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Alan’s Mercury story sheds light on and refreshes my memory of a trip my wife & I took with Jim and Kathy (his wife at the time).  We took the Amtrack Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle with a couple days stopover at the Isaac Walton Inn in Glacier National Park.  Jim was happy to let me rent a car in Glacier, but insisted that he had reserved a rental for our planned travels from Seattle to Tacoma.  I’m still not sure how he did it, but the rental was a big Mercury virtually identical to Jim’s.  And yes, he did make really good time on the highway.

We travelled together a few other times, all memorable and fun.

Like Rich, I will miss my friend.

Since I first learned of Jim's passing, I've been pondering what I could say about him that hasn't been said by someone else.  I first met Jim at my first York and I came to realize that here was this nice guy who had a lot knowledge and wanted to share it with everyone.  I grabbed up all the Back Shop videos when they came out and couldn't wait for the next issue of the magazine so see what Jim was going to write about or show us.  Well, as far as I'm concerned, Jim went out in a blaze of glory.  This past weekend I downloaded my digital copy of Run 315 and, for my money, Jim hit a home run with his last Back Shop article.  It was explaining how the accessory ports on the MTH AIU could be used for lighting.  He made it seem so simple that you'll wonder why you didn't think of it.  So, all I can think of to say is that I'm glad that Jim was a part of my life and he will be sorely missed.

Last edited by TrainPop

Hard news to read. Jim was someone trying to give back to our hobby and, if possible, eek out a modest income from the effort. I always thought he did a great job of conveying practical information when other people were drilling into mind numbing minutiae.

Jim had a sense of humor in the early days of the OGR forum and he and I used to trade notes occasionally. One of the highest compliments I ever got on the forum was a note from Jim after a sanctimonious dundermuffin raised heck over one of my O-Gauge Confessional threads. Jim told me the complainer was a stuffed shirt who needed to lighten up and to keep posting the Confessional because he always enjoyed the predicaments members were always putting themselves in. I always took that to heart.

I also used to enjoy trading notes with him about his time at Kenner. Good stuff.

Take care Jim.

I have an uncanny knack of saying something that is supposed to have good intentions not coming out that way.  I hope to hope that I don't screw this one up.

All of the accolades above are sentiments I too share about Jim.  He has helped me too, both directly and thru his videos an articles.

Here's something, not as important as his passing, but something that makes me sad ABOUT his passing: he was building that fabulous home layout that many of us followed along with for a while now.  He seemed passionate about it.  He never saw it to conclusion and that makes me sentimentally sad.

I hope that came out as intended.

- walt

I am so, so sad to hear this news of someone who contributed so much in making O Gauge Magizine... AND the Forum such a success.

My heartfelt prayers 🙏  for his family... and all of US that enjoyed so much HIS contribution to the Model Railroading hobby and industry.

I enjoyed so much his comments and rebuttal to my posts, in years past.

Alan Hamel

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