Wednesday, September 13, 2006

death of someone I knew

He wasn't a close friend, but I knew him well: Jimmy W, the little brother of Willy W, Mount Vernon High School Class of '88 and '87, respectively. Jimmy apparently died-- a bit of shocking news I discovered when I received an automatic email newsletter from the MVHS alumni archive service to which I subscribe. There Jimmy was, in the "in memoriam" section. No mention of the cause of death.

Jimmy was vice president of the Key Club the year I was president; he was also president of the junior class the same year I was a senator of the senior class (my campaign speech, delivered in our huge cafeteria to over 400 classmates, was critiqued by one teacher as "humorous but lacking substance," which is pretty much what I thought of my speech, too-- but I knew what would get me elected).

Along with being a natural athlete like his big brother Will, Jimmy was a born leader-- laid-back, but full of ideas, drive, and decisiveness. He had charisma, too. His cohorts, the juniors, quite deservedly won the Homecoming competition for Best Float and Best Banner, handily beating out us seniors. (Twenty years ago, I wouldn't have said "deservedly," but we seniors were destined to lose, anyway: there was a scandal that year involving senior pranks that went overboard, and those pranks certainly militated against us when it came time to judge the classes' efforts.)

I can't help thinking about what Will must be going through. I've mentioned it on this blog and privately: should anything happen to my own little brothers, it would destroy me. Will W finds himself living a reality I dread, and I have no idea how he deals with it. My sympathies, belated though they be, go out to him and his family. Jimmy was a great guy, and it's a damn shame that he's dead.


No comments: