My Friend Jake

545689_10202282146843328_3447665_nI just wanted to share some memories of one hell of a friend. I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome of a guy Jake was. Those that knew him know, and those who didn’t should have known him. I can’t tell you the first time I met Jake, he just seemed to be at the radio station one day and from that day forward he was there making everyone laugh. That was Jake’s style. No matter how bad the situation was he could make you laugh.

Ever since I met Jake we were friends.. Even his first night on the air at WROV in Roanoke, VA. I can remember my Program Director (we will just call him.. Buzz) coming in as I was working 7pm to midnight and he said find us a party.. What? Find us a party…Go on the air and lets go party with some listeners.. That was just the beginning…Fast forward a few hours.. I find us a party and Jake came in a little before midnight to be trained by yours truly.. I looked at him and said.. Here is your mic.. Here’s cart 1, 2, & 3.. This is for CD 1, 2, & 3.. And just like that Jake was thrown to the wolves, Jake was on air and Buzz and I were off to party..

We sat at this listeners party and we heard Jake on the air talking over songs, saying the most random things over music..We both looked at each other and were like what in the hell is going on? We didn’t care as he was hysterical right out of the gate. That might also have been the drinks that were involved who knows.. It was still classic.

I can remember listeners either loving Jake or absolutely hating hearing him on the air.. I sat in the studio many nights with a few beers and laughing my ass off as listeners called in and sang his praises or said he sucked.. Jake didn’t give a shit.. He loved what he was doing..

15337_1254469570111_7184787_n If you ever went out with Jake you just never knew what he was going to do. I think back to some things and wonder how he didn’t get knocked     the f*ck out.. But it was just Jake being Jake..While I just sat back and laughed. He is still the only guy I know who could drop his pants in a bar and not get thrown out.

Even if Jake somehow managed to piss you off for something stupid you just couldn’t be mad at the guy.. He just had a gift.. I don’t know how else to put it.

Jake was such a fun dude.. Even the Metallica security guards laughed at him during our meet n greet with the band.

I told him a joke and it became pretty much the beginning of every conversation we ever had afterwards.. 2 guys are walking down the street.. the first says mornin’ mother fucker… the second replies.. Mornin’ reverend. I still laugh about this .. Just to get a text that said.. Mornin mother fucker.. you knew Jake was going to make you laugh even via text..

When Jake had his heart attack years ago.. and he was telling me about it.. I was laughing so hard I was in tears.. I said I shouldn’t be laughing about this and he would just reply.. You gotta laugh man..

We always managed to stay in touch through phone calls, texts, Facebook etc.. The last time I saw him was probably in 2006 when I took a trip to Roanoke to see some friends. We were sitting having breakfast with a girl I was dating at the time and he looked at me and said.. You are a lucky fucking guy.. I said why do you say that.. and he replied.. Because you are finally getting laid on a regular basis.. My girlfriend at the time was a little stunned, but she laughed hysterically, again because Jake had a gift to make you laugh..

He is still the only guy who was on the air who had a sheep named Murray, which by the way was a lesbian. Jake even had a stuffed animal sheep that he would bring to events.. He loved doing stage announcements .. We were both so hammered introducing .38 Special we couldn’t even remember which Van Zant was in the band..

jakelars010So many other great memories.. Livestock, Hooters Bikini Contests, remotes, and just hanging out drinking beers. The 2 years at WROV I will never forget. It was a great crew of people, and there hasn’t been anything to even come close to that experience in radio for me.. I thank Buzz for letting us have fun and be that Rock station that broadcasted from the Rock N Roll Doublewide in the moonshine capital of the United States.

I can’t imagine living life in his shoes.. He had a rough one, but he made the best out of it, and was a hell of a dad to top it all off. He was way to young to go.. But I believe he is now at peace..

If you knew Jake feel free to comment and share your story.. I am sure we all have tons..

R.I.P. Jake … AKA Prozac.


