Sometimes events arrive at your doorstep that you just can't believe happened. This afternoon I got a call, while celebrating Thanksgiving with family who had to work on Thursday, that my good friend and colleague Jim Lovell was one of the 4 people killed in the train derailment in New York this morning.
There was no one I know more full of life and love than Jimmy. He was never late for a call, despite the hour and a half train ride from Cold Spring into the city. To make his 8am call he took a 5:30am train that got in at 7am. He was usually the first one to arrive. This morning, when he didn't show for his 8am call at Rockefeller Center to begin the sound load in for the tree lighting show it was a cause for alarm. Word had gotten out about a train derailment, and calls were made to find out if Jimmy was on the train. The police were not releasing names till families had been notified, but early this afternoon the audio head heard back from Jimmy's wife Nancy that not only was he on the train, but he was one of the 4 who were killed.
Bruce called me, and the phone tree began. More than 7 hours later I am still in a state of disbelief. I have known Jimmy for more than 30 years and we have been close for more than 10. We work together, and we go out to dinner together. Jim loved life, and he loved his family, his wife Nancy, 3 teenage boys, and an adult daughter from an earlier marriage. Whole groups of people remained close friends because Jim kept everyone in touch. The world became a smaller, less joyful place today. Rest in peace Jim, you have left a big hole in our hearts.