Firefighter Jim Fex Had a Great Last Day
By: Bill Richardson
|Jim Fex died today (Monday, March 12, 2001). He had to like his last day, because he laughed alot. A week ago, Tom Ryan visited our old pal and knew his days were numbered. Of course, we were saying that 25 years ago!! Tom rounded up a bunch of the Bad Seeds old running mates. Dave Dyc left the surf in Santa Cruz, Mike Lewis gave up a day at the track, Mike ODwyer came back from Hawaii, Ryan took a day off from Shade Tree Aviation, Joe Wright came from Treasure Island, Jack Carroll was our navigator, and I had to supervise the suspect group.
We piled in Dycs van and relived all the old Bad Seed stories on the way up to Jims home in Guerneville. I will not repeat any of the stories because no one would believe them anyway. There were a few arguments as to the real facts, but The Big Fella, Mike Lewis, squared us away because he was usually right there with our Bad Seed when these fables took place.
Mike planned the lunch, did the shopping in Guerneville, and gave Jim his special lunch with the boys. If you ever had any of Mikes meals at Station 38, youll probably agree with me that this meal hastened the demise of poor Jim. We tried to let Tommy Ryan cook, but Mike insisted.
When we got together with Jim, the stories and memories flowed like they happened yesterday. It was difficult to get a word in with Dyc and ODwyer reliving the old days at RS2, Salvage 2, Engine 15, and Batt. 4. Ryan brought the graduation picture from the Fire College of Jimmy Fexs class...April of 66....quite a group.
We stayed with Jim through the afternoon, but he was getting tired, and we knew it was time to take a hike. That evening, the hospice called to tell us Jim passed away.
Jim was a heck of a firefighter. He received several awards of merit, and he was a loyal friend. He will be missed. What a special tribute he received on his last day! I wish you could have seen him laugh.