Memories of Jimmy
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Jimmy's 18th birthday party was one of the highlights of my high school years. We had a mini-surprise dinner for him at Toppers Restaurant down on 2nd Street. He knew he knew that he was going out to dinner at Toppers, and he knew that myself, Chad, and Amara were coming. The surprise was that a bunch of his other friends were waiting there as well. Ultimately, the party consisted of Jimmy, his parents Carol and Ken, his younger brother Mikey, myself, Chad, Amara, Sara Benjamin, Sam Nudelman, Alex Caloyeras, Aaron Wallechinsky, and Devon Moriarty. Several others were out of town since it was winter break.
Anyway, Jimmy was mildly surprised but took it in stride as always. Since Jimmy was a big cookie man, his dessert was a huge cookie that his parents got from Mrs. Fields. We all got a good laugh leaving the restaurant when we saw a sweet red Ferrari in the valet parking lot, and laughingly pretended that it was a birthday present for him.
After dinner, most of us went back to Jimmy’s, where Jimmy opened his presents and we had some more fun playing ping-pong and watching TV. Sam had given Jimmy this cheap toy from the 99 cent store. It consisted of a slingshot and also this helicopter-launching thing. After commenting on how big of a bargain it was, and how much fun he would have with it, Jimmy went outside to try it out. The helicopter made it 2 flights before breaking, while Sam took the slingshot and shot something at Mikey. The flinged object missed Mikey and crashed into the fence, breaking the toy (we didn’t see it happen though). Sam came back with the broken toy, right after we had broken the helicopter, and said “I have good news and bad news. The good news is….well, there is no good news. The bad news is, I broke this”. Jimmy flashed that unforgettable smile and laughed that unforgettable laugh, and all was forgiven.
Jimmy is a true Santa Monica legend. It is not simply his epic swing, ripping homeruns over the Franklin fence and later to the softball fields, or his sporting dominance over all of his friends, but his charisma and warmth that touched and affected our entire community.
"Jimmy Bromberg, the nicest guy you will ever meet". I can't tell you how many times I have spoken those words, but over the last 15 years it must have been hundreds of times. To define Jimmy by only by the word nice doesn't do him justice. Nice is simply not a strong enough or descriptive enough word to encapsulate his character. His contagious charisma made everyone gravitate towards him. He had that rare gift of being able to immediately connect with anyone and make them feel good about themselves.
He was a true leader that led through his own actions. More than anything, Jimmy was a loyal friend for almost my entire life. I will never forget his shy gracious smile whenever I complimented him and the inevitable compliment that he would quickly return. If he was going to succeed he was going to bring up his friends with him.
We always joked that when he was a big successful screen writer I would get to help negotiate his contracts. I will remember fondly how he cheered wildly for the Huskies - even in a hospital bed, or breaking down scenes from a great movie we had just watched - and recently even his own feature film.
He will be deeply missed, but his legacy will never be forgotten. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. RIP buddy.
Like an old married couple who knew each other too well to bicker, Jimmy and I lived in a world of pure harmony. Cranking out page after page, I would pace around the room spewing out ridiculous ideas and incoherent monologues as he would calmly sit at the computer and effortlessly translate my rant into an intelligible thought, make it better than the garbage I was producing, then gracefully seal it on the page.
He would do all of this with a smile. Always in approval of my words. Not because they were good, because he was just too damn nice to say otherwise. Also because he was talented enough to take anything I was generating and forge something spectacular out of it. Even as I write this now, I think about how much better it would be if Jimmy had a hand in it.
I can ponder for a lifetime about why this happened. I can curse the world and its ill-fated manifestation for such injustices. But if God asked me if I’d like to meet the greatest man I’d ever meet, but could only hang out with him for a couple of years… yeah, I’d take that deal in a heartbeat. Jimmy was my partner. Every bit of who I am was improved because I was one of the lucky ones to know him. Through me, through the world who loved him (and literally the entire world loved him) Jimmy marches on, forever engraved as one of the great ones. Thank you, Jimbo. For everything.
