Jim Burroway

September 6th, 2016

We were not good people just now: me, Chris and his older brother, Ricky. We were watching Cheaters: other peoples’ humiliations packaged for our entertainment. We were laughing and we were not ashamed of it because it was good to laugh. Now we’re watching Jubal. I looked it up: Jubal “was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes.” Also: “a steamy Western which stars Glenn Ford as an itinerant cowpoke.” Now, Ricky just dozed a bit, in and out of sleep, the chicken spaghetti laying heavily in his stomach. It was good to see him dozing. It was also good to see him eating. He doesn’t do that much. Small mercies. 

Chris and I are in Abilene watching a man who is dying. He doesn’t know it, but he’s teaching me something about grace. He’s not religious, he’s not well read, he’s had a rough life. If you wanted to talk to him about grace, you wouldn’t get very far before he starts telling you about the time he and his buddies in San Angelo skipped school to go all the way to Abilene to see Easy Rider, and then split a six pack for the drive back to San Angelo. (Or some such story. He always has a story.) He didn’t learn grace, he just has it. We argue over who gets the Coke and who gets the water. “Whichever one you want.”  “No, Ricky, I bought them: it’s whichever one you want.” See what I mean? He has it. I don’t. 

How can someone in so much pain refuse to complain? How can someone suffer for, what? — one year, maybe two, and not say anything? How can someone spin out yet another of his tall tales — he has a million of them; he can’t tell a story without stretching it past its breaking point — and end it with his trademark, “If I’m lying’, I’m dyin’!” — except this time he adds with a sly smile, “well, I am pretty sick” — while sweat drips from his brow? I will remember him as he has lived and as he’s still living now, and that will always be a good thing.

Tony Hammock

September 7th, 2016

Hey Jim – Sorry about your friend Ricky. He sounds like a swell guy. Much love to all of you. – Tony

Ben in oakland

September 7th, 2016

The word you want is acceptance:

Not giving up, but giving in.

I hope I have it when it is my time.

Malcolm Willis

September 7th, 2016

Lovely story from lovely people. Great humanity runs through this website. Give your friend a hug for me!


September 12th, 2016

Jim, thanks for sharing this. Always great to make as many new memories as you can!

Bill Hermann

September 13th, 2016

I’m glad you are taking the time off. I hope we hear more about Ricky when you’re able to share.

Eric Payne

September 15th, 2016

The masthead now consists of only two names, Jim. I understand your situation, and commend you on your decision to focus on your family right now. But what happened to Tim Kincaid?

Ray In Austin

September 21st, 2016

My partner lived in both Abilene and San Angelo. His previous partner is buried in Robert Lee, Texas, just north of San Angelo. He loves this sweet story, Jim. Me, too.

scott seitz

September 26th, 2016

The greatest gift is .. now.

Being there is the most appreciated and wonderful thing you all are doing. hoping that Ricky is able to share that but if not, just feel it. its there.

Sending you my best thoughts and light for your journey, where ever it is right .. now.

Michael Callen sang … the only memory of your words and your deeds will be the love you leave behind when your gone.

Sounds like ricky will have a treasure of warm memories for family and friends.

be well and thanks for sharing this … SS

Jim P

September 27th, 2016

Sorry to hear about Ricky. Thank you for sharing this story as it is helping to keep me centered this morning. So yes, you DO have it, Jim. No doubt you have this thing called grace. It shows in your caring enough to be with Ricky and also sharing his grace with us.

Bill Hermann

October 3rd, 2016

How are you guys doing? Can we get an update on Ricky?

Miss you.

Eric Payne

October 27th, 2016


I hope your family is doing well, and I commend you on the strength you have in shouldering all the emotional and material angst of the situation.

I hope you don’t mind if I take this opportunity to spread a little news…

As reported by the Huffington Post

Gene Study Clears ‘Patient Zero’ As Cause Of U.S. HIV Epidemic

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Genes taken from archived blood samples show the U.S. AIDS epidemic started in New York in the early 1970s, definitively debunking the long-held belief that the virus was spread in the early 1980s by a flight attendant who became vilified as “Patient Zero” for seeding the U.S. outbreak.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gene-study-clears-patient-zero-as-cause-of-us-hiv-epidemic_us_5810fd04e4b0990edc2ece9f for the rest of the story.

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