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Subject: RE: RIP Jimmy Whitley (aka Cardinal Fang)
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Time: 1:23:05 PM
Remote Address: 220.127.116.11
Message ID: 275702
Parent ID: 275663
Thread ID: 275663
Hello all - long time no see...
Keno was gracious enough to not only send me back a wonderful email about Jimmy, but a password so I could post as well...
That being said, I am heartbroken over the loss of Jimmy. As I told Keno in my e-mail, we met on this board, realized how close we were to each other, met up and remained close friends for the last 15 years. In that time, I can honestly say I never saw Jimmy in a bad mood. He never had a mean word to say about anyone - even those that hurt him - and was always smiling. I don't know about you, but in my 41 years on earth there have only been a few people (other than family) that I could call any time day or night that would be RIGHT there with a helping hand. Jimmy was that guy for me. In the last 6 months I went to 2 shows with him - The Buzzcocks and X. Because of my need to support my family rather than concerts, he treated me to both. And getting backstage was always possible if Jimmy was with you. He had a way about him that made it easy. Jimmy did have his ups and downs as most of us have w/various substances - I'm including myself here, for sure...I've known him to go full bore and also to not do anything for months at a time - it NEVER effected or changed his core personality. After Jimmy lost his mother about a year ago, it was more on than off I suppose...
(The following is to the best of my understanding with the limited information that was passed on to me.)
I don't like passing on personal information, but many have asked what happened - and since I've been on the wrong end of the rumour mill before, I think it's only fair to Jimmy to let you all know. Jimmy fell into the population of Americans that didn't have access to health care...so he didn't go to the doctor often or at all for long stretches of time. Over the weekend of the 16th-17th he wasn't feeling well. There is an awful respiratory illness going around in Northern California. I was laid up with it myself...Whether he had it or not I don't know, but what he DID have developed into pneumonia. His father brought him to the ER and he was admitted. At 1am Monday night/Tuesday morning his father left the hospital as Jimmy had stabilized...at 3:30am his father received a call from the hospital that Jimmy had suffered a massive heart attack and could not be revived. (It's hard to even type this and I feel like I'm somehow breaking his trust by revealing something so personal...)
I was called yesterday by his brother-in-law because my number showed up often on Jimmy's cell phone.
I can't express the warmth and generosity this man showed to everyone around him. When Jimmy was around, the room was alive and a better place. Jimmy wore me out at times as he did have ADHD, but he never knew a stranger and treated everyone the same - with kindness and humour.
I feel that I am a better man for knowing him. For those of you who knew him - I share your grief. For the others - please learn a lesson from my mistake - I thought of calling Jimmy every day of the week before he died...and didn't because I was "too busy." Please, don't do this. Find the time, because like J.Fogerty said - "Someday, never comes."
Thank you Keno for allowing me to post this and for your kind words. Jimmy and I were planning on going to see the all original Specials this weekend...I also mourn the fact that Jimmy won't be in the audience for the final Stones shows. Out of all of us, he deserved to be there most.
Jimmy always ended every text, email, and many conversations with the same two words. They capture his spirit perfectly:
May the powers that be bless you, Jimmy. You were one of the great ones.
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