They say that the bright star burns out faster. Jim was a bright star indeed. Whenever he came into a room it was lit up. His friends loved him, and he loved his friends. He would go above and beyond every single time. Jim passed away a few days ago, and he will be dearly missed.
So many stories to share about Jim. We had such great times together. I met Jim while working at Governors State University, and back in those days even though I had some great friends there wasn’t many back in those days. We had many adventures together, and I’m going to share some with you. First I want to tell you that Jim was there for me every single time. I remember I had a birthday and told a bunch of my friends from back then that I was going up to Bourbon to celebrate. The only one who showed was Jim. That day he earned my friendship, and I hope he realized I was his.
One of the stories with Jim put me in the legend category. He was having a party, and I brought my traditional bottle of whiskey. I didn’t know many people there, but as I put the bottle down on the table a party goer asks me, “You going to drink that whole bottle?” I reply, “Yep” He goes, “I’ll give you a hundred dollars if you chug that bottle of whiskey, and not puke.” Being the whore I am I said of course I would do it, we hammered out some minor details like I couldn’t puke in an hour, and I had to actually chug it, no breaks. Well without thinking any more about it, I chugged the whole thing like a champ. Ever see Animal House where John Belushi chugged that bottle of whiskey, same thing. I got very sick that night, but Jim looked over me. Making sure I got food in my belly, and just making sure I didn’t die. He didn’t have to do that, but he did.
Another tale of Jim is also legendary. One night he just purchased a new Nissan Xterra, and we were drinking at Dendrinos at 4am. He turns to me, and goes, “Lets go offroading” Me being the person I am replies, “Fuck yes”. So we find a spot and we’re offroading in this brand new Truck. We are going up and down hills, conquering the terrain, then we go up for a jump….SPLASH! Right into this murky morass. We’re stuck. Though try as we might we’re stuck. We call one of our friends with a truck, and tow straps to get us out. He didn’t answer cause it was 5am at this point, so I call my brother who I knew was up. My brother picked us up, and we got a few hours of sleep. Then we got his truck out of that swamp. That truck was never the same after that.
Then there was the time we took a class together, and we had all the answers to the tests, and homework. The teacher never changed anything so we cheated big time. We got the same grades on everything, and we had the same answers but we decided to bomb some stuff so the teacher didn’t get to suspicious. At the end I got an ‘A’, and he got a ‘B’. He was pissed. He would rant and rave about how we had the same grades, yet I got an A. What can I say the teacher liked me more.
There are many, many more stories I could share but I would be here all day. Jim was a good guy, and his death hit me hard. I always felt bad for him because his life started to go south, when his marriage failed, and his career faltered. He kind of shunned me when that started happening I think because he wasn’t happy, or maybe was ashamed, from a mutual friend I heard he changed, and turned to the bottle. No matter the case I wished he knew that I never stopped being his friend, and I don’t give a fuck where you are in life, my friendship is not based on how well you do in life. As long as I have a roof over my head, so do my friends.
Jimmy, I’ll miss you buddy…take care wherever you are.