Friday, May 2, 2014


In Celebration of a Life Well Lived



Thank you all both near and far, for raising a cup of good cheer to honor a man whose cup was never half full!! 


Pictures from the Celebration are now posted in the photo album to the right.
We would also love to continue to hear any stories you might remember about Jim.










"Frog and Toad's Wild Adventure"                         Betsy Caesar


Jim and I always agreed that the best way to describe out lives together is "Frog and Toad's Wild Adventure." However, we had to agree to disagree on who is Frog and who is Toad. Truly our life has been a movable feast. We traveled widely--we ambled along Roman roads over 2,000 years old and scanned the Arctic tundra to view a vastness seldom disturbed by humans. We danced beneath the Aurora Borealis and have been fortunate to glimpse both the Southern Cross and North Star share the same sky. We marveled at our good fortune to see the heavens flash green as the sun set over equatorial Pacific. Our greatest blessings have come from our three children, their wonderful spouses, our six grandchildren, and our friends around the world. We had the gift of sharing nearly twenty years with our dear dog, Daisy. And for forty-five years have roared through life in our treasured Austin Healey. It has been a great fifty years. 






How to Share Your Memories:                                                 

Do you have a certain memory, thought, or experience that you remember? Maybe it was a story, an event, or just something you remember him saying.  Share those experiences by adding your comments to this blog.

To post your memory:

You may email your comments to Mike at mikecaesar2112@gmail.com and I will post your comments to the blog.
  

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences.  He would be honored knowing he made a difference in your life.
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Always in our hearts:                                                   Randy and Sandy Batterman

Unfortunately we are the couple who knew Jim and Betsy the least amount of time. 

Through a twist of fate, both of them came into our lives. I met Betsy first. We talked and talked and talked. Our son is Army and she told me Jim was a retired Army officer. Oh Boy! I was terrified to meet him. I figured in "my head" he would be arrogant, stiff, and uptight. Oh my!  When I met him I was floored. He was gracious, kind, and so easy to talk to. I remember his laughing kind eyes. I thought I can't wait for my husband Randy to meet him. Every time we saw Jim he was smiling and happy. What a class act. I always talked about Jim with our son Shawn. I guess you could say we bragged about Jim. It wasn't hard to do at all.

It seemed like no time before they left Maryville Illinois. We really wanted to spend more time with the two of them.  Talk about feeling important. Every time the two came back to St. Louis we were included. Jim taught us about a flight of wine. Never knew about a flight before. There was always something so interesting to talk about.

We can't believe what a short time it was. We wanted so much more. Mexican food, italian food or just the winery. Jim was there with us.  We are still in shock. We so miss Jim. He was a wonderful husband, dad, grandpa, and friend. We respected him so and love him dearly.





Inspiration:                                                         Walter Josephson 

I first met Jim and Betsy when they graciously welcomed me to their home in Ellensburg WA for Christmas. I think it was 1990 since I had just reported aboard USS GEORGIA (SSBN 720) in Bremerton WA. I drove the 150 miles in a snowstorm, stopping by Seattle airport along the way to pick up another friend from MIT. The drive seemed like it would never end, bumping along at 35 mph with chains on the tires. Upon arrival we had a wonderful meal, a joyous Christmas, and afterward I had a chance to listen to tales of Jim's flying adventures. He inspired me to earn my own pilot's license, although many years later. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to thank him. 




A Welcome Port:                                                           Nicole Caesar Kennedy
We didn’t live close to each other most of my life. Yet, somehow, throughout the years, we have always made time. Just a little time, but even that was important. You see, some would say that living in a multitude of locations around the globe, as my Uncle Jim and Aunt Betsy did, would keep us from developing a relationship. Instead, it gave me a reason to travel. Wherever they went and whatever their home, there was always time to welcome me into it.

