Jon Everage

From: David Locklear, 10 Dec 2003

I first met Mr. Everage around 1985. I was a new caver on my first trip to Midnight Cave. There were several old CVS cavers having some sort of reunion. I remember sitting around the campfire at a place called the triangle (a road intersection where Carta Valley cavers liked to congregate). He was telling wild stories about the good old days of caving. My faded memory seems to recall the words "psychedelic mushrooms," but I could have that part mixed up with Mr. Ediger, as I think he was there too.

I bumped into Mr. Everage a few times after that at various TSA functions. I recall asking him if he was the guy on the cover of an old Texas Caver with the smiley face and the stick of dynamite and he said, "yep, that's me." I like that photo.

In the spring of 87, I was hitch-hiking from College Station to the TSA Spring Convention, and a stranger picked me up in New Braunfels on a dark section of highway 46. I immediately got in the truck and said "Hi Mr. Everage, how are you?" He had had a few drinks, and I believe he said it was his birthday. However, he seemed quite annoyed that this strange hitch-hiker knew his name. I tried to convince him that I was a caver, but he just did not believe me. After a while of telling my stories, he finally believed me and invited me to his home. He offered me a place to sleep on his living room floor.

The next morning we went to the TSA Spring Convention or maybe it was the Winter BOG. Anyways, afterwards I went back to his house and we shared more caving stories. I remember him talking about the Carrizal accident.

As I was about to leave, he offered to give me his entire caving book collection. I wish I had had a car at that moment, but all I had was a backpack that was pretty much full of camping gear. I stuffed several books in my backpack and told him that I would be back very soon for the rest. I then hitch-hiked back to A&M with about a 100 lbs on my shoulder. Little did I know that on that long journey home, that I would never see him again.

My new found friend passed away just a few months later. He was the first caving friend I knew to pass away. I was told he died at home.

I don't know what became of all those books, but his wife later gave me many of his magazines, which I still have. A year or 2 later, a TSA function was held in Uvalde. There is a small boulder on the Nueces River near a swimming hole that he was fond of. There is a small plaque there in memory of him.

It seems that he had two teenage children, but I can't remember now. His wife continued to attend TSA functions and I think she had a real indian tepee. I believe I saw her again at Midnight cave in the late 80's.

I am sure that many of you have more stories than I do.

David Locklear

From: Ron Miller, 30 July 2004

The brass engraved remembrance plaque on the boulder in the Nueces River installed by Bob Oakley was pried off by some camper. Oakley just happened to find it thrown on the ground. Oakley stuck it to the front of his house with a hunting knife. The Texas Caver article by Oakley is worth reading.

Janice Everage lives near her daughter Amanda on their farm at Bedias, Texas off FM-1696. Amanda has three children. The Everage home off highway 46 burnt down after it was rented several years later.

Yes there certainly is many stories that can be told about Mr Everage from many old time cavers. I was introduced to the Everage's at their home by Dallas caver Bob Lloyd in the 70's. Jon introduced me to Bob Oakley at his ranch. I had the pleasure of traveling with Jon on several occasions. A trip through the Yucatan of Mexico and another to Copper Canyon were memorable trips. Jon took great pride in being a gruff person but easy to get along with once you know him. One could not miss Jon's laughter or voice at caving convention hot tubs. I spent many weekends with Jon and Janice going antique shopping in the Hill Country. 

Ron Miller