Written by: Lynn Oucharek
It’s coming up to Christmas and some of you know this story or parts of it but it says alot about the person that James was.
Two Christmas’ ago James decided that he was going to stay in Vancouver. Through great insistence on my part, and the promise of fodder for upcoming ads, he agreed to spend Christmas Eve with my extended family. I should tell you that in order for James to make this dinner he had to rent a car in Vancouver and make quite a long trip which in itself was a great sacrifice, but that’s just who he was.
Just before dinner the doorbell rang and there was James looking absolutely terrible, sweat pouring down his face, white as a ghost. I asked him if he was ok and he told me that he had a little too much partying the night before but there was no way he was missing dinner if only for the fact that I might think he had chickened out. When he came in he had personally picked out gifts for everyone in my family. As others have mentioned he was a man about the details, that night I realized that it really was beyond even what I had understood in the 7 years we worked together. He remembered a conversation we had about my grandmother and her love of Crown Royal shots, you should know that he gave her an amazing christmas tree ornament filled with Crown Royal.
He went in to meet my family and then settled down to show my two boys how to set up the tv game he had given them. A couple of minutes later a know on the door and it was the RCMP, actually 4 cars in our front yard. They wanted to know where the owner of the vehicle was, as James came out of the family room you could see him assessing the situation, always the professional he got them to step outside with him. As it turned out he had hit the emergency button in the rental car and then turned off the OnStar so they thought he had been hijacked. Once he had that squared away he came back to plenty of questions and jokes none of which phased him. The night was a complete success. He had his first dose of a my crazy family and my family had the good fortune of getting to know him. There were many times after that night that I had teased him about his big entrance and love of the attention. The truth is he was one person that really didn’t like the public attention.
I will always be grateful for that Christmas and the memories that I can carry forward to upcoming Christmas’.