They welcomed me where they lived in the collage town of Ellensburg, where I had two hours to slip away from High School Girls State to visit, chauffeured by my (likely) newly licensed cousin, Matt (yikes!). I was welcome in a small cottage in Langley with a grandfather clock that thought sleeping was optional , and welcome in their gorgeous West Seattle home with views so breathtaking a telescope was permanently housed in the front window.

They hosted my husband Kyle and me, relative newlyweds in their home just outside of Philadelphia. I remember from that trip we visited a beer and wine outlet (a place Aunt Betsy thought pretty low class...which I continue to joke was right up our alley since we tend to bring the low-brow wherever we go.) We had grinders and beer samplers in their home that night and laughed more than we ate, I think. We visited historic sites in Philly, posing dutifully in front of the (fake) Liberty Bell and donning the appropriate 1700s hats. While snowy when we arrived, it snowed about a foot more the night before we left, but Uncle Jim had no doubt he could get us to the train station, and true to his word, he did. Uncle Jim always made time for us.

When we remodeled our home he was there to lend a hand and was happy to receive beer and fried chicken as payment (remember our lack of class?) I didn’t see my Uncle often in my life, but the times I did were full of warmth, intelligent conversation, friendship and love. I look forward to the day when I can visit him again in the best home he’s ever known, Heaven.






Best of the Best:                                                  Margie (Bolton) Abrahamsen 

Betsy and family,It is with such sadness that I write in Jim's blog for it means he is no longer with you.  After I heard of Jim's passing, I have thought about you all so very often. 
I first met "Jimmy" in 6th grade when I started school at Lakewood. He was so welcoming of this newcomer....he was kind, friendly, intelligent and oh my, what an athlete. He was the class leader that we all looked up to. That held true all through our grade school years and through high school. 

It was in high school where Jim met his lifetime love....you, Betsy. What an wonderful couple you two have made.

Now, it is time to say goodbye to the 'best of the best'.......goodbye, dear Jimmy. I shall think of you often and smile......remember? 






Making New Paths                                           Alan & Joanne (Hoftell) Baker 

Where does one begin to describe the worth of a very special friend?

I was blessed to have known Jim and Betsy for over 50 years. Our first meeting was a double date... to the bowling alley. Even then, I admired Jim's determination, humor and energy. You could tell he would go far. Bets and Jim were like peanut butter and jelly; always together, truly devoted to each other.

As they traveled the world over, letters came and went but as always: a stop by visit or dinner, a true friendship always.

Even with my life changing and adding a second husband, Jim and Betsy seemed to love him too. So music, wine and dinners we began to share as retirement years have come upon us.
Little did we know it would come to an abrupt halt on February 14th!

Now we begin a new journey, down a different road. Someday our paths will meet again ....until then Jim you will be missed. Keep busy... I am sure you are making new paths in Heaven. 





Time Goes By:                                                  Alan and Betsy Smith 

We were shocked and saddened to learn of Jim's passing. Our prayers are with Betsy and the family. 

We met at Ft Jackson in the early 70's, served in the same training Battalion. I followed Jim to the University of South Carolina. We played bad golf and water skied together. Jim was in our wedding. We were able to visit when they were at Ft Ord, on our way to Alaska. Later we were in the guest house leaving Alaska when they were arriving.

In the early eighties I was able to visit them in Germany. Time goes by too quickly, before you know it years have gone by without seeing people you care about. When a great guy like Jim passes, the reality of all that slaps you in the face, then it's too late.










Dear Family and Friends,                                                   Betsy Caesar

Because you are reading this, I know each of you in your own way, cherished Jim.  And he cherished you in return.  Every recollection is unique:  Jim was a man of many parts.  I hope you will find it in your hearts to share your thoughts about Jim with us.

I have agonized over how to convey the essence of a person who was always a man, never a child and yet never aged.  He was a force of nature radiating boundless enthusiasm and inexhaustible energy.  Doing anything half-measure simply did not occur to him.

