Jim was one of my best childhood friends, even though he was an adult :) He was one of my dad's chess buddies, and I remember spending entire days pal-ing around together... and when it was time for my nap, he would make a bed for me in the back seat (which mostly consisted of pushing clutter aside and covering me with his jacket) and drive in circles around Look Park telling me made-up stories about adventures in outer space until I fell asleep. Often, I would wake up in the parking lot of one of his favorite diners or lunch spots and when I made my way inside to find him, he would loudly announce my entrance... "Here comes Jenny, just back from outer space!" We decided that I would grow up to be an astronaut, and he made me promise (seriously...he drilled it into me) that when the tv cameras interviewed me after my first trip up, I would make sure to tell them that it was all his doing. I kept that in mind for years, that if I ever got interviewed when coming back from space, I would thank Jim Fried for inspiring me. I never became an astronaut, but there is no question that he left his mark.