Thank you, everyone. It appears Jim had a heart attack last night while typing on the computer. Dad called him and talked to him around 6PM, and I called him at 9PM, just to say hello and that I was thinking of him, but he didn't answer; he must have been gone by then. Linda came home later and found him slumped on the floor.
Without question, Jim was fortunate to experience the love of his grandchildren; they idolized him, and he loved them so, so dearly. They will miss him so much. He leaves a hole in all our lives, but especially in theirs. They were lucky as well, to have a grandfather who loved them so unconditionally.
When Jim and I were growing up, in the mid 60s and early 70s, we used to share and argue about music; I listened to Beatles and Stones, he listened to Yes and ELP. Our tastes criss-crossed somewhat; we both listened to King Crimson. When the punk and new wave scene hit, we both loved just about everything, but he was still supplementing his Clash and PIL records with Gentle Giant, and Fripp and Eno and Music for Airports
. We went to see Elvis Costello and Blondie and Patty Smith, but we also saw The League of Gentlemen (awesome show, encore was a 30 minute version of Steve Winwood's "Walking in the Wind" that started off as free form noodling, evolved into the theme, soared into the heavens, degenerated into shapelessness and petered out). In the late '80s Jim started listening to instrumental music exclusively; in addition to electronic and ambient music, he also loved classical music, symphonic music. As in everything he did, there was no halfway; he would have 5 different versions of the same symphony, preferring each at different times for different reasons. He really had a discerning ear, and a beautiful way of expressing it. We didn't always agree on what we liked, but I could read what he wrote and hear what he heard and understand.
We both grew up as Pittsburgh Pirates fans; fans as in, fanatics
, and even when we were at odds with each other (as brothers often are), we found common ground in our Buccos. We went to hundreds of games together, and we made the Pirates' 100th anniversary yearbook. This is my favorite picture of us together, back in our hell-raising days, 1979. That's Jim, front and center, and me behind Willie's hand. We had us some times.