Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jim Dearth

"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him..."

When I think about the passing of Jim Dearth who died last Wed. that this line seems to speak my mind about him.  I've known Jim since 1985 when I was first walked into the doors of National Computer Services in the Pell Department and Jim was highly known for being one of the fastest key entry people. He could exceed the rate of processing Pell grants and even helped a few folks trying to maintain in the range of the rate,  I forgot what it was, but Jim's rate was always in the top five.

Some of the things I remember about him was going to his birthday party at some bar off Kirkwood at 7 AM on a friday morning and he had a few women would sit on his lap and did some kind of body painting. And some fat chick chasing him around, whatever happened to her?  I don't know, the temp help always seem to come and go.  It was so long ago.

For  a while, my old friend Teri Cortesio mentioned that Jim moved in with her for a time being and then moved on else, but that was when I was in Arizona and trying to make it down there.  I wonder what ever happened to Miss Teri.  Wonder if she smoked herself to death.  I loved talking to her during the day when we were working but even up there, she'd smoked me out of that area before they disallowed indoor smoking.

Jim always seem to have the inside track of job chances and he moved up the corporate ladder pretty quick. For the past couple decades, he was in the scanner department overseeing the bosses and dictating the rules.  Which is why I went to Printing when it went to Cedar Rapids.  Jim and I had a working relationship of adversities but I think at this stage of our job career we tolerated each other although  I had to chuckle about him coming over me to talk about raising my rate of sealing books this year.  I just smiled and nodded at him and kept it at that.  Jim has been in pretty bad shape the past couple years due to health issues and complications from a surgery that didn't pan out.   When he was in concern mode about not making rate I told him afterwards, the rate is better than it looked, nobody bothered explained that when we took time off to do other things we didn't put down the time away from books.

But after that, his heath worsen.  There were times he would just pass out at work. A co worker found him taking a nap in his truck with the door open and a lit cigarette between his fingers, shorted to the point that it would have woke him up.  We tried not to ask him questions, he'd get frustrated of not answering the question the way he wanted it   It would take him about five minutes just to walk from one side of the room to another as he shuffled his way.  But he did managed to say "Have a nice night" or "do the best you can" before he went home.  Last time I talked to him I told him goodnight,and he shuffled on and just said "yeah".

His last words.

Two weeks ago, he had a medical issue at work and as the paramedics tried to usher him into the rescue car, he said no and told his mate to just take me home.  I think by then even he had enough of this life and rather go home and be in the comforts of his surroundings rather than a hospital bed.  But he did pass on in at the U Of I clinics in Iowa City last week.  He was only 49.

My personal thoughts is that Jim did his best for the company and even though he mentioned that they still didn't know where they were going to put him in Cedar Rapids when scanning gets moved up there next year, I didn't think he would lived that long to see the day.  We had shortcomings and it was the clash of the air masses when our paths crossed back in the past but we somehow worked through the storm to get things done.   He was a good person and hopefully his pain is past.