December 11, 2006 was marked with the passing of Albert [Alby] Lee Jimmy. Alby was a person who left a wake wherever he chose to point his life’s canoe. He left an impression, irrepressibly positive, with everyone he met and could be counted on to bring smiles and laughter to even the most depressed crowd, just by walking among them.
Alby was the Joker in a deck of cards, hard dealt, never one to blame anyone for the game of life he had chosen to play. While he had many historical issues which marked the way he was, he bristled with a flash of anger, and then ran at the first sign of anyone trying to coddle him.
His last days were marked with an acknowledgment of the risks that stood before him, and choosing to take that one last stand, taking the chance that he might once again be able to walk the land. But that was not to be, and he died as he had lived, the quiet man.
I share with you a eulogy I wrote for a friend some years back, I often find it fits for many:
THE RANGE OF AFFECT
[A Tribute to Ginger Baker]
The range of affect has been great;
Just as a stone thrown skips across the
surface of a still pond;
As it slips below the surface,
it leaves only you to know it was ever there;
And yet, as the stone settles to the water’s floor;
It changes the surface forever;
Such is the Range of Affect.
While Alby’s stone has slipped from view, the wave to be felt for times to come, and the wake of his passing canoe leaving pause for thought.