Thursday, May 29, 2008

ICS and Jim

Jim and I belong to a wonderful cinema club called ICS - Imaginative Cinema Society. A club created for those that love movies. Especially the horror classics, the science fiction of the 50's and the icons like Godzilla, King Kong and Dracula. Jim loved the ICS. He so enjoyed coming to the meetings, and just being around his friends. To see movies that he loved up on the screen again.

I will never forget the Saturday night when he got out of the hospital the last time and wanted to do nothing more than come to the ICS meeting. He had only been out for about five hours and he wanted to drive up there. He had missed a couple because of work and he missed the fun and the members. I am sorry now that we couldn’t go that last time.

ICS was a niche we had finally found that we fit into. He was happy and well, proud to belong. I mean, how proud could one man be to be the popcorn maker and to be an ICS board member and replacement auctioneer? Well, he was. Anything that the ICS needed, he was willing to step in and help out. And enjoy himself. We are both glad he went to that men’s room at Shore Leave and saw the flyer for ICS. We are glad that we came to that meeting and never looked back.

ICS gave him a place to be among others that had his love for movies and more than that, shared his appreciation in discussing them, in knowing the directors, plots and trivia of them. He was among his family. Thank you ICS for giving him this happiness.

The website posted these thoughts from some members back in 2007.


I will always remember Jim for his easy going personality and positive outlook. He was a great board member who took the job seriously and contributed much to the club, yet would keep things light hearted. You could always count on him to lean over and whisper a quick joke when things got boring.

At club meetings, he always had a smile on his face and loved to talk movies. Watching him and Betsy together during movie discussions was a riot – whether she was chastising him for seeing movies without her, or he was dutifully agreeing with her opinion on a movie with a wink, it was still clear they were as close as any two people can be.

And what ICSer can forget Duff Man! That just personified his sense of fun and love of life. I can’t think of any better way to be remembered. He is dearly missed, but we are better people for having known him.


Jim was, simply, a good affable shmoe. Always pleasant. Always fun to chat with. We shared a mutual interest in comic books and comic book movies. His Superman film was a real hoot for a fan like myself. I had no idea he had done some theatrical performances. It's sad that we find these things out too late. He will be missed.



Cheers, Duffman!

-St. Paulie Ghoul


My most vivid impression of Jim is of a man who never walked around with a frown on his face, and also most definitely of a man who would do ANYTHING to help someone. He was always helping SOMEBODY, no matter where he was or what he was doing. It was only at his viewing that I became aware of his involvement with Willing Hearts, and I must admit that I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Considering the turnout at both viewings, he was very well loved by all who came across his path, be it from work, leisure, or personal life..and that’s as good as an epitaph as any man can hope for, I think.

Of course, the vast majority of the time that Lisa and I saw Jim was at club functions, where he usually would be talking with just about everybody, asking how they were, what was new in their lives. And, as always, there was that smile and helpful nature that put everyone immediately at ease. I clearly remember that last time that he was trying oh-so-hard to direct the ICS auction. He was dropping everything that could be dropped, and bidding wasn’t exactly exuberant, but there he was laughing and smiling away and giving it the old college try while wearing that ultra-cool Spiderman T-shirt. He gave me the shirt off his back, literally, that night, and I proudly still wear that shirt in his honor, even though my gut is making it a bit tight these days.

Lisa and I would also run across Jim and Betsy at local conventions all the time, most notably Shore Leave, and it was always great seeing both of them together truly in their glory. Seeing their happiness together always made us smile too, realizing more and more just how crucial friendships are to getting through life’s challenges. Apparently, many long-time Shore Leave attendees felt this way about them as well. When a fellow STAT member announced Jim’s passing at the most recent general meeting, there were a number of audible gasps in the room, and a long-time member a few tables behind me very nearly fell into a faint at the news.
Jim leaves behind an amazing legacy. An adoring wife, a devoted family, and loyal friends from all walks of life, who may just smile and help each other a little bit more and argue a little bit less when they think of our dear friend who blew into our lives just like our of the superheroes he emulated, and was gone way too soon.

-Mike & Lisa


I had the chance to spend time with Jim and Betsy at what we unofficially dubbed "Fogey-con" in Aberdeen last fall. Betsy, Jim and I were there for the Thursday set-up. It was raining very hard that day and Jim very chivalrously did all of the work hauling in the boxes of donated ICS goods from his truck. He was very patient while we set up the tables and did all of the hard labor so Betsy and I could concentrate on displaying the tapes and putting out the memorabilia. At the end of the evening, the three of us joined ICS members Rick and Suzanne for dinner where Jim kept us well-entertained with his wisecracks. I must admit that I've always admired Jim's comic timing in real life and in his acting roles. Also, during my stint as treasurer, Jim consistently asked me to void his reimbursement check (for ICS files expenses) so he could donate it back to the club.

But, despite those memories, I can't really say that I knew Jim all that well. He was simply one of those people I saw at every meeting and, with whom, I would exchange greeting pleasantries. I took for granted that he would be around for a long time. So, his passing came as a great shock. It was moving to see the turnout at his funeral, to learn about Jim's other accomplishments and to hear everyone's fond memories and kind words. It made me realize that we didn't just lose an upstanding club member, we've lost a caring and decent person as well and I'll miss having him around.


1 comment:

Rach said...

Oh, such wonderful, tear-inducing tributes to an amazing man. What a treasure trove you have there. :o)