Periodically, Jim examined his life to monitor how well he met his goals.  As you will see, he succeeded.  The following was written in his own hand, long ago.


Perhaps later, I will share my own special memories.  For now, I have decided that the most significant contribution I can make is to unveil that part of Jim you may not have seen, in the belief that to know what a person loves most is reflected in his priorities.  That knowledge in turn will best reveal Jim and his legacy to all of us:  a life, well and fully lived.

Thank you, Froggy, for our wild and wonderful adventure.
With eternal love,
Toad


Memories

"I may have to pick it up a bit.  I haven't broken a sweat yet."           Mike Caesar

In the mid 1980's while living in Germany, my parents got involved in Volksmarching, a form of "non-competitive" 10, 20, or 42 kilometer fitness walks. Each weekend we would travel to a town that was sponsoring a walk and get a chance to see different parts of Germany as well as taste different beers. The thing my dad did not understand was the "non-competitive" part of the Volksmarch. Why walk 10, 20, or 42 kilometers when you could run?!! And for those of you who have ever tried to follow my dad in a car, you know that if you do not keep up, you will be quickly left behind. I found that this also pertains to running.

It was the summer of 1987 and my first attempt at a 42 km run in Beerfelden, Germany in the Odenwald. My dad's description of the course to me was that there would be a couple of slight hills. I guess I should have looked at a map! The run started off tame enough, but very shortly became so steep I could reach out and touch the road in front of me. I was huffing and puffing and all the while my dad was running along without a care in the world and carrying on a conversation as if we were out for a Sunday stroll. About halfway into the run, he turns to me and says, "You know Mike, I may have to pick it up a bit. I haven't broken a sweat yet.” I told him to go for it, as I pulled in as much air as my lungs could handle.  Little did I know, that would be the last I would see of him until the finish line.

In fact, "I may have to pick it up a bit.  I haven't broken a sweat yet," came to be my punch line years later when I had my own children and we were out on our hiking and backpacking trips.




2013-2014  Secretary of State Report FAREWELL to GRAND PETITE MAL:      L.P Jeter

DEAR GENTLEMEN OF THE PUGET SOUND HASH:
It all began for me in Fall 1990 on the Wisma Mitra Hotel rooftop in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia.  It all ended for me by e-mail from A. INTRUDER arriving to me in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia on Wednesday 26 February 2014.  My very dear colleague, PETITE MAL, was now GONE; inconceivable !!

THE INDONESIA CONNECTION
That dusk 1990, after working at the local airplane factory, the resident expats gathered for a few Bintangs to play with kites from neighboring kampong kids as well as swap TII (this is Indonesia) tales.  He approached me, “My name is JIM CAESAR, Boeing offshore personnel support.”  He confessed to be a runner; thus he was a HHH candidate.  Together we followed the fun, fellowship and fitness functions every Monday with Bandung HHH; he was a star runner and he was hooked.

THE SEATTLE HHH CAREER 
His passion for running, HHH and Indonesia is evident in his attending the Republic of Indonesia National Day Runs II, III, IV, V, (PSHHH#326, 359, 390,422) then he hared the ROID Runs XVII, XVIII, XIX (PSHHH#709, 766, 794).  His commitment and contributions were resplendent in his haring century runs PSHHH#400 & 800.  His stellar career included 7 x hare and 65 x runs; this man was NOT a free-loading, slacker castrato hasher !!

MEMORIES  REMAINING  FOREVER
·         His home-made home-cooked fruit pies which he gave me on special occasions
·         His special guidance for my relocation from Bandung to Seattle
·         His reverence for USA and its values
·         His attention to detail, resulting in high-quality runs
·         His physical fitness, sufficient for marathon competitions
·         His devotion to environment, maintaining wilderness trails

 Midget M.