It was freshman year of high school, my first Tennis season had ended, and I wanted to join Track & Field so I didn't have to take P.E. second semester. Coach Cady invited me to a practice meet and told me to run the 400 meter race. I remember starting strong, but by the 200 meter mark everyone else was still sprinting while I had slowed to a jog - try as I might, I could not make my legs go faster. I saw Jimmy running over across the grass. He had spotted me - perhaps he saw the pained look on my face, a mixture of exhaustion and humiliation - and came to help without a second thought. For the last 100 meters, Jimmy jogged next to me and kept up a steady stream of encouragement. I'm not sure I would've finished the race without him. I joined the team as a jumper and had the pleasure to cheer Jimmy on through four years of track meets. The kindness Jimmy showed me that day would have been considered remarkable behavior from anyone. But for Jimmy, it was how he lived his life every day. Remarkable was the norm for Jimmy. He was the guy who was always there if you needed him. You never had to ask and he never expected anything in return. He was the guy who inspired others to be better people. He made generosity and kindness seem not only easy, but cool. His friends looked at him and thought that maybe it could be easy for us, too. He was the guy who was always ready to run over and help someone. Especially if they had fallen behind.
Some people attain the title of “cool” from being arrogant or putting others down. Some get it from doing drugs or partying hard. But few embodied what it meant to be cool more so than Jimmy—someone who didn't need to do any of the above. Ever since elementary school, Jimmy was the coolest person I knew. He was smart, athletic, funny, sociable; a model for how you can be liked by everyone while treating everyone like you wanted to be treated. Jimmy never stepped on others to achieve his social status; he lifted the spirits of others around him. His ability to make you feel important—to make you feel liked—to make you feel like what you had to say was interesting were just some of the many characteristics that made Jimmy such a remarkable person. Nobody has a poor memory of Jimmy because he never spoke poorly of anyone. He stood up for what was right; he gave back to his community; his moral compass guided others. Jimmy’s spectrum of friends was unlike any I’ve ever seen. Everyone who knew Jimmy had the utmost respect for him. He genuinely cared about the people in his life. Jimmy was the ultimate teammate. The guy who scored the go-ahead touchdown with one second left, yet still gave all the credit to the quarterback. In every aspect of life, Jimmy gave it his all; though his modesty prevented him from taking the credit. If there was one “flaw” about him, it was that he was tangled in his own web of humility. I hope Jimmy realized how much of an inspiration he was. He taught us all to love others more deeply, to live life more selflessly, and to treat others how we wished to be treated. If we all take something from the way Jimmy lived his life, then our lives will be his legacy.
Although I never had the pleasure of getting to know Jimmy too well, I remember him as the nicest, quietest, most genuine kid at Lincoln/Samo. It didn't surprise me that he ended up with his female counterpart. Wishing Amara and his family peace and ease during this hard time.
I met Jimmy when my son, Gus, had him last year at Lincoln for 7th grade history. We were so devastated about his diagnosis and will never forget his kindness and thoughtfulness even when he was going through such painful times. No matter what was going on with him, he was always first to ask me how I was doing in my own cancer battle. I am so sorry for Amara and all of his family. He was a real gem and I send all of our love and wishes that you find peace and inspiration from the life that he lived.
love, laurie, gus and ben adami robertson
As I try to find the right words to encapsulate how I knew Jimmy, I stumble. Immediately, I do not think of a story, but I think of the qualities Jimmy taught me in such a graceful unpretentious way. Jimmy was always around. I knew Jimmy as another one of my brother's best friends who was around the house, either playing sports or watching sports (even supporting me at my own games), and always sharing kind words and smiling. I have never been a good story teller, but here, I wanted to find some words to commemorate Jimmy and the person he was. I am sad to say Jimmy probably never knew that he taught me so many things just by the way he carried himself. I learned integrity, kindness, whole-heartedness, and an example of ridiculous well-roundedness from Jimmy. Although lacking story above, Jimmy's life was a story in it self that affected me...and I wanted to share.
