Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jonathan Cupp, my friend and union brother

My good friend, co-worker, and union brother Jonathan Cupp died yesterday. This is from KGMB:
"On the Big Island, visitors ventured into the treacherous surf at Kehena Beach just a day after a California man drowned there. A witness said 45-year-old Jonathan Cupp was swimming dangerously close to the rocks.

'The waves being very choppy kind of smashed him into the rocks, which obviously knocked him a little bit unconscious, and within moments he was swept out to sea with the current,' said Australian visitor Scott Reidy.

Reidy said several people grabbed their boogie boards and paddled into the pounding surf to help. A fire department helicopter picked up the victim. Cupp died at Hilo Hospital. Reidy said there were no lifeguards or warning signs at the black sand beach.

'I felt powerless. Part of me wanted to jump in and help him, but I knew in the back of my mind if I did something like that then I also would be the one that drowned,' he said."
Jonathan was also one of my political friends. We shared a passion for progressive politics. He was dismayed by the Bush administration. We talked politics often. He was intelligent. He was also kind and polite, something he tried to get me to work on. He said more than once that he admired my outspokeness as much as I admired his humility.

We were working together the day before he left for his big island condo, where he was on vacation for 3 weeks. He lamented leaving when there was work, and I told him not to worry about it, there would be plenty of work when he got back (with award season coming). We got a postcard, and then a Christmas card from him, which he sent here to the Taper. I have put them on my wall, where they will stay until the remodeling. After that, we'll find a new wall.


Wicked Wahine said...

I am a good friend of Jon's and live at Wainaku Terrace where Jon owns a unit. He was so happy to be back here and was using my computer to check his email on Saturday. Sunday morning he told us he was going out to eat breakfast, then to the gym, then he was thinking about going to the beach. That was the last we heard from him until Monday when a person who was at Kehena beach who tried to save Jon's life to no avail, came over with his personal effects from his rental car. We are devastated to say the least. Jon had many, many friends that cared for and loved him here on the Big Island. He will be missed.

Supak said...

Thanks for the comment. Please send me an e-mail, scott @ supak dot com.

Also heard from a Mark from the Wainaku Terrace and please send our thanks to him too.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan came to Hilo and introduced himself as a good friend of my cousin in the film industry in California. My guess was that perhaps being alone, and new to Hilo, I invited him to dinner with my 19 Tahitian visitors for 3 evenings. He enjoyed himself immensely as we all did. His passing is a great shock to those of us who knew him for just a short time, or longer.

Anonymous said...

Jon was the greatest best friend I have ever had. He was great! We marched in many peace marches and dozens of protests throughout California. We hiked may trails and had many crazy road trips. He sure will be missed! We talked almost everyday for years. He was like a true brother to me. His compassion and love for nature we live on. Jon will leave an empowering legacy. He was a gifted human being.

Anonymous said...

Jon and I have been friends since 1984 where we met at Ohio State University. Jon made his way, leaving Ohio at an early age to the west coast first to Yosemite. Jon was courageous and intospective to a great degree. He was quite the writer as well. From making stained glass to working on Hollywood movies, Jon was a devoted friend, worker and I miss him very much. Jon was a very creative man and put a lot of effort into his friendship with me and with others I am sure. We visited each other many times over the years. He brought a lot of joy to many peoples' lives. Memories of our laughter together will provide comfort in this time of loss for me, as I hope it will for all those who knew and loved Jon.

Anonymous said...

Jon and I have been friends since 1984 where we met at Ohio State University. Jon left Ohio at an early age for the west coast, where he pursued tranquility beginning with exploring Yosemite. Jon was courageous,talented and introspective to a great degree. We was quite a writer as well. From making stained glass to working on Hollywood movies, Jon was a devoted man and friend. Jon put a lot of effort into his friendship with me and I will miss him very much. We laughed alot (literally falling-down laughter)and the many memories that I hold onto will provide me with some comfort. I hope memories will provide some comfort also to those who knew and loved Jon. Celebrate Jon's life in your fond memories shared with him.

wicked wahine said...

On the one year anniversary of Jon's passing Dec.18th 2007 we are going to Kehena Beach to toss a bunch of flowers over the cliff at Kehena. We miss him so much. May God keep our dear Jon in his loving arms forever.

Supak said...

Please take pictures and send them.

When his old website, which I made backups of, comes up, I will be purchasing the domain name and running it.

lauri said...

what is the web site? i would like to visit

Scott Supak said...


I just can't afford it right now. I wish I could. I suppose I could publish it to a folder on one of my existing sites, but I'm about to lose everything and just can't deal with this now. Long story. See other blog posts.