The search is over.

The search is over.

30 years of looking left me one day short of locating my longtime best friend.

At 12:19am this morning, Jodie notified me that Jim had passed in a California hospital just 6 hours earlier from a surgical infection.

For much of my 20s, Jim and I did everything together from hiking to biking to traveling and we made some of the best memories up and down the west coast two quirky guys ever could. I’d exhausted all leads many years back, resigned that maybe—or obviously—Jim just didn’t want to be found.

Turns out I’d been only 320 miles away and right on both counts.

His life was an inspiration for that wonderful decade of explorational youth as single, available young men. I’ve assembled so much to tell him since, in hopes of finding him, if only he would have surfaced a little sooner.

But he was quiet, humble, unpretentious and always flew under the radar, never having coveted the spotlight nor celebration of anyone. I’m told his final years were spent reclusive, likely fighting the mental health demons we’d discussed 40 years ago and about which I promised to never reveal for as long as I lived…but now wonder if that was the kind of promise that should ever be made by a true friend.

Alas, I now have someone who I’m assured will be first in line to hug me at heaven’s gate soon enough. I’d have loved to write a much longer story about our decade of friendship together but it wouldn’t be fair if he couldn’t read it first. So I’ll just keep that story inside me as a special parting gift from Jim. Can’t wait to see you man.