By unpaid guest blogger Chris Milhous
Jim’s Ridgeline Tour made its second appearance in the South this past weekend and I quickly informed him that I wanted to be the next guest blogger. As my former roommate Mark Glenn rather inarticulately, but accurately cited in the last blog entry, the Ridgeline Tour is not about a truck. It is about a state of mind.
Having ridden in, and even driven, Jim’s Ridgeline back in the spring as we traveled from Atlanta to Lewisburg, I certainly can attest to the magnificence of this vehicle. However, what I want to write about is Jim’s magnificent state of mind. Jim shared his initial insights for the Ridgeline Tour as he challenged his family to help him define what the second half of his life was going to look like. Jim did not retire, but rather graduated from full-time employment into a stage of full-time relationships. And there is no one better suited for this vocation than Jim.
My adventures with Jim date back to 1979. We first met in the shabby Freshman locker room at Christy Mathewson stadium and became friends as brothers at the FIJI house at Bucknell. Then life happened and we didn’t speak for many years. One Christmas, Jim called me at work to wish me a Merry Christmas and to invite me to the annual Red Stackloaf golf event in Hilton Head. I’m happy to say that nearly 20 years later, I am reconnected with so many great friends because of Jim.
So, I’m a firm believer and supporter of the Ridgeline Tour and its unique ability to bring people together. This past weekend, we finally got to meet Jim’s amazing wife Lori and to watch his daughter Emily play her second to last college soccer game. We also got to meet some of Jim and Lori’s friends Christina and John Born. I can tell you that just watching their interactions with Emily that they are amazing parents.
Jim and Lori have each been through quite a bit. They survived Jim’s rather inarticulate 10thanniversary comment (have to ask Jim or Lori for more details) and they have each survived their own personal health scares. Yet they both stand tall (figuratively for Lori), they both have infectiously positive attitudes and they both inspire those around them to carry on the Ridgeline Tour spirit.
I’m looking forward to the Ridgeline’s final tailgating episode in Pittsburgh and to follow it wherever else the path leads. And there is one thing you may be sure of…wherever the Ridgeline goes, there will be copious amounts of laughter, good will and adventure.
Thanks for the ride Jim. I am eternally grateful.