Monday, March 05, 2007

In memoriam: Jim Scott.

Jim Scott, a curious and intrepid traveler who also shared the Publican’s love of smoked beer, is dead at 58. We mourn his passing -- and celebrate the life of a kindred spirit.

Bob Reed, Jim’s longtime friend, relayed the news late Friday night. Naturally I was shocked, but only very briefly saddened, seeing as Jim had already defied the actuarial tables, and thoroughly enjoyed himself during the process of living far longer than he was supposed to have, and doing so in the Big Easy.

New Orleans suited Jim, but he almost didn’t survive Hurricane Katrina, finally being rescued in a state of severe dehydration after some days spent trapped in his condo. By then, he’d already been through enough.

As a victim of a degenerative muscular disease, Jim spent his adult life slowly wasting away. By the time I first met him in 1999, he was little more than skin and bones, with his eyesight diminished and his speech sometimes difficult to understand, but I soon learned that his mind was sharp and his observations worth hearing. There was no self-pity.

Jim’s condition restricted the range of his activities during those three of my group beer and brewery trips to Europe (1999, 2002 and 2004) that he joined, and yet probably no one got a bigger kick out of the overseas experience than he did. Even an unfortunate mugging in Krakow in 2002 left him unfazed, and I was far more outraged by it than Jim, who recognized that in life, things could, and did, happen. After all, it was only money.

There’ll be an empty seat on future excursions. Rest in peace, my friend.


James Robert ""Jim'' Scott, 58 years old of Metairie, LA, died Friday, March 2, 2007 at his residence. He was born Monday, December 13, 1948 in Louisville KY. He worked as a adjudicator for the State of LA Unemployment Office. Surviving are brother, Brandon Scott of Tulsa OK.; 2 sisters: Jennie M. Pank of Greensburg IN. and Mary ""Missie'' White of Hammond, LA. Also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by parents: Bernard Scott and Jennie Mitchell Scott; and sister, Josephine Scott. Friends will be received Monday, March 5, 2007 from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. at the Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home, Hammond, Louisiana. Sharing on Jim’s life will be from 7:30 until 8:00 p.m.

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