Editor's Notes: So Long, Jim

Editor’s Notes: So Long, Jim

When I found out Jim Smith, a fellow editor of mine, passed away suddenly on Feb. 17th, it felt a little like I lost my lifeline.

Jim Smith

I honestly can’t remember my first interaction with Jim Smith, but I do remember one thing: I immediately knew he was the guy to go to if I ever had a question about writing or editing, or even was seeking life advice.

I started with BodyShop Business in 2006. At that time, Jim had already been editor of Tire Review for seven years and had 26 total years of experience in journalism and public relations.

Right off, I knew he was the wise man on top of the mountain who I needed to visit if I ever had a question about how to be an editor. No one ever told me he was “the man,” I just knew. He was smart, confident and had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of all things journalism. He had a degree in journalism from Kent State University, whereas I merely had an English degree (meaning all I had done was study dead writers, haha).

Any time I had a question, he was the first person whose extension I dialed. A couple times, I came down to his office and talked with him, marveling at the hundreds of trade show badges hanging from a Jack Daniels coat hanger.

So when I found out he passed away suddenly on Feb. 17th, it felt a little like I lost my lifeline (if you remember the game show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”).

Jim was a true original, a dyed-in-the-wool journalist from the old school. His column was one I read every month, marveling at his passion for the tire industry and aspiring to one day have that kind of astute and in-depth knowledge about my own industry.

I plan on raising a double Jack on the rocks (Jim’s favorite drink) in Jim’s honor, knowing I’m a better editor today because of him.

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