Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Remembering Jim Olson part #4.....and other ramblings...

Sitting here with the sun streaming through the living room{s} windows, Hal and Lisa's dogs, Avery and Kameron, a couple of Schnauzer mixes, laying on my leather chairs, I have them for another week or so, with the young family and Kasyn off on a beach vacation.  Meanwhile Patricia is in Wisconsin with her folks, and I am keeping busy with summer baseball and taking care of the house and mutts.  Back is bothering me today and I continue to rest on my left arm, where I took two hits last week in a double header at Lima Central Catholic.  I had not been hit on bare skin/bone all season, then last Wednesday I take two off the arm in a span of two innings, while working the plate.  The left arm has a nice bump{don't think it's broken} on top and a massive bruise, still there after six days, on the underside...a full week of baseball again this week, including double headers tonight at Celina and the Honoring Veterans annual game at Coldwater on Friday. 

The weekend with Patricia at home, we will head to northern Indiana for our friend Rick and Toni's son Clay's wedding in Auburn and following reception back in Fort Wayne....then it's three more full weeks of baseball, before things begin winding down...by that time summer will be in full swing, and
I am sure the heat will be likewise.

Jim Olson part 4...

After the 1981 trip to the Twin Cities for the wind blown Vikings/Eagles game at the old outdoor Metropolitan Stadium, I had little contact with my old buddy Jim Olson for nearly 20 years.  It was obvious to me that Jim was heading in a bad direction, and was hanging around with some idiots that were not of a like mind of mine...we talked on the phone a few times, but I was busy helping Patricia raise the family, get her through college, and changing careers from radio to Environmental Health.  I had straighted out and sobered up...sure I still downed beers, and enjoyed raising Hell, but that lifestyle that I enjoyed from the early 1970s through 1980 or so was gone....and with Olson back in North Dakota, living now in Minot, we lost touch.

I'm not a big premonition type of guy, but in early 2000 I had a thought or two about Olson and wondered what had happened to my old partying friend...with a common name like Jim Olson, especially in the frozen north like North Dakota, or the Minnesota area, even with the newly found Internet, I couldn't find him....then one night at the Racquet Club, I get a call from Patricia, and she says "You'll never guess who just called"?  "Jim Olson?" was my
comeback...the silence on the other end was not surprising.  I told her that I had a premonition about Jim, and when she asked, that was the first name that came to mind.

Jim and I talked and he came to stay with us for a few days when oldest son Sam graduated from High School...by this time Jim had switched from smoking a couple packs of Marlborough Lites to some cheap ass cigars, he had some other issues with his health both physical and mental, but regardless, he was still the same old Jim Olson...the prescription meds keep his issues under control, and over the next near dozen years, Jim would come here  and we would take in the Reds in Cincy, or Nick and I would meet him in Minnesota for a Twins weekend, a couple of MLB Playoff series with the hated Yankees or to see the Vikings against a NFL rival....we had not seen each other for a couple of years, but continued to talk fantasy baseball on Sunday nights, and then early this year Jim came up with the wild idea for Nick, me, and him, to head to the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota, and recreate the 1978 trip to that Island on Wind Lake.  Sure we were 35 years older, and not in the same shape...one thing for sure I was more sober, and really believed I could handle it with no problems...Nick felt the same way, and we could 'carry' Olson in his diminished physical condition...Hell we figured, maybe he would actually work out and prepare for the trip?

I contacted several local outfitters that served the Park Waters, and we set mid July for out trip...I talked to Jim when he called to discuss the baseball wars{fantasy of course} on the evening of Sunday May 5th...he also told me to start making the final plans on which outfitter to use, and see what the final cost and deposit would be...told him I would get it done.  Nick and I made final plans on which days we would take, and how much equipment and size canoe we would need to rent...I waited to hear from Olson, and when I didn't get a call for a couple of weeks, I figured I would give him a call on the following Sunday if he didn't ring me....It never came.

A couple of weeks ago, when she couldn't sleep, Patricia got on my facebook page and saw a link/photo to Jim Olson's fb page...after seeing the information on Jim's passing she walked up the steps to our bedroom and gave me the news.  Saddened I was....but not really surprised.  Jim's lifestyle without a doubt helped cut his life short....but he did live 61 years, more than many, less than most...I can say he was a friend for nearly 40 years, but I can also say I was never sure what made him tick....hopefully he had his spiritual house in order when his time was up...but then again, I hope for the same for me.

RIP Jim Olson, the crazy times will be remembered by me, with a smile on my face, until my time comes...

back later>>>>

Photos-The visiting dogs relaxing on my leather chairs...so far they have been pretty good house guests.  (2) The bruise on the under side of my left arm, after two baseballs off it within a matter of 2 innings  (3) After 20 years Jim Olson joined me, Nick, and my youngest son Hal(16 at the time) in May of 2000 at Riverfront Stadium and a Reds Weekend  (4) And our Island in Wind Lake...we won't be making it back this Summer, perhaps Nick and I can visit there some day down the road....RIP Jim, "It's been one Hell of a Party"

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