Jerry would have been 69 years young today. But he's celebrating something greater today! I am thankful that I can call Jerry my friend. When we were unexpectedly put together by a chance e-mail a couple of years ago, it was a great blessing, an act of fate, karma or whatever you want to call it- but I am richer for it!
I contacted nine other KAAY enthusiasts and asked for help getting this blog together; Jerry was right there. Although not having the technical computer-wise know-how (and I personally still don't!), he practically gushed any and all information and materials he had to me for additions to the blog. I must admit, I was frantic as I searched and uncovered more material and, as I searched, Jerry helped, too, as well as several others. Our "gang of ten", due to work constraints, etc., dwindled down fast, but Jerry was steadfast. Others too, have come alongside, in our day-to-day building of this blog and have remained steadfast, as well.
Even after I met Jerry when he came to Mobile, AL on a business trip, he showed me more materials and pictures; when he got back to Little Rock, he had them scanned in and sent to me. To see him lovingly touch the mementos really tugged at my heartstrings...you could tell this man loved what he did, not only at KAAY, but the other radio and TV stations at which he worked. Did I say "work"? To hear Jerry, he had some great times and those at KAAY seemed to be his most cherished! None of it was really work, he loved what he did!
Jerry volunteered for all kinds of things; flying saucer and elephant rides, sailboat sittings at the Arkansas State Fair, all kinds of remotes...he had so many memories, I was glad he shared some of them with us! Some, I'm sure, were humdrum, but others were exciting. And to hear him tell me over and over, in his humble way, of how he was a lucky kid, being in the right place at the right time, broadcasting over literally most of this hemisphere, was awesome! By the way, when I was a kid, I heard that kid on KAAY at night, too!
My time with Jerry in Little Rock was too short, but it was like trying to drink from an inch-and-a-half firehose at 90 p.s.i.! No wonder we both were so tired at the end of the days we spent together, touring Little Rock, visiting and sight-seeing. Jerry, as when he helped with this blog, poured himself into me, as The Kung Fu Master taught The Grasshopper. I felt small in this man's shadow, but his level of acceptance of me made me feel large, as well.
Jerry lived life; he was a successful businessman and loved playing softball. As I'd played and coached over two decades myself, I marvelled at this man, his devotion to the sport and his zest for travel to tournaments all over the U.S.A. His devotion to the blog showed, too...he'd e-mail or call me, telling me that he would be on another trip and unable to really communicate, but he'd check in on me and the blog when he got back.
That made me feel as if I were important to him! And he told me so, in so many words, in how he was appreciative of someone picking up the reins where A. J. Lindsey left them when his own blog ended. In fact, all The Greats and many fans of KAAY have said the same thing...very humbling, indeed, to this listener and fan of the station. Its employees, the standards they and KAAY set, are hardly paralleled today. My thanks to all of you in my work on this blog.
And so, today, October 23, will always be the day Jerry Sims enriched the world upon entering it...and for those times his now eternal voice was launched into the great ether of the sky, over most of this hemisphere, alongside that of Those Other Greats. Today is Jerry's day and I will remember it...because it is the day after my birthday, as well. Jerry, thank you for being one of the greatest presents the Maker ever gave me! Your friendship will always be remembered!
Please, everyone who visits today, and the days to come, put "Jerry Sims" in the upper left-hand search box and read all the entries from Jerry...he was a motherlode of information and stories! I promise, you'll smile, laugh, chortle and belly-laugh over some of the antics he got into....
Happy Birthday Jerry Sims!!!
Bud S. (firstname.lastname@example.org)