Apple Pie:                                                               Cameron Johnson


One of the last times that I saw my grandfather was Thanksgiving. Although the visit provided my family and me with many memories, I remember one thing in particular: the apple pie that we made together. I wanted to put the ladder design on the top, and without refusing he looked up an instruction video online. Although he confessed to not be the best at that skill he let me try it anyway, not knowing what the outcome would be, I could have completely messed up that pie. Even though it’s a small thing to let your granddaughter make a pie crust it was a happy memory of that Thanksgiving.





Jim's Pie Crust Recipe

Warning: Many have tried to duplicate Jim's results with his recipe, only to be disappointed. He was an alchemist, when it came to pastry baking.

For an 8 or 9 inch pie:

1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon shortening
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 or 3 tablespoons of ice water

Cut together first 3 ingredients, until at the consistency between small peas and coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle water into mixture a little at a time (amount depends on humidity and temperature). Toss together until all flour is moistened and pastry almost clings to side of bowl. Form pastry into ball refrigerate, if desired. Roll pastry into a circle about 2 inches wider than inverted pie pan. Roll pastry around rolling pin and unroll into pan. If making 2 crust pie, double recipe and place second crust on top of filling. Can brush with milk. Cut design into top crust to vent steam.

Work as gently and rapidly as possible, never redo--or crust will toughen. If baking single crust without filling, poke with holes and place in 475 degree oven for 8 minutes. If 2 crust pie, baking time varies by filling. Enjoy.




Connecting on the Run:                                       Mona Caesar Johnson

Dad and I connected on the run.  I cannot remember the first time Dad and I ran together, but behind just about every milestone in my adult life is a good run, accompanied by a healthy dose of advice sagely delivered by my father.  Dad understood, like no one else, my need to run and how I used my time on the road to “pace-out” life’s dilemmas, solve problems, and put issues in perspective.  He also understood how to use this time together to connect to an otherwise very stubborn, generally unreceptive-to-advice individual. 

In 1985, Mom, Dad, Mike, Matt and the family pets moved from our home in Ellensburg, Washington to Heidelberg, Germany.  A week later, I left for college.  Since that time, I have only seen Dad one, maybe two times a year on visits.  The break in time was too long, but it did not matter when it was time to run.  Dad and I would warm-up, quickly catching up on our work-out schedules, mileage, races (mostly Dad’s), running injuries (current or in recovery), and then move into the heavier subjects- before I was completely out of breath.   On runs in Germany, we discussed my post-graduation plans for active duty in the US Army, marriage, and graduate school.  In Maryland, we contemplated a military vs. civilian career.   On our run through the park and trails in Watertown, NY the day before my wedding, we talked about my future, opportunities, and how important it would be to stay connected as I started this new adventure in my life.   On runs in the Seattle area, we talked about my growing family and career while he thoroughly enjoyed kicking my b--- on the Seattle hills.   I figured he had an unfair advantage:  given 20 more years to train (his “head start”), I would surely beat him on the same hills!  On runs in Texas, I had the advantage, our heat and humidity alien to Dad’s northwestern blood.  You would never know it though.  As we would close out the mileage for the day, Dad would ask me if I was ready to “kick it in and Finish Strong.” The last couple hundred meters would be at full-out pace, and Dad would always stride in easily ahead of me – both of us happily tired, drenched in sweat, and, for me, the weight of my world lifted until our next run together.  
   
Dad is still there with me on my runs, but now instead of once a year visits during the holidays, he is there every day.  I show him my new routes and wish he could run them with me.  I point out the birds, the turtles, the dogs, new runners, the new construction; the things he would have noticed.   I sort through my struggles and try desperately to find the path that he would have suggested.  And I listen for his footsteps near me, his advice and encouragement, so I can kick it in and Finish Strong for him.