Today was such a profound day for me. Jimmy’s service was incredibly sad and painful because the world lost such an amazing human being. I am not eloquent in the slightest and certainly cannot come close to what my brother Jack said or what anyone else said up there today. I don’t have many specific memories with Jimmy but I grew up with him as one of my brother’s best friends. In essence, he was like a second brother. The crew that they ran with was full of stand up, kind, thoughtful, and overall good kids. As many have already said, Jimmy was just like that and even more. The influence he had in my life was indirect although I know that his kindness rubbed off on my brother and our entire family. He touched so many and continues to. Jimmy’s love for all was unwavering and magical. Despite the pain that he had to endure, it sounds like he always had a smile on his face and he never stopped fighting. There are absolutely no words to express how I saddened I am for his family, Amara, as well as his friends and people he touched. I cannot imagine the pain that occurs when you lose a sibling or son and I can’t wrap my head around it entirely. I feel for you all and wish there was something I could do. I am blown away by the amount of love he has created around him and by all the people that showed up for him today. I should be so lucky to have so many people coming together for me. I am so sorry your time was so short and I am sending my love to your family and those close to you. Thank you Jimmy for reminding me what is really important—love and kindness. You will be missed, dearly.
None of my words will truly encompass who you were. All I can say is you were one of the best men I knew. You did things the right way. You worked hard, loved blindly & unconditionally and treated folks with respect expecting nothing in return. You handled yourself with a quiet strength. I never heard you complain but still stood your ground. I will miss the nights of us huddled up in Bromberg family living room competing in jeopardy or the young days waiting on Lily to make soupy mac and cheese. As time passes, I may forget somestories but I will always respect the man you grew to be. May you rest in peace.
I am in Santa Monica this weekend for my cousin Jimmy's funeral. I have read all the comments others have written about him and have hesitated to write my own mainly because I'm afraid I won't do him justice. Everyone who has commented, without exception, has said he is the nicest person they have ever met. It wasn't that sickly sweet type of kindness (you all know how I hate that). He was just pure genuine good- he did it through action and being present. When I had kids, Jeff and I talked about how we should get tips from my Aunt Carol and Uncle Ken because they obviously had the secret to raising the most well-rounded, kind, and cool children. I am thankful my kids knew him. When he died Laila's first comment was "but he's just such a good guy." I was older than him by 15 years, yet he taught me more about love and kindness than I could have ever taught him. My brother and I joke that he was my Mom's favorite child (a statement she didn't deny). His obituary written by his amazing family including his brothers Michael and Eric, says it all beautifully.
Jimmy, I only got to hang out with you one week a year growing up, at Camp Michigania. But that was more than enough time for me to recognize how fortunate I was to know you. It never made sense to me that a kid from SoCal, who always brought with him the newest trends (this from a Midwesterner's perspective), who happened to be good at every sport, who all the girls adored, could also be one of the kindest people I have ever met. That's the definition of character and the world is a better place for having known you.
