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VOL. 76 PART 2 MARCH 2018
lawyers and judges and was considered an expert in the area of search warrants
and wiretaps. For many years he was a member of the faculty at the
national criminal law program. Later as a judge he put in a lot of extra hours
teaching justices of the peace and his fellow judges at annual conferences.
Another important facet of Jim’s life was golf. The truly unique thing
about golfing with Jim was how supportive he was. If a golfer hits a good
shot it is pretty common for the rest of the group to say “good shot”. The difference
with Jim was that he really meant it. He had many friends at the
Bellingham Golf Club, where he was a member, and many friends from the
Jim, Judge Bill MacDonald, Bob Lemiski and Mike Smith went on an
annual golf trip for each of the past seven years. Jim really looked forward
to those trips, which were always hugely enjoyable. There was a lot of wine,
martinis, restaurants and even a little golf.
They often talked about how important it was to enjoy the trips while
they could and reflected on the fact that they were all getting older and “you
never know how many more trips we would have together”, not suspecting
for a moment how true that was.
Jim of course was always mindful of the fact that his health was somewhat
fragile and as he often said, he felt like he was living on borrowed
time. But he lived life fully, as if he were going to live forever.
The group’s last ten-day trip ended on November 4, 2017. During the trip
Jim was pretty much his normal self. He was cheerful and upbeat. There
really was not much to suggest that he was having any health issues, except
in hindsight that fact undoubtedly explains why his golf game wasn’t up to
its usual standard.
After a round, Jim loved to describe his entire round, the good shots, the
bad shots, how his partners played, the score and every other detail to anybody
who would listen. Nola would often have to ask, “Do I have to hear the
whole 18?” After the last golf trip, his son Ian asked him how the trip went,
fully expecting that he would then have to listen to a long dissertation, but
instead Jim replied with a single word: “Perfect.” Ian was gobsmacked by
the response but the explanation may be this: on the golf trip, Jim was having
some coordination problems with his left side but he minimized it, so
others did not think it was serious. Jim may well have suspected something
more serious was going on, but in usual Jim fashion he did not show it to
others. He was determined to have a good time and he did. He seemed
calmer than normal and more at peace with life. His bad shots didn’t seem
to bother him as much as they normally would and he was just enjoying
being with friends and doing something he loved to do.