I did not know Jim well by any measure, but I have known him in some way for nearly 30 years. We first met in August 1983 when I was a 2nd year student at UVA. After a year off from debate, I joined the UVA debate team. We were coached by a law student, but Jim Was the faculty advisor. Over the next three years, we met up often as he checked in with the debate and forensics teams in our office in the basement of Halsey Hall.
After graduating in 1986, I spent 5 years outside academe before seeking my MA and PhD at the University of Georgia. In 2006, I submitted a manuscript to Jim when he was the editor of the Free Speech Yearbook. Jim accepted that manuscript with no revisions. That was my first a cep fed publication as a solo author. Jim did not remember me until I mentioned in in one of our email exchanges.
Again, I did not know him well. But our paths crossed when I was a young student and again as a young academic. Despite our casual acquaintance, Jim played a part in who I am today. He supported and facilitated my debate career as a young undergrad. It was that debate experience that led me to a career as a rhetorician and it was Jim who, although unknowingly, helped validate my career.
May God's love and peace surround you and your family. And Jim, thank you for crossing my life path, even if only briefly at 20 year intervals.