Ida & Alyssa
Hi, I am a student from Santa Monica High school who graduated last year from Lincoln Middle school. I also went to Franklin Elementry like Mr. bromberg. I remember 2 and a half years ago I was sitting in my math class in the begining of the school year of 7th grade and my original math teacher was pregnant and had to leave. So my teacher trained the long term sub who was going to be the teacher for the rest of the year. This subsitute just so happened to be Mr. Bromberg. Me and my best friend Alysa ALWAYS gave Mr. Bromberg a hard time back then just because we were immature. Even though we would give him a hard time Mr. Bromberg would still smile and say Ida you need to come afterschool I can tutor you your failing math. I would always come after school with my best friend and we would stand there and he would make us right math problem untill we would get them right. Mr. Bromberg was the best teacher I ever had. And thats a hard thing to be considering I hated school. But now because of Mr. Bromber I LOVE math. Its my favorite subject and Its all because of Mr. Bromberg. Last year in 8th grade I was at homework club. When i saw my best friend crying. I asked her what happened and she told me that Mr. B had cancer. I stood up and left the room and started crying. The next day I went up to Mr. B and asked him if he was going to be alright?! And he once again just smiled and said Ida dont worry about me im fine. I still worried. When I graduated, Mr. Bromberg told me to stay out of trouble in High school and remember to get good grades For him I did. When I heard he passed away. I was in shock and did not believe it untill just a couple day ago Mr. B , Rest In Paradise :)
Sarah Boyle Robert
I have always admired the friendship between my dad, Bob Boyle and Ken. This friendship brought together our two families. I was lucky, Jimmy has always been right ahead of me in school. He always made sure on my first days of middle and later high school that it was going well. Later when I visited colleges Jimmy showed me around University of Washington. I remember being amazed at how he knew about all these interesting programs that the campus had to offer. He couldn't help but show how happy he was at school. The radiance of a happy college experience was really encouraging to me at the time with those SATs looming. During one of our family vacations we had a few days of overlap with the Brombergs. The image that comes to mind is a quick game of beach volleyball between families. A really fun game with only winners, laughs, sun and sand. Jimmy was so encouraging to keep playing, even though I do believe I played terribly. It didn't seem to matter though and it definitely didn't change how much fun we had. I am heartbroken to be so far away at this terrible moment, but my thoughts are with the Bromberg family. My lasting image of Jimmy will be a fun game of beach volleyball. His warmth, positivity and overall good spirit will live on in all those that he touched. All my love to Ken, Carol, Eric and Mikey
There are two ways of exerting one’s strength; one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
–Booker T. Washington
Originally written in April, 2013 I chose this quote for you because you are quite clearly the strongest person I’ve ever known. You have endured with great poise, dignity, and strength a challenge that most would not endure as graciously or with as much commitment. This quality that you possess is one that you demonstrate in each moment that you’re in contact with others; as a result, this same quality serves to inspire those around you to behave as nobly. . . . And, as far finishing up with BTSA, you’ve done an awesome job! Congratulations! Fondly, Susan Stivers (Last year, I worked with Jimmy as his BTSA - Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Supporter. This year, on this day, I mourn his loss, but continue to be awed by his influence and his legacy - those former 7th grade students of his who walk through my door daily. )
Jimmy was a year ahead of me in school. We went to Franklin, Samohi and UW together. Growing up, I always admired and feared the "big kids". A kid could be younger than me, but somehow if they were a grade above mine they suddenly took on some kind of epic magnitude that was too much for my young psyche to bear. I was scared. The "big kids" scared me and I admired them from a distance, secretly eavesdropping on their conversations. I distinctly recall hearing one on the basketball court between some of Jimmy's friends… Jack Ross, Corey Abbott and some others about an upcoming project that had recently been assigned. The guys were discussing how it was an overwhelming amount of work, and suddenly someone chimed in… "Yeah, but Jimmy is already finished with the whole thing! He already turned it in and got an A" At that point, sports was basically the only thing of any matter to me and the legendary figure of Jimmy already loomed large in my mind. He was the Bo Jackson of Franklin Elementary! But now he also finished his classwork early and got A's? Not possible. Years later we attended the same college at University of Washington in Seattle. When I moved into the dorms my freshman year Jimmy happened to be an RA in my