smurf" or "the cure".
So today Adam, I dedicate this day to you. To remember to smile. Remember to laugh. To take advantage of the good in people. And to remember there is no better band alive...than the Cure.
I miss you Adam.