Jimmy and Me
By John Dale
August 15, 2008

If this were anyone else, I would have asked Jimmy to write this for me, so I would seem a much better writer. [boisterous laughter] Jimmy and I were writing partners and comedy partners since college, so forgive me if I am tempted to try to make this funny. It is our nature and I think he would have wanted me to.

I want to offer comfort to my grieving friends. It’s important to know that if you’re mad, it ‘s ok to be mad. If you’re frustrated, it’s ok to be frustrated. And if you’re sad, we all are and you need to let that sadness in. This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do and it’s important that we all do it together. The promises others have made to be there for us are not for the past week, but for the weeks and months to come. Use them.

The most wonderful thing about Jimmy was that he let you know how much you were loved without any discomfort. It was this love that he spread that made him so special and loved by everyone else. Please let this be his legacy. Make sure you keep spreading it and that you tell everyone how much you love them as much as possible. If it makes you uncomfortable, that’s okay. I know that I wasn’t always good about that but I will be from now on.

Here is a letter I wrote to Jimmy:

I wish I could have had the chance to meet you for the first time again. It was a joy to watch the reaction of people lucky enough to meet you. I’d watch their faces, as you would tell them that they were a really special person without an ounce of irony. It was like they were discovering something special—and they were you.

You brought out the best in me. You made me more confident. you made me strong. you made me laugh, and I aspired to be as funny as you. You were a brother to me. I would say that you were a brother from another mother, but I think that phrase has a different connotation.

Your family invited me into their life as whole-heartedly as you did, and I want to thank you for introducing me to them. They are amazing and I love them. You learned to whistle two years after everyone else, but when you did, it was a triumph. You didn’t stop for months. I can remember you running up and down the soccer field whistling in and out and in and out as you ran.

You were the lead in “Arrow to the Sun,” our third grade play, and you were great. I think I finally stopped resenting you for it when we went away to college.

You were a jock, and an incredible wide receiver. I was proud to know you when you caught touchdown after touchdown, no matter how much stress it brought you to get out there.

You were the Senior Class President and a wonderful leader. I was lucky enough to be your Vice President, even if just to ride your coat-tails, or to clown around trying to make everyone laugh. It was easy for you.

You were a thespian. We were in two plays together. I remember running lines with you backstage before our entrance in Amadeus. Three lines each.

You were a saxophonist with a natural ear. We played in Battle of the Bands without having a band. We would throw something together at the last minute, and we knew that because we had a saxophone, it sounded like we knew what we were doing. You always thought we won, but I’m pretty sure we lost to Metamorphosis.

Most importantly you were a writer, and the best I’ll ever read. Your fascinating perspective offered a glimpse into the mind of a genius. I was amazed every day by your maturity and wisdom.

Now, I knew if were ever to, say, speak to a large group of people on your behalf, something you would want me to mention is that UFO’s are out there. The disclosure of their visits is imminent.

And, you would want me to always leave on a high note, and you did exactly that. But Jimmy, you hit a high note every day. In the last year of your life you ran a marathon, finished your seventh script, became a brother-in-law and hit your first home run. You had two cats in the yard. You were only twenty-four, but you were growing up fast. I can only imagine the things you were gonna do Jim.

On Tuesday, I brought you some nice clothes. You didn’t have a suit, so I gave you mine. You’re also wearing your Dad’s tie and the shoes your Grandfather gave you. Oh, and don’t worry, your socks don’t match.

I found a wonderful quote that I thought was appropriate and that you’d enjoy.

“I’m not sore about it. It’s not our fault.
The world said you were too much for just me.
You were meant for all to love, and live within.”

You probably recognize it. You wrote it. You always did appreciate the irony of quoting yourself. Goodnight my sweet prince.

Love, Me

To Jimmy:
Five For Fighting - 100 Years
Jimmy and I did a parody of this song:
Lisa Loeb - Stay (I Missed You)
Kings of Convenience - Misread

A sampling of Jimmy & John projects:

“Dwayne Campin”

“Urban Outfitters”

CLICK HERE - If you would like a Specially-Crafted PDF version of this story for saving or printing.

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Author Bios

Write Me Something Beautiful Authors - Casey and Jimmy Gauntt

Casey Gauntt

is an attorney and senior executive of a major San Diego real estate company. He lives in Solana Beach, California, with his wife, Hilary. Casey grew up in Itasca, Illinois, graduated Lake Park High School in 1968, and received B.S., JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

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Jimmy Gauntt

was born and raised in Solana Beach and graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2002.   A prestigious Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, he majored in English and Spanish. He authored six plays, five screenplays, and a multitude of poems and short stories. Beginning in 2010, the USC English Department annually bestows the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award—aka “The Jimmy”—to the top graduates in English.  Jimmy passed over to the other side in 2008 at age 24.

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