Happy Birthday to the nicest guy in Squamish.
Big Jim was a huge help to me 30 years ago when I trashed one of my knees and underwent the wrong surgery from a useless doctor (who later was sued for leaving a sponge in some unlucky patient) in Victoria. I would've given anything to see the sports med doctors at UBC but of course the wait was months and months. Jim made a phone call or two and I was in like flint to see B.c.'s best in the knee department.
Thanks so much Jim and here's to at least another decade.
This thread needs more stories, so here's one which is fit to tell on ST.
The first time that I climbed with Jim and his climbing partner Tony Cousins was a while back, in the spring of '62. Surprisingly we didn't go to Squamish, but rather to Sky Pilot. Yes, as in Mt. Sky Pilot. Who knows what was behind this sudden alpine urge. Perhaps they had been reading "The White Spider", which had recently reached Vancouver.
We drove to the abandoned townsite of Upper Britannia, and hiked to the old cabin. Overnight we drowned our quota of mice, easy enough given the overrun circumstances. "Take that you little bastard, and that, and that".
The next morning was dank, and grey and misty, but with no snow or rain. Our ascent was uneventful, with many smoke breaks, and many smokes smoked. Lung cancer, what's that? Tales were told, some perhaps with small kernels of truth, and plans were planned. The summit was eventually summitted, as we found a cairn, and likely a register, no doubt with names too, but alas no view.
Back in Jim's house, near the PNE, there was never again mention of alpine derring-do, but talk rather of Murrin, and Lighthouse Park and the Apron and............
Hey Jim, remember that trip? Long time no see--too long.
Sky Pilot, 1962. Jim on left, Tony [obviously!] on right.
Sky Pilot, 1962. A well deserved smoke break. Tony on left, Jim [obviously!] on right. No, they're not warming their fingers.
EDIT: Perhaps it did snow. Looks like fresh snow in the 2nd photo.
One day, early in our friendship, I asked Jim and Tony how they had met. Jim promptly assured me that they had met in Oakalla. For the benefit of our young or non-BC readers, Oakalla was the provincial jail in Burnaby, now closed for 20 or so years. This was the slammer for less serious offences/crooks/criminals/bad guys etc.
Being young innocent naive and gullible, I immediately believed him. Several times I almost asked them what they had done to get there, but it never seemed like the right moment. Who knew, maybe they had roughed someone up for asking too many questions!
As the weeks went by, it slowly dawned on me that Tony was far too nice a guy to have ever done time, and they were just messin' with me. Big Jim on the other hand, well...could be...maybe...possible...you never know about people...why not?........ and where/how did he get that tough-sounding nickname?
Jim, ha ha, finally gotcha back! As Hamish Fraser posted above, Jim is indeed "the nicest guy in Squamish"
Hey Neebee, say, the day I met Big Jim he walked me and Masha over to this really cool stone carving in the woods near the big boulders and told us this really interesting stuff about the carving and the carver. I think there is a picture of it already posted here once. Jim likes art.
In spite of the fact Jim wouldn't let us organize a birthday bash, there was a lot of socializing and even some climbing.
Saturday Jim's family (including siblings, grown children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and inlaws) organized an afternoon feast.
Sunday a bunch of us spent most of the day climbing in the Bluffs with Jim.
He seemed pretty pleased by the whole thing and was really touched by the Supertopo "birthday card".
Photos in the works.