Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
J.P. Patches, 1928-2012
Thanks for the laughs
When my family moved from Ontario to Vancouver, B.C., in 1966, I was 11 and missing my friends. We had a black-and-white television then, and rudimentary cable (the only kind there was). I discovered J. P. Patches and was hooked on his gentle humor and pranks, and watched him regularly well into my teens [“J.P. Patches a treasure of Seattle childhood,” page one, July 23].
I think the best thing about Chris Wedes’ (his obituary today is the first time I knew his real name) persona was that he didn’t pander to his audience, and he was the only clown I could stand, the only clown who didn’t make me shrink back in fear or loathing. Why was that? I think most clowns have an air of superiority about them, even as they play the fool; they know they’re smarter than us, they’re better than us and somehow this comes across in an aggressive way. They may even hate being a clown, I don’t know, but the mask of makeup can hide many faults.
Patches didn’t have an aggressive bone in him, nor was he hiding anything. You could tell he enjoyed his job, loved children, loved his silly pranks and took great pride in being a trusted figure in the community.
J.P. — Chris — thank you, for making me feel welcome here, and for all the laughs.
— Michael Cox, Vancouver, B.C.