Thursday, June 07, 2007

Jim Cook Memorial

Video: Jim Cook

Jim On His Favorite Run - Slippery Rock Creek

Jim Cook led a diverse existence, with a range of experiences some of us barely flirt with in our lives. He spent his early years studying drama throughout Europe. He rolled this into a very successful career as one of the regions top stage actors. He went on to teach high school English for part of his life, and pass his love of drama on to his students. He also found his way in to the management of a number of fine dining restaurants in the area, and he often spoke fondly of his experiences locally. Going out to eat with him generally involved him reminiscing with someone from his service industry days and a host of jokes targeted at the big burrito corporation. In his later years, he picked up acting again briefly and went to work managing office products for a local law firm. Most interesting because he never really liked lawyers, but he enjoyed many a laugh at their expense and made some great friends as well. Jim was also an archivist of music, with an eclectic ear for sound. He enjoyed the symphony and underground hip hop the most.

I met Jim at the Ohiopyle Trading Post four years ago. I was showing up for my first kayaking lesson, and Jim had just purchased a boat after his first lesson, the week earlier. He and I progressed together as paddlers and enjoyed a number of trips to North Carolina to pursue our passion for the sport. Anyone who ever paddled with Jim and I, will tell you that we easily knew what the other was thinking, that I was always pushing Jim, and that he begrudgingly always tried something new. He was a groomsmen in my wedding, and his gift to my wife and I was the camera that is used to create all of the Got Boof videos.

On Wednesday June 6th, TRPC and Got Boof Crew member Jim Cook died suddenly. He was one of my best friends and he will be missed dearly, both on and off the river.

Jim At Slippery Rock

Jim Running The Good Stuff

Jim and I in North Carolina