Other Articles - October/November - 2020

Howl On! A Tribute to John John Myers

Wolves howl for many reasons, but when it’s for a missing member of the wolfpack, it’s a distinct cry – a long, sad, haunting harmony that carries for miles.

WHERE ARE YOU JOHN JOHN?

This past July, messages like the one above started posting on the Transmission Brotherhood Facebook Group. It’s creator, John John Myers, was missing, and the pack was howling. On July 27th, co-founder and one of several administrators for the group, Don Stone, posted the following message. I’ve left it exactly as Don wrote it out of integrity and to capture his heartfelt emotions.

Group it is with a heavy heart I bring you this update on John John Myers.

On early Monday morning of last week our brother John John Myers disappeared and has not been seen since.

We spoke to the family to find out the status of the search and rescue and what detectives are found regarding John Myers.

So far they have located his truck at a location in Anchorage called Beluga pointe or Beluga Inlet which is a place that John used to go to clear his head.

So far detectives and police using cadaver dogs and tracking dogs have traced John steps into the inlet and located a possible tequila bottle that John John was drinking and we don’t know what happened to him after that. He possibly could’ve went into the water to retrieve something or waded in the water and got stuck in the silt that is built up along the shoreline and was unable to make it back out.

They say there is a swift current underneath the silt that moves pretty rapidly and if he got stuck in this silt possibly the current pulled him underwater.

At this time, they have been unable to locate a body or to declare John John deceased.

The family is terribly distraught and would like to thank everybody for their prayers as well as the donations collected at the GoFundMe page and are praying that John John returns or is found alive.

Again, they are sure he walked down to the shoreline but are unable to determine if he went in the water or not yet they have found no path of him leaving the shoreline.

The investigation is still continuing and as we receive more information we will pass it along to you. Please keep your prayers coming that John John is returned to us, but so far, the findings don’t look too promising.

Please keep your prayers coming for John John and his family at their time of need.

As the days turned to weeks and July faded into August, the grim reality of losing John John solidified, and the pack’s unanswered howls faded to silence. John John Myers was gone. Vanishing into the vast Alaskan wilderness forever.

RECOGNITION

“I remember the day John came to me with the idea of the Brotherhood,” recalled Butch Novotney, owner of B&B Transmission in Anchorage, Alaska. Myers spent nearly 20 years on the bench at B&B working alongside service coordinator Amy Novotney. Butch continued, “He wanted to share techniques and fixes with other likeminded professionals. He became more and more frustrated with just talking to help-line techs or visiting email forums whenever issues arose on his bench. I think he felt isolated.”

Butch was more than just John John’s employer; he was his mentor and confidant. Butch was a refuge and sounding board whenever difficulties arose in his life – difficulties that were far removed from the issues of rebuilding transmissions. Butch remembered, “I would see him at his bench with his hand on his head staring into his phone, and I knew it was time for a talk. What he needed most during those talks was for somebody to recognize him. People need to be recognized, even if they won’t admit it.” Butch concluded, “I think once John John got a taste of recognition and knew how that felt, he wanted to share it with others. And that sharing aspect beyond just tech is what I think John John envisioned for the Brotherhood.”

The Transmission Brotherhood may have started as a Facebook group to share technical knowledge and fixes with fellow transmission rebuilders, but since its inception, it’s evolved into something more – more connected and more meaningful. Group members, known as brothers and sisters, garner a collective sense of meaning through sharing their ideas while recognizing others who feel a common purpose for what they do for a living.

There has to be more than waiting for Friday or living for the paycheck in order to derive any sense of purpose to what one does with the majority of their time. The monotony of just doing without purpose or recognition creates a rut of dissatisfaction that, if allowed to persist, will lead to a ditch and, eventually, a hole that can seem impossible to escape. Perhaps the relationships created through the Brotherhood help to keep us from falling into such a hole.

AN ENDURING LEGACY?

People want to leave a legacy because they want to feel that their life mattered. While it’s true that John John created something bigger than himself with the Transmission Brotherhood, the question of a legacy is yet to be answered. John John Myers will undoubtedly be remembered for his connection with the Transmission Brotherhood, but whether it will be his legacy and if it will last is up to the group members. It was built on a solid foundation of collaboration around the idea of sharing and recognizing the contributions of like-minded people.

It would seem that nothing could damage the spirit and camaraderie of such a strong and cohesive group. But like many great things created with the goal of shared values, be warned; as with countries, civilizations, or even Facebook groups, greatness is most often destroyed from within. Be vigilant to any unnecessary divisiveness, be on guard for out-of-control egos (yours and others), and always remember why the group was created in the first place. In doing so, we keep the Brotherhood going and the memory and legacy of John John safe from the dark halls of long-past memories.

BEER: 30!

For the Brothers and Sisters from the group reading this, you will recognize the familiar announcement of Beer: 30! This was John John’s recurring post that reminded everyone to celebrate another day at the bench, or behind the counter, or whatever you did to connect to the Brotherhood. It was John John’s way of staying in touch and connecting with his extended transmission family from all corners of the planet. So, in memory of John John, let’s crack one open and share a collective cool one with our gone but never forgotten brother, salute!

HOWL ON!

On no occasion are the social bonds of wolves more evident than during a pack rally. A rally occurs when the pack howls together in chorus. It is a call to assembly, a territorial claim, a declaration of solidarity, and a celebration of being alive and being together. Howl on Brotherhood, howl on!