building. During my time there, I had the privilege of playing intramural basketball, softball, and football with Jimmy as my teammate. Jimmy was constantly smiling, so I would always try to see if I could make him laugh and smile just a little wider than he already was. He owned a quiet inner strength and was generous to all of those around him. He was basically some kind of human anomaly as far as my cynical mind was concerned. People were supposed to be inherently deceitful, selfish, egotistical and scared! Jimmy was truly the opposite. I tried vainly to have a good time during my freshman year in college, but deep down I was very depressed. I began doing some things I should not have been doing in my dorm room. I would occasionally see Jimmy making his rounds through my building as an RA or bump into him at the gym and spend some time working out together. We were friends, but never close. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was still intimidated of him like I was on the recess fields of Franklin. As my freshman year went on, I became more and more reckless and apathetic. I went through 4 different roommates in the first quarter and basically spent most of my time doing innappropriate things in my two person room the size of a generously appointed broom closet. Finally one fateful day someone called the cops on me. Jimmy happened to be passing by at that exact moment and he let me know that I might want to leave the building for a bit. He didn't explain why, but I took his word for it and quickly exited the building. On my way out I saw two very angry looking staff members and passed two police vehicles that had just pulled up. I understood why Jimmy told me to take off. They were there to arrest me. I will never forget about that moment in the dorms. It will always be puzzling to me why Jimmy had any interest in helping someone like me out that day. I know that the illicit activities I was participating in were ones that he wanted absolutely no part in. But Jimmy cared about me when I truly didn't have it in me to care about myself. That's who he was. I have to admit that I look back on that day and feel like it was an angel that saved me. Jimmy was an angelic individual and it was truly a blessing to know him. I know that his life touched so many others in a profound way. Keep smiling brotha! We will miss you very much! RIP
After attending the beautiful memorial today at Lincoln Middle School, I felt compelled to share my experience with Jimmy as it was one of the most rewarding in my decade as an educator. Jimmy Bromberg completed his student-teaching with me at Culver City Middle School a few years back. From my first interaction with Jimmy, it was clear that he was special. He asked if I would be willing to take him on as a student-teacher for the upcoming semester and I was excited to help him on the road to teaching. His ability to interact with our students and faculty in such a positive manner was unprecedented in my experience working with previous student-teachers. He took over my classes with confidence and professionalism. Teaching is a unique profession as our job is to connect personally with our students while maintaining a professional relationship. It’s often a hard line to walk and Jimmy was a natural. I always gauge a teacher’s performance based on a simple factor; would I want my own children to be in their classroom. I hope that someday my two children have an opportunity to have a teacher as gifted and talented as Jimmy. As the weeks passed, our relationship quickly grew from mentor/protégé to one of mutual respect, professional collaboration and friendship. Jimmy was very popular with my colleagues & our students as he was a complete part of our world from the first day. I look back with fond memories of our lunchtime conversations about sports, politics and the teaching profession. On Jimmy’s last day I turned to a friend at work and told him that I would never again take on a student-teacher because they could never be as amazing as Jimmy and it could only be frustrating to try. Not only was Jimmy gifted in the art of helping young people learn but he was perhaps the most compassionate individual I’ve ever known. I still use projects/activities that we collaborated on together and Jimmy is still fairly legendary as being the greatest student-teacher in the history of our department. I remember writing his evaluation was difficult because they wanted ‘areas to improve’ and I just couldn’t think of anything that he didn’t do with mastery and success. The loss of such an amazing colleague and friend at such a young age is incredibly difficult to understand. My heart aches for his family, friends and all the people that filled the Lincoln Middle School Auditorium with love today. It hurts so bad to lose someone that I admired so much personally and professionally. Jimmy meant so much to the SaMo School District and I wanted to share that we are feeling your loss in Culver City as well. Thank you Jimmy, you were an important person in my life. You taught me how to be a more compassionate teacher and shared your love of learning with our students. Thanks for your time with us, you will always be loved and remembered as part of our CCMS family.
