Crash victim ‘lived life on his own terms’

  • Jake Germano doing one of his favorite activities, fishing. COURTESY PHOTO

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, November 01, 2017 6:7PM

 Jake Germano, who was known for his sense of humor and for his larger-than-life personality, died in a car accident on Thomas Road in Rindge on Saturday. 

He was 23.

Germano, who was a 2012 Conant graduate and lived in Rindge, failed to negotiate a curve in the road and struck the tree. Darien Masterson, 24, of Winchendon Mass., was also in the car and died in the crash. Officers were called to the scene at about 8 a.m. on Saturday, although they believe the crash occurred before it was called in by a passerby. Officials said in a news release that speed was likely a factor and a toxicology report is pending.

Germano’s mother, Kristina, said her son and Masterson met in a class at Mount Wachusett Community College. She said the two started spending time together. They were at her house the night they got into the car and ended up on Thomas Road.

“He lived life on his own terms like, I am who I am and if you like it great and if you don’t then well that’s your problem,” said Kristina.

She said she was proud of him last year when he graduated from college. She said at the time he had saved up enough money to take a cross-country road trip. On that trip, he hit every state in the lower 48 except North Dakota — from Tennessee to Michigan to Louisiana. He stopped at national parks and concerts, traveling to one music festival in Colorado.

Kristina said he loved music from a young age. In elementary school, he played the drums and later he picked up the guitar. Germano was into all types of music, but most recently, he had started getting into electronic dance music, or EDM. Kristina said he had even started DJing a little himself.

She and her husband, John, went to a couple of his shows, even though they aren’t huge fans of the genre.

“I was really proud of him,” Kristina said. “You could tell he created an energy and the audience loved it.”

Just last week, Germano had started producing his own podcast under the name Chief Twinkz, a name inspired by his time in the Boy Scouts and his childhood nickname “Twinky.”

“He just took on the persona and made it larger-than-life,” Kristina said.

The first podcast called “Electric Powwow Episode 1” was released late last week.

The show starts with a clip of upbeat music that has a tribal chant in it. About 30 seconds in Germano cuts in saying, “What’s up my bassheads?” He explains that the show is designed to keep people up-to-date on everything EDM, including spotlighting weekly music and releases, giving listeners the low-down on important news and updates in dance communities, and reminding people of weekly bass events. The hour-long episode features music that is interrupted every so often by Germano’s voice. 

Kristina said she texted her son after listening to the podcast. She told him that he had done a great job with the episode and praised him for chasing his dreams.

He was also working at WBZ Radio in Boston as a sound producer at the time of his death. 

But Germano’s interests spanned far wider than music. 

In his high school yearbook, Germano listed wrote that some of his favorite activities included, “booning, driving, spending money, and Angry Birds,” among others. He is wearing aviator sunglasses in the senior photo and holding a big fish. 

Patricia Barney, a current 11th and 12th grade English teacher at Conant High School, said she had Germano in class when he was a 10th grader. She has also taught Germano’s two younger siblings, Ben and Lily.

She called Germano a “goofball” and said his personality was “larger-than-life.”

Barney said in 10th grade there is a unit where students do a Shakespeare performance.

“The play was Othello, which isn’t funny at all, but he was able to get in costume and make people laugh,” Barney said.

She said he did that with “so many things in life.” He was able to find the humor in any situation.

Brad White, who lives in Rindge, said he met Germano in high school. White said Germano was good friends with his girlfriend at the time and the two had class together. Not long after they met, White said he found out that Germano lived just two minutes away from him and they started hanging out.

White said they spent most of their time fishing together on Grassy Pond. One time they were out in the middle of the pond when the boat’s motor died and they had to row all the way back to shore.

“It was just about to rain and we were in a metal boat so we were worried,” White said.

They made it back just before the sky opened up and started to pour.

White said Germano also liked to work on cars. He also remembers making “bomb ass grilled cheeses” with Germano and the time they laid a Slip-N-Slide out on the lawn, which turned out being a bad idea. 

White said after high school he and Germano grew apart. White now has a kid of his own that occupies much of his time. Even still, when White received the call from a friend that Germano had died in the accident, it hurt.

“He was just a good kid, it sucks that this happened,” White said. “... He was always accepting of everyone and always greeted everyone with a smile.”

Calling hours for Germano will be held at the Cournoyer Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Jaffrey on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Jaffrey on Monday, Nov. 6 at 11 a.m.

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or akessler@ledgertranscript.com.