  1. Thanks for sharing Bryan. Made me smile through my tears. Jake is my cousin & my fav person in the world. Life will never be tbe same without him. He always knew just what to say/do to make me laugh. Our family will always mourn the loss of him but we also know that his memory will stay strong & alive through all of his family & friends who love him!

  2. What an awesome tribute to one of the funniest, kindest, most pants-dropping people I’ve ever known.
    Jake unknowingly started the ball rolling for me and Ray almost 17 years ago. In May of 1997, I went to a bar in Lynchburg, VA called Cattle Annie’s to see a friend’s band play. WROV was doing a remote from there, and Jake “Your Reason for Prozac” was the dj that was working. I walked up to him and asked what I had to do to get a t-shirt. I think he made me say something embarrassing on the air for it, but I obliged. The following week, I was back at Cattle Annie’s in my WROV t-shirt…same scenario, only THIS time, Ray “Casey Jones” Crawford was working. I walked past the booth, and Ray’s famous pickup line was, “Hey. Nice shirt. Want a free cd?” We started talking that night, went on our first date a month later, and got married 4 months after that. 16+ happily married years later, Jake was still reminding me that it was he, and he ALONE, who was completely responsible for my marriage. He also worked miracles for me and Ray when we were trying to buy our first home. He came through when other mortgage brokers had failed. I owe him a LOT. They truly broke the mold when they made Jake Poland. I’ll sure miss him.

  3. Thank you so much for writing this great tribute to my son.. This week has been Hell on earth for me as I watched Life slowly leave him. He often talked about the radio station to me and at first I was a little upset about some of the stuff he said but because he was ” Jake” I just said Fuck It..He was having fun and not hurting a soul. That’s how he was and by being that way he has had so many friends in his life that truly care about him that I am having two Memorial Services for him. One in Roanoke and one in Woodbridge. Not many average people can pull that off.Jake was never average…I have lost my baby and do not know if I will ever learn to accept it. He cannot be gone…he was my son.

  4. As I looked through the obits as I do every morning, I saw Jake’s pic, and thought to myself..”I remember that guy..” In fact I met him years ago, when I was attempting a career in tattoos. He showed much interest in me, and I thought he was a very humorous guy. I remember one Sunday I insisted he go hiking with we ventured to the parkway. Much to his dismay, I believe. We headed beneath the parkway bridge at the Niagra Dam. I began jumping the rocks..and he followed. You could tell this was not his ideal way to spend an afternoon, but he did it anyway. Somewhere I still have the pics we laughing..and he, well looking a bit frazzled. I didn’t know Jake all that well..but the time I spent with him remains in my mind. He was a a guy with a lot of humour..and certainly a gentleman. I didnt know he was ill…how very unfortunate. May God be with his family, and take knowing he is with in peace, with the Lord..a far better place than we are more more pain. To his mother, I am a mother of two wonderful boys.I cannot imagine what your heart must feel at this moment. It pains me to think of such. Please know he is in ultimate peace..embraced in love and beauty. He has no more more more sadness..only light. MY heart is with you..a and his family.

  5. Nice tribute, Bryan. Those years were some of my favorite times, too. Every time any of the ROV Crew was in Scooch’s, I knew we were going to have fun. Jake had the quickest wit. He must have had like 4.25 speed between the ears. Even hammered drunk. You summed our friend up well. What a guy. Rest in peace, Jake.

  6. I have been Chief Engineer for WROV since 1996 and I can for sure say it was a pleasure working with him, he had a way of making the best out of a tough situation. We never knew what he was going to say next on the air, it added a fresh live image to our station, never boring, never dull. He worked his ass off for that station, he gave all and will be missed.

  7. I can’t believe I’m just now finding this. I have so much to say about Jake. My sister had just moved to Roanoke and started working at WROV, and she came home from work upset one evening during her first week at work. I asked her what was wrong, and she said this guy at work was very disrespectful to her as she was being introduced to her new coworkers. She told me that he walked past her and said “nice ass”. I asked her what she was going to do about it, and she said that she was just going to ignore him…..they were married about 6 months later. That’s Jake.

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