Jimmy was the kind of person that everyone strives toward becoming. Kind, selfless, loving, and genuine. I met Jimmy at a party when I came to LA for a visit. I was still on east coast time, and falling asleep. But, then I met Jimmy. He walked into the party and I was immediately drawn to the energy that filled the room as he entered. And that smile. I never saw Jimmy without a smile. Never. You instantly know when you’re in the presence of someone special. You can just feel it. That was Jimmy. It’s undeniable. I talked to Jimmy for way too long that night about things that you don’t usually just spill on someone you just met. But, he treated me like I was already his friend. He listened, and smiled, made me laugh, and pushed me to follow my dreams even though they were scary. About 6 months later I moved to LA to do just that, and Jimmy was the first person I asked about reconnecting with. I was lucky. Jimmy was always over my apartment watching sports or writing with Nick. I loved when Nick and Jimmy would write. It felt like I was in on a special secret that was going on across the hallway. Our apartment door is unlocked most of the time, and all of our friends just walk right in. Whenever the door would open I would hope that it would be Jimmy walking in. Just having him in our home made all of our days happier. I was sure to get a hug, a smile, and just enough of a catch up conversation to make me laugh, and leave me inspired and feeling confident before Nick would realize that I had captured his partner on his way to the bathroom and take Jimmy back for himself. I sat next to Jimmy on our fish futon, while I don’t even know how many of us squished into our apartment to watch his movie, Enemies Closer. I kept trying to switch spots with him, because he had the worst seat in the house, but he kept saying that it was more important to him that we all have the good seats to see HIS movie. It doesn’t matter how long or how briefly you were lucky enough to call Jimmy your friend, because back to that first day I met him, and only knew him for a few hours, he already impacted my life. He inspired me to be brave, and passionate, and kind, and to work hard, and to smile. I wrote my own script and just last month Jimmy read it and sent me the nicest constructive notes you could imagine. For him to take the time, in this last month to read my script, I don’t even have any words. It is really special to me. That’s the kind of person Jimmy was. Everyone he spoke to he made feel special. I remember when I first read “Whistle Blowers” and I told Jimmy how much I loved it. Jimmy humbly thanked me and then said, “We gotta get you and Nick to play the leads!” For Jimmy it was always about others, even when it so should have totally been all about him. The quality of person that Jimmy was is something better than I am, and I am changed having known his kindness. I am inspired by his extraordinary character, spirit, and capacity to care about others. I am inspired create more, to laugh more, and to accept more. I am inspired to love life and people more than I knew I could. Because even though I wasn’t one of Jimmy’s students, I learned amazing lessons from him, and I am so thankful. I feel lucky to have spent any time with him at all. The world needs people like Jimmy, and there certainly aren’t very many. I can only say, that I feel with all of my heart, that everyone who ever met Jimmy has walked away from the time they spent with him touched and changed. Having had him as a friend and now with Jimmy always in our hearts we are kinder, stronger, and smiley-er people. Thank you Jimmy. <3
On Sunday afternoon we celebrated the life of my dear friend Jimmy Bromberg. It was not only the toughest thing I’ve done but it was also one of the most beautiful and touching. All of the speakers, family and friends portrayed Jimmy’s character perfectly and of course Jimmy’s genuine smile, selflessness and accomplishments make it easy to speak so highly of him. It was amazing to hear and see how many people he positively impacted in so many different ways. He was a special and true friend from our first days together in kindergarten and the ultimate teammate on the field and in life for the next twenty-three years. Jimmy’s athletic abilities and love for sports showed at a young age and continued as one of his favorite activities but it was his selfless attitude, enthusiasm to help and impartial love and dedication to all those around him that leave his legacy. His unwavering will to stand up for something no matter the odds, do the right thing and to always lift people up when they needed help coined him silly nicknames such as “Captain America” and “the best guy in the world”. My admiration and love for Jim cannot be put into words. I’ll always cherish my earliest memories with Jim in elementary school during our weekly Friday afternoon playdates with Corey Abbot playing handball and three flies up until we were all tuckered out. Jim even at that age always seemed to have an extra gear when the going got tough and it was for that reason you always wanted him on your team both on the sports field and in life. You knew you could always count on him to give it his all and leave everything on the field. He certainly did just that over the past year and a half continuing his teaching, getting his first movie to the box office and being upbeat, smiling and giving us laughs till the end. Jimmy is the true model of a friend, teacher, husband and simply a kind-hearted person that we should all strive to live be more like. I cherish all of the memories we had together and my heart and love goes out to Amara, his brothers & family and to all those whom he touched. Love you Jimbo!