My Friend and Mentor:                                                                          Stacy Williams

Yesterday, February 14, 2014, I lost a true friend & mentor, James "Jim" Caesar. My Professor of Military Science at CWU and life long friend passed away in his sleep while vacationing in Hawaii. Jim was instrumental in assisting me getting my life turned around. Until I met him, my life was aimless. I was heading in no direction fast. As the Professor of Military Science at CWU, he took a chance on an overweight African - American student to be in his inaugural ROTC class, making me the first African-American Army ROTC Graduate/Commissioned Officer from CWU. Both Jim and his surviving wife, Betsy, have always been steadfast in supporting me in my endeavors, in the Army or as a civilian. My heart goes out to the Caesar family as he will be truly missed. "Air Cav--Hoo-AH!!"


The Eyes Have It!!                                                                Lauren Johnson



Papa always seemed like a really serious person to me, but the moments he would goof around with me were my favorite. My dad's birthday falls at the end of October so occasionally we get him Halloween themed cakes. One year, while Papa was visiting, the cake we bought was green and had fake, plastic eyeballs on it as decoration. Papa and I were joking about the eyeballs, and before long, I was stumbling, blind around the kitchen with fake eyeballs covering my real eyes. There just so happened to be a rainbow afro wig nearby (remember, this was near Halloween, we don't normally have rainbow afro wigs laying around) and Papa just could not stay away from the fun, and thus, this picture came to be. The two of us shared laughs while we walked around the kitchen like goons, smiling for the camera. I still smile thinking of the fun we had just goofing around.



Axe Man:                                                                                               Lydia Ross


Jim was without a doubt--the best 'can do' kind of person I have ever known. He was eager, willing and enjoyed life to the fullest. I asked him for help trimming a tree---I had no idea he was part monkey and would swing from branches, balance on one foot and wield a saw in one hand and hold onto a branch with the other. I think I aged 10 yrs watching him high in the tree... and he didn't break a sweat and was asking for what's next. Thanks Jim! Rest in Peace. Lydia



Biking                                                Charles Caesar


Earlier this year, Papa and I went on a bike ride on the Centennial Trail from Getchell Trail Head, in Lake Stevens, to the Nakashima Barn, in Arlington. It was pouring rain the entire time we were on the ride. Even though it was raining, we still managed to keep a good pace throughout the entire ride averaging 17 mph! Since it was raining so hard, all the slugs were on the path and we were trying not to run over them so we didn't get slug guts all over our bikes! 

 As we were biking through Arlington, Papa was telling me stories of what he did when he was young and how he made money during his summer breaks from school. On our way back through Arlington we had to go over the railroad tracks. Since it was pouring rain, I thought it would be best to go over the tracks as fast as I could. The first set I went over pretty fast and I fishtailed at the end. I decided that on the next set of tracks I would slow down and then go over them. I ended up slowing down too much and falling over on the tracks, which ripped my Seattle to Portland jacket open and put a huge gash on my forearm and my shin. I had to bike the remainder of the trip back to the truck with blood running down my leg and a hole in my jacket! Once we got back to the truck, Papa gave me the rest of his water to clean off my leg since I had finished all of my water during the ride. Papa gave me his Seattle to Portland jacket since I had a big hole in mine with blood stains on it!

Once the ride was over, he took me out to lunch and we both got pulled pork sandwiches. It hit the spot. It was a nice, hot lunch, on a cold, rainy day. I wouldn't have wanted to spend the day any other way.

Ride on Papa, Ride on


Jimmy:                                                                                                 The Moffetts

“If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing right.” This could very well have been Jim’s motto. He just didn’t believe in doing something “half ass."  This attitude served Jim throughout his life and could be just downright funny at times. Jim and Mike rode RAGBRAI bicycle ride across Iowa with Jen and I one year. Both were up at 4 AM making coffee. When it was time to ride, Jim didn’t just swing his leg over and start peddling like everyone else. He could be seen in the dark of the morning running with his bike and then would jump on and away he’d go. He was frequently the first in camp as this was important so he could get the best camping spot. Jim was first on the bus going back, because he didn’t want to sit by the potty on the bus. 

