- He took the time to get to know everyone he met on a personal level. He knew that since I was a Michigan alum, there would be nobody better to sell me my new bike than Mike Drury (a frickin' Buckeye)...yes he had a good sense of humor like that.
- Other than running TCSD and his wetsuit rental business, he really could've capitalized on his "matchmaking" services if he wanted to. He was always looking out for new or single members in the club and trying to set them up with other new or single members. It wasn't random though, he really went to great thought about who he set people up with. At every event, he was always introducing people to eachother whether for dates or for friendship.
- Jim was great at getting people to "volunteer" for things. I don't know how he did it so easily, but one day you're talking to Jim, the next day you're coordinating a big TCSD event, or running his wetsuit booth. I was actually telling him last week that I needed to take lessons from him! His influencing skills could get me far in the Corporate world.
- Speaking of the corporate world, Jim was all about starting your own business. I can't even count how many silly conversations we had that included him telling me to leave the Corporate lifestyle (i.e. stop traveling to Bakersfield!!!) and come up with a marketable idea so I could work for myself.
- Jim was an extremely giving person. Whether it was giving advice on triathlon stuff, giving you contacts to help you get to the next step on your endeavors, or giving you a discount on a wetsuit, giving to others made Jim happy.
This past Saturday night, Jim and his wife Dee Dee invited the entire Tri Club to their house for a bbq (yes, all 1700 people). Yes, crazy!!! Luckily for their neighbors, not all 1700 showed up, but I was one of the lucky ones that did. I'm not a very philosophical person (I'm not even sure if I spelled that right), and unless it includes numbers (you know, the engineer thing), I don't really try to overanalyze things either, but in retrospect, you almost have to think that that gathering happened for a reason. He had one last opportunity to spend time with so many people that he cared about and that cared about him.
That night, Jim gave me a tour of their house and we ended up on their rooftop balcony overlooking the coast, their pool, and the party below. I joked that if I lived there, I would be naked the entire time because of the secluded nature of their yard (No hideous bike short tan lines!). We also chatted about how awesome it was to get a group of people together like this for food and fun. That was Jim. You could talk to him about everything and anything, but mostly it was about enjoying life and living life to its fullest....which he did.
So, back to the title of this blog. I want to thank Jim.
Thanks for making a midwesterner feel at home out here in California. Thank you for inspiring so many of us to do things we never thought we could, and encouraging us to embrace this "triathlon" lifestyle. And thank you for building and being part of this family we call TCSD.
We'll miss you...
A couple of articles on Jim's life: