Friday, May 31, 2013

Very sad news about an old friend -- and responses from others in the Central Park community

Three of Jimmy Lewis's many admirers:
[from left] Regina Alvarez, Lee Stinchcomb, and Noreen O'Rourke. Jimmy is the beaming heartthrob between Regina and Lee.   I am missing from the photo  though I was usually part of this group. Why? I must have taken this picture.

[photo taken in Central Park, October 22, 2005]

On Memorial Day I received two heart-breaking e-mails, one from Jimmy Lewis's sister Marcia Lewis Scott and the other from Jimmy's great long-time friend Bobby Belson. They told me the terrible news that Jimmy had died that weekend. I'm still reeling from the shock.

Jimmy was one of my best and oldest  friends [in the number of years I'd known him, not in age]  among the Central Park Regulars. He and Lee and Noreen [see photo above] formed the core of the little group of "Regulars" I wrote about in Central Park in the Dark; the book is dedicated to them.

I'll write a little more about Jimmy sometime soon.

Meanwhile, those of you that  have my book Central Park in the Dark can find a few paragraphs about Jimmy starting at the bottom of p. 91 

The Central Park Nature Community responds:

1. From Lloyd Spitalnik, received a few minutes after I posted the notice above:

What terrible news