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Author: Subject: For the Newby's, Don Jimmy, and Me!
Baja Bernie
`Normal` Nomad Correspondent

Posts: 2962
Registered: 8-31-2003
Location: Sunset Beach
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Mood: Just dancing through life

[*] posted on 6-15-2007 at 06:12 PM
For the Newby's, Don Jimmy, and Me!

For the Newby's, Don Jimmy, and Me!

This was just sent to me from someone whom I had recently met. It caused me to just sit here wishing for the solace of a bottle of, heck, any kind of wet Mexican beer. It shocked me to realize that so much time has trickled by since Don Jimmy made his decision to take his story telling on tour and regale the angels and perhaps con Saint Peter into letting him pass. I can see him as he wanders from cloud to cloud pulling, yet, another yarn from this pocket or that. The angels gather round to hear him out—you can almost see Jimmy conning the angel closest to him out of her halo.

So much time and so much dust and dirt has blown across my path since I bid farewell to this Baja Guy and his daughter Sara. To watch her pushing that oxygen laden wheel chair with my friend weakly waving farewell is a scene that hurts my heart to this day and I am sure that it will be with me until Jimmy greets me with an arm around my shoulder and, “Well Bern Boy!….weren’t really sure you would make it up here.”

Never really sure of what I want to do with many of my old memories—to hold them dear or the push them away and remember, as some think, that there is only today and tomorrow—and I ain’t so sure of tomorrow—but with Don Jimmy there is never a doubt! We will be slinging ink together, yet once again, and where is never in doubt—right here in Paradise—Baja.

Don Jimmy's final salute to Don Bernie
Eli - 5-13-2004 at 09:48
I was just going thru an old note book and came across the following promise that I made to my Dad during those very last days at his bedside. The last request that he made of me was to pass on the following thought's to you that he had in regard to Bernie Swaim and his book " Bouncing Around Baja". I apologize to both Pop and Bernie that I have taken so long in fulfilling my word that I would do so, but in fin, here it is:

And I quote Don Jimmy; "Wish I could have been there with Bernie Swaim when he was complying his latest book. Our friendship is less than a year old and it is one of my regrets we did not meet years ago."

"Bernie Swaim is a rare individual indeed; His career as a policeman left him unscarred, a gentler, more compassionate soul is yet to be found and Bernie's new book "Bouncing Around Baja" reflects this."

I must say; I certainly do concur with the Ol Man's opinion, we are most fortunate indeed to have Bernie's attitude and gentle humour about humanity as reflected in his latest book about his adventures in Baja California. Thank You Bernie, for all the smiles you have brought me, Sara
Skeet/Loreto - 5-13-2004 at 10:14
Thank You Sara.
He was an inspiration to us All! Meeting him at the First Book signing brought about changes in my Life that I will be Beholden to him for the Rest of Mine.

In the company of Jimmy,Bernie,Mike was an Honor not forgotten.

At the Hotel Marina one day, his name was brought up by a Lady named"Earlene". She told me of connection to Jimmy and led me to "The Prayer of Jabez" and further information about writing.

Will you Please check and see if you might come up with an email or Address of this beautiful Lady. ?

She was in the company of her Husband, on a 52Ft. yacht and I beleive she was teaching Writing somewhere in Michgan.

Thank You.
Skeet Haggerton
GeoRock - 5-13-2004 at 13:51
Although I too, have only had the privilage of knowing Don Bernie for a short time, I concur wholeheartedly with Don Jimmy's assessment of this good man.

It is a pleasure and an honor to know you, Bernie.
jeans - 5-13-2004 at 14:42
Bernie has also been very generous to the animals of the Santiago Zoo.
Tim - 5-13-2004 at 18:03
Don Jimmy was and is a Baja Legend. Everyone knows and agrees with that. He took all of us to a place we long to be -- by use of his words, his works and his kindness of heart.

Bernie Swaim is also a Baja Legend. His gentlemanly approach and loving ways are felt by any and all who surround him. His story-telling skills are second to none. He is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Knowing Bernie, he's probably sitting at his computer, drinking a cerveza, and saying something like:

"Dammit, Tim, how could you even mention me and Don Jimmy in the same breath? I'm not worthy to hold this man's ballpoint pen!"

Believe me, Bernie, you are more than worthy. You are truly a Legend.
David K - 5-13-2004 at 19:46
Bernie Swaim es mi amigo!

A kinder, more thoughtful gentleman would be hard to find.

Bernie has recently come to the Baja Internet which has expanded his personal connections and peninsula knowledge that Bernie then shares with us... in his posts and his two great books... with more to come!

I know Bernie to be very generous, as well... He is helping Jimmy's wife Lupe with continued sales of Jimmy's book. Bernie is also helping Fred Hoctor's wife retire the hospital bill, and there is more...

I value the times we have met and look forward to future times around the campfire or the computer.

Thank you Bernie!
Baja Bernie - 5-14-2004 at 08:33

That is the word that keeps jumping in front of all of the confusing thoughts that are now tumbling around in my head. Vision blurred with my heart singing at Don Jimmy?s words. Words that I thought had been swallowed up in the turmoil of his passing. The last thing he said to me was, ?Bernie boy! I read some of your ?Bouncing? last night and it?s a goodun. I?m going back home and write a review of your book for the board (Baja Nomad) that will knock your socks off.?

Then I watched you and your dad, you both looking so lost and alone at the Airport, as you waited in line to board on what we all knew would be Don Jimmy?s last flight home.

Goose bumps and chills run up and down my arms at his words!

Thank you all for the wonderfully exaggerated words. To be labeled a Legend is a bit much but I am sitting here with a very large smile on my face at the thought.

David paints to generous a picture when he says that I am helping Dona Lupe and Sylvia Hoctor. I am selling their husbands books on my website with all of the proceeds going to them because, as I keep saying ?Baja IS about People Helping People.? AND Jimmy and Fred both helped me with writing my books.

For those of you new to this board, and perhaps to Baja, you just might get a kick out of reading Jimmy Smith?s, ?The Grinning Gargoyle Spills the Beans? or Fred Hoctor?s, ?Baja HaHa.? Both of these are great books that expose you to some of the real Baja People of old. And if you buy them you will become involved in ?Baja People Helping People.?

I always thing of your dad when I read this---No piensen que estoy tan Viejo; lo que tengo es mal cuidado.

Gracias for the wonderful words.

[Edited on 5-14-2004 by Baja Bernie]
Eli - 5-14-2004 at 12:26
Don Bernie, There are many of us who know that You are a unique and wonderful Soul. Certainly, I am pleasantly surprised to see others on this board concur with Dad's and my perspective and recognise your true value as a humane being, and certainly, You deserve all the praise in the world for your kind gentle heart. I am sure that what I read here is just the tip of all the esteem & respect that your actions have generated over the years, Que Dios Te Bendiga.

Skeet, thank you for your kind thoughts, if I run across an address for "Earlene", I will be sure and forward it to you. Pop always spoke of you with great affection.

Well, I know heart and soul that Dad is by my side chuckling and nodding his head in approval that his and everyone's praise for Bernie is finally out in the world where it belongs.

Wishing Passion and Paz to You all, Sara

"True passion is tempered by much thought, honed by our life experiences, and kept warm by shared friendships."
by Bernie Swaim

My smidgen of a claim to fame is that I have had so many really good friends. By Bernie Swaim December 2007
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