Sunday, November 29, 2009

No. 86



Beer: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Date: November 20th, 2009
Place: The Morrison's, Oxford, MS

It took me eighty-seven beers, but finally a few were drained in the capital letter ‘S’ South.

Jim and I watched the Ole Miss/Kansas State basketball game at his house on the north side of town. Jim isn’t just a huge Ole Miss fan, but was senior class president at Ole Miss, the most recognized name on campus (Jim Morrison), the youngest and biggest gun working in the Lyceum in a senior role, an Ivy League grad school guy. Probably will run the University one day. Next year, he’s in charge of all game day operations. That’s like saying you are the mayor and police chief and head surgeon of Mississippi’s second largest city 8 times a year.

I remember meeting Jim. We were in a business class and he was sitting in the back and had a cast on his arm. He might have gotten it from when he walked on the track team. Or when he walked on the basketball team. But I thought he looked like he needed friends. I think it’s like when you see a puppy with a cast on. You realize that the puppy needs no attention from you, cause the dog is awesome and everyone already knows who he is. And what he’s about. So I ask Jim what happened, and he told me, and now I forget, but it was enough to get the conversation started, and I think Jim probably actually felt sorry for me, a junior in college who had only recently figured out who he was, and had no friends, and was just looking for a way to find people to connect with.

We would go ride mountain bikes on the hills near campus a few times a week. And through that we became friends.

Jim graduated the next year; moved to NYC to get a degree at Columbia. Got married and then he and his wife moved to Chicago for a few years. Then Ole Miss came calling and he and Mitzi packed it up and built a house and have a child and another on the way.

Jim was on the committee to get the Presidential Debate to come to Oxford. And he succeeded. Much like everything else he tries.

I look up to Jim and watch how he lives his life and how he gives time to everyone and how even when he’s partially broken he’s helping others heal.

And if I ever lack motivation or drive or inspiration, I just look South, and he’s nearby.

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