Last Saturday afternoon, we received the sad and shocking news that my brother-in-law in Ireland had suddenly passed away at the age of seventy-one from what looks like a massive heart attack. Over the years, this dear man lived the life of a sheep breeder, bachelor, and good friend in the farming community. He especially impacted our lives when he agreed to be my best man at our wedding in 1978. Though we got to see him during many subsequent visits to Ireland, it was that summer when he did the critical needful to get the show on the road. Handsome, hardworking, witty, amiable, yet, at times, charmingly quiet and modest, Jim was one of those characters who was always good to be around so why didn’t he ever find a wife, as the Irish would say? I think the answer lay deep in his lifestyle as a farmer and lover of Ile de France sheep. Sometimes, when we feel personally inadequate in one area of our lives, we make up for it in others. Form a friendship with Jim, as his good buddy, Junior, will attest, and you have a friend indeed for life, whatever the circumstances. My only regret in our relationship over the years was that I never really got to give back for his service that seminal summer of ’78. People like Jim often come our way to inspire us to seek the company of the down-to-earth in our little worlds, because their achievements are often those that stay with us for a lifetime.