I didn't know Jimmy that well, but I met him at some point in college through living in the dorms and through playing and watching sports. What I remember most about him was how he always had a smile on his face and he always made a point to say hi when he saw me. Plus the way he took care of and loved Amara always impressed me. The world lost a good one. Rest in peace.
Having someone who is as brilliant and fun-loving as Eric Bromberg by my side over the past two years has been a truly wonderful gift. With purpose and excitement, he has taught me to live each day as the great adventure that life is meant to be. After getting to know Jimmy, Michael, Amara, and the rest of the Bromberg family, I quickly came to understand how Eric’s beautiful view of the world had come to be. A family so loving and supportive of one another, they’ve shown remarkable bravery and courage over this past difficult year, never dwelling on the negatives of Jimmy’s cruel disease, but always choosing to enjoy and make the most of their days together. It was always so much fun to hear the banter of the three Bromberg brothers discussing the latest TV shows they were into or the new screenplays they were working on. They’d finish each other’s sentences with movie quotes that I’d often never heard of, and sometimes, it felt like they’d get lost in their own little world together, speaking a different language that only they could understand. Jimmy always helped me out and tried explaining what they were talking about on the side and he was always just incredibly thoughtful- texting me to see how an audition went, sometimes even when he was really sick in the hospital. He was also by far my most cooperative Bromberg brother subject to take photos of - even when I went a little overboard taking shot after shot, he’d always humor me and “take one more” flashing that infectious smile of his. I loved the way Jimmy lived his life, full of care and concern for others, I loved the way he looked at Amara, the way one might look at someone that they’d been dating for only a couple months, and I loved his tremendous courage. I have never known someone braver than him. Jimmy and his family have forever touched my heart and I will never forget him and the beautiful life he chose to live.
I met Jimmy at Camp Michigania. He was there with my dad and his aunt Binnie. I was there for the first time in years and hadn’t brought anyone to hang out with. One afternoon, I asked if anyone wanted to go out in a rowboat. No one did. They had to be other places, including Jimmy who had to be at a tennis tournament in an hour or so. I was about to go down to the boathouse alone when I heard the words: “I’ll go with you.” It was Jimmy! I was happy he wanted to come and planned to get him back in time for the tennis tournament. Being that we didn’t know each other well and were over 20 years apart, I wasn’t sure the two of us would have much in common. I soon realized I had nothing to worry about. Jimmy was fun and easy to be with, and our conversation flowed…until we realized the time! If we didn’t get back to the dock in 15ish minutes, Jimmy would miss his tennis tournament. Knowing this was a long shot, I slipped into silent panic mode, rowing at the speed of light with the wind working against us. Jimmy, on the other hand, remained cool, calm, collected, and cute. Like a Buddha, he didn’t worry about past or future. He stayed present—and smiling! Smiling instead of crying, swearing, or stressing out as other competitive 8-year-olds might do. Smiling, despite there being a chance that he wouldn’t be able to whack that tennis ball, making his opponent's head spin. Years later, I found out that Jimmy had only said “yes” to me out of kindness—just so I wouldn’t have to go for a boat ride alone. Thank you, Jimmy, for that beautiful day in the rowboat. I’m glad you got to play in the tennis tournament, which I’m pretty sure you won. I wish I had gotten to know you better—especially after reading all the wonderful and amazing things your friends and relatives have written about you. You were one-of-a-kind, a gift to the world, and you will be missed. Our beautiful day on the rowboat will live in my heart…always.