Competitive, just a bit! When we went fishing with Jim and Mike in Puget Sound, he was getting upset that everyone was catching more fish than he was. Said he couldn’t understand it. 

We loved going to the wineries with Jim. He was always in search of that perfect bottle and indeed he tried many. Get togethers of the Caesars, Grohs and Moffetts usually involved a substantial amount of beer with Aunt Virginia at the Swansea fish fries (can’t let any good beer go to waste) or wine tastings in the Missouri wine country. Jim knew the “good stuff” and had a great wine cellar of his own.

One of the things we loved best about Jim was his story telling. He could keep us spellbound for hours with his escapades. One we never tired of hearing was the “Great Moose Hunt.” Jim spotted a moose on an air base while returning in his helicopter and decided it would be a good idea to hunt it. Like any good hunting story, it came down to one last bullet in the gun and the beast fading into the woods. Anyway, that one bullet was enough and he felled the creature. How he managed to field dress and pull a 1500-pound moose out is beside me. I suspect he lifted it out with his helicopter. 

It was a truly sad call when Jim passed, but it would have been even a greater one if we had not shared such good times. He was our family, our friend and he made us laugh. We should always be as motivated as Jim to be our best and relish the journey. We will all meet Jim at the finish line. We miss you. 




Tall Papa:                                                                         Sophia Caesar




Boeing:                                                                                        John Bishop

Jim was a good person and a fair yet guiding mentor. I had the privilege to work for him when he was the 2nd level Manager of our training department at Boeing. 
God bless! And thank you. 



The New Guy:                                                                                            Carol Davis

I had the wonderful blessing to have been friends with Jim for nearly 55 years. I can still remember the first time I saw him. It was in the fall of 1959 in a 9th grade social studies class. Here was this "new guy" who had transferred to Arlington Junior High School from Lakewood, speaking out in class discussions with such confidence and knowledge (and always opinions!). As I got to know him, I realized just how special he was--the nicest, most mature, goal-oriented and responsible young man I had known. And through the years, my respect for him only grew. Jim was an innately good person and a loyal friend. I will always treasure my memories of him and remember him with heartfelt affection. There are simply no words that can adequately express my deep sympathy for my dear friend Betsy and all of Jim's family. 




Old Friends:                                                                                           Bruce Marshlain

Jim and I first met and became friends in 9th grade when we both participated in school and summer league sports. I'll always remember one incident that year when Jim's parent(s) brought him to my house with his 8 foot wood boat, which we proceeded to hand carry along with our gear, probably 1 to 1.5 miles down to an old slough for some serious fishing. I don't recall if we caught any fish, but I sure as hell won't forget lugging that boat both ways!!
It was great to renew old friendships with Jim and Betsy 5 years ago when we discovered both of us lived close to each other in Mill Creek. Since then the 4 us (Barb included) have had some great times, with "happy hours" hours at local watering holes, get-togethers at both homes (obviously with good wine), and a special 3 days together on Kauai when Barb and I were staying on Maui.
Jim and I always had great times doing trail work for WTA, golfing, and trying new wines. The fishing was about to begin, and this time I had a trailer for my boat!! I will always feel cheated that Jim and I were never able to continue our fun activities together, and to try new ones. His passing will always leave a void in my life. Hopefully, our continuing relationship with Betsy will help to fill some of these gaps. Jim was, and always be, a special friend.



Lead On:                                                                         Dan G
"You always led the way. I always looked up to you, and measured my life by your example. Sleep softly, Eagle.



Strong Discipline:                                                           Anonymous 

What an extraordinary man. I never met him, but worked with his daughter, Mona, for several years. I can see how she acquired her strong discipline and work ethic. I think it a loss for those of us who never met Mr. Caesar. May God bless him and his family. 


