"Uncle" Jimmy was another original member of, what we then referred to as, the "old farts" Channel 23 group, which ran from the late 70's before eventually morphing into the Channel 30 group by the early 80's. Like "Uncle" Chuckie, Jim was given his nickname due to the large disparity in age between our younger group and theirs. Despite the obvious age differences though, our two channel groups got along quite well, and we were always busting each others stones. Jim had a great sense of humor, and was always playing some gag or another on some unsuspecting CB'er, or playing some really off-the-wall song parody. His slapstick antics eventually raised the ire of another channel 23 member, Cactus. When Jim started busting on Cactus' Cobra 2000 (which Jim also had), Cactus finally had enough and started a feud with Jim. Jim never took it all that seriously, but Cactus would get all pissed off and upset. Meanwhile Jim would just laugh at him, which didn't help things much. When Jim would run across Cactus in public, he'd make some sort of comment just to get him all fired up. The feud eventually forced Cactus into exile, and he remained on Channel 25 while the rest of the group moved to 30.
Like with Uncle Chuck, many of us used to stop over and spend time at Jim's. Jim always welcomed visitors and was really a fun guy to hang out with. He always had some sort of warped gag in play, a crazy trick he was playing on someone, or a crazy story to tell. One of his most memorable gags was when he would drop down to Channel 19 and broadcast an advertisement for an "I Survived the Schuylkill Expressway" (A local highway, which was notorious for accidents, potholes, and heavy traffic) T-shirt. The gag was so well received that Jim actually had some T-shirts made up at a local silk-screen facility. He also was the producer of another gag, where he would advertise a fictitious contest where the winner could be "black for a day", and be treated to a trip to a run down urban slum to experience life as a poor black person might see it. More recently he would ride around in his step van with a life-sized stuffed grizzly bear riding shotgun, just for the double takes that it would generate. A visit at Jim's was always interesting and fun. Jim never ran out of good stories to tell. Unlike Chuck, who's stories usually revolved around the various deals which he got, Jim's stories were much more entertaining and most had a humorous bent. One had to wonder how someone had the time to do all the things which he did in his life, most of which were interesting enough to make for good story material. Naturally, we wondered just how many of these stories were totally true, and which ones were laced with a heavy hand of embellishment. Whether it was reliving his military days when he was stationed in Antarctica, vacationing in Mexico, or running a speedboat in the back bays near Ocean City, NJ, or any number of similar tales, we never knew for sure. But whatever the case, we never got tired of hearing them.
Jim also threw some great parties, including a few Halloween parties. I also remember his 40th birthday party, where his wife actually paid for an exotic dancer to perform for him. I was surprised. I don't think my wife would be so "accommodating". Since I'm already past my 40th birthday now, I guess I'll never know......
Jim's radio station consisted of a Cobra 2000 and a D-104, which he could switch between 2 different base antennas, one which he had mounted on his house, and the other mounted in a tree. Jim used to joke that each year his antenna height was getting higher, and in 100 years he would be the big gun on the channel. Unlike many of us, Jim kept the same radio for many years, never really dabbling in the horse trading scene like so many of us did.
While Jim was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, he fancied himself a southern rebel, and had many items from the confederacy. Jim was an electrician by trade, and he was always finding interesting stuff. It was he who gave Art the small transmitters which Art then turned into the "Bush Boogie" which found its way into the back of my truck. He also gave me many circuit boards which I salvaged parts from.
Still, nothing lasts forever and like many of the old gang, Jim lost interest in CB radio in the late 80's. Increasingly foul language from the latest group of newcomers, along with most of the old crew either leaving or moving up to ham radio, Jim pretty much faded off the band, although I believe he still has his station. Jim was a great example of the type of person who made CB fun and entertaining. Never a dull moment, and always cheerful and interesting. It's a shame that there aren't more people like this active on CB today.
Today: I still talk to Jim on the phone occasionally, and he's still the same old Jim. Still telling good stories, playing crazy gags and living life to the fullest. I keep trying to push him into getting a ham license and joining the local simplex group, but he doesn't seem all that motivated.