Washington:                                                                            Rodger and Judy Schultz

Meeting Jim and Betsy was something of a serendipitous accident. As I remember it, with Jim's tour in Germany ending, he announced his intention to retire when his current enlistment was up.  He had to choose a stateside home of record from whence he would be processed, and where their household belongings would be sent. Since they were from the Seattle area, Jim wrote "Washington."  Jim was given orders to report to his new home: Fort Meade MD (just outside of Washington D.C.) 
Jim found a job test piloting, and they purchased a home next to ours.  Our good fortune.  Later Jim was offered a job with Boeing, in Seattle, and off they went, but would visit us several times. 

I can't let Jim go without offering this small paean to his memory.  RIP Jim.  



Calm Demeanor:                                                                        Amy St. John

We met Jim and Betsy in 1972 when Mike and Jim were attending The Armor Officer's Advanced Course.  They were our first military friends we had as a married couple.  We had many good times at parties, cookouts and recreational activities.

Our relationship continued when Mike and Jim were both assigned to Fort Jackson, South Carolina.  Although the Caesar household was well across town, we spent a lot of time in each other's home for three years.  During one of our events at the St. John house, someone noticed that Mike Caesar was missing.  Jim found him high up in one of our trees where he had climbed to look for imaginary coconuts.  Mike said "Hey look at me"!  Jim did just that and calmly asked Mike to come down the same way you went up.  Jim's calmness was key to Mike making it down safely.

We even had babies (almost) together.  Matt in May '74 and John in June '74.  Mona and Mike stayed with us when Matt was born.  We had a great time.  We have a picture of Mike and Mona during that time that we will give the family.

It seemed that Jim usually had some kind of project around the Caesar household.  The Healey project began in South Carolina.  Home improvement was his passion and he was talented at it.  He had a project going when he and Betsy left for Hawaii.  February 14, 2014 came too quickly for this devoted husband, great father and talented, energetic man!  We Miss Him!



South Carolina:                                                                          Mike St. John

I had the pleasure of serving with Jim Caesar twice.  We were armor officer students at Ft. Knox, KY in 1972 as captains and were both assigned to Ft. Jackson, SC.  Jim was a training company commander in the Advanced Individual Training (AIT) and I was assigned to The Basic Training Committee Group which taught marksmanship and other combat skills to basic trainees.  When we got our orders we quickly planned a trip to SC with a couple of other classmates to shop for a place to live.  Jim and I found suitable houses that would please our wives.  We ate pizza on the floor (No furniture delivery yet) of the St. John house as our first of many family events in SC.

Jim and I were lucky enough to have jobs that allowed us a couple of hours each week for physical training.  In those days, running was not Jim's favorite activity so, we generally played handball and, if our hands were sore, we played racket ball once in a while.  We were good friends but, anyone who might have seen us play might have some doubt about that.  Jim played handball like he did everything else in his life.  He played hard and he played well.  I can still feel the welts on my backside that little ball made when I happened to be in front of one of his shots.

We attended many after-hours classes with USC, mostly in business and accounting, pursuing our degrees.  We were lucky enough to be granted approval from the Army to finish our last semester on campus full time. We went to ball games, concerts and other activities on campus.  We both graduated in May '75.

Jim and I also spent our weekends getting our helicopter flying requirements in.  Jim was a great pilot and was a true professional pilot.  We got to see a lot of the two Carolinas and the Smokey Mountains flying mock missions in our OH-58 and had a good time doing it. 

Jim and I did not talk much about Vietnam.  It was our choice to talk, debate and laugh about almost everything other than that.  I was certain that Jim was a great soldier and pilot in RVN because I witnessed him being both after VN.



Growing up:                                                                                           Dan Gray

I met Jim when I was in Jr High in Arlington. He was three years ahead of me, in the High School. You couldn't ignore the energy that welled up in him. It showed in the way he moved, sharp, decisive movements. It showed in his eyes which were bright like they were lit from inside. He had a quick smile even (or especially) when a situation was frustrating. He had a knack for turning the foibles of people into humor.

He was my sister Betsy's boyfriend and never did a boy love a girl like he did. I thought this was a great advantage, because as the kid brother I got to hang with Jim. They were a great couple, by the way--King and Queen of the prom. Their royalty fit them. Jim was a leader then, among his friends and on the athletic field. He had this instant strength and focus that made you want to fall in step with him.

I never knew anyone like him in my growing up years. We worked together at a wet, muddy miserable job building a place now known as Jordan River Trails, putting in ditches, fences, cutting trees, building a road to nowhere. I can see Jim, the rain running off of his tin hat, laughing, turning to attack whatever mess we had to deal with at the moment. Problems weren't a problem for Jim Caesar--broken equipment sunk up to the axles, trees that fell the wrong way, were just things to go after hard and long without giving up . And you just wanted to follow along with him.

He really enjoyed blowing stumps. 

Looking back now after all these long years, this is how I remember Jim: laughing in the rain, turning swiftly to attack the work at hand. Shining with that boundless energy. 




STRENGTH of CHARACTER:                                                              Denny Hasko

For some time now I have been quite distressed thinking that we, as a people, no longer have the strength of character to face life and persevere. Strength to face danger and survive; strength to face adversity and find resolution; strength to face discord and find calm.

Then, after 50 years, Jim came back into my life. I have been forever transformed. In a few conversations with Jim at class reunion meetings, I realized that strength of character still exists and is embodied in Jim Caesar. It is not until now do I understand the great extent that he displayed the strength of his character.

To say that he was an exceptional person is the ultimate understatement. I knew Jim from first grade through high school. I did not have the pleasure to know him as an adult. But as early as third grade, we saw Jim as the leader of our class. He was a scholar; he was an athlete. He led us all through the trials and tribulations of youth and into adolescence with humility, wisdom and physical and intellectual skills that were always astounding.

In grade school I was a “walker.” There were only 5 of us who did not have to take the bus to Lakewood School. Jim and all others lived farther out in the countryside. One day, in 5th or 6th grade, Jim did not take the bus home. He invited me to go with him on an errand. I was thrilled; Jim Caesar and I hanging out. We went to the Lakewood Post Office! This leader, scholar, athlete collected stamps!! Go figure. He and the Post Master were meticulous in selecting and the dividing the stamps. I just stood there in amazement, not understanding much of what they were talking about. Stamps! I knew then that Jim was a man of many talents, interests and abilities. 

I am sorry that I did not know Jim as an adult. I am certain he would have helped me be a better man.



Ridin' Along in My Automobile:                                                        Bill Wright

The following was excerpted from an article by Bill Wright in the June 2014 issue of the Moss Motors catalog) As all of you know, Jim loved his Austin Healey--which has been our trusty steed for over 45 years. Mr. Wright captures how Jim felt about his beautiful green machine.

The sleek, . . .and generous, gracious lines ...remind me of Renaissance times, when paintings were brushed with thick strokes and vibrant, rich colors; music spilled out from every house's parlor, and chubby cherubs fed sweet grapes to reclining, full-figured women. Life was rich and full, and one was expected to make time to enjoy the pleasures in life. Their design is not about the mathematics and precision of the Germans or the sparse design aesthetics of Italians, it is plush, generous, and easy on the eye.

Let's not forget the noise. The raspy, throaty tones from the exhaust ...are both playful and serious... It's a touchstone to the classic era of sports cars.

The sheer joy of attacking the road and feeling total engagement of all the senses is intoxicating and addictive. British cars...are rich in tradition and they fill our hearts and minds with anticipation for the next exciting adventure.

Roar on, Jim




Yours is the earth and everything in it:                                       John and Brenda Towler

IF
Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired of waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, 
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, not talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you an meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves, to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And to hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!



How Papa knew where to find the best wines:                             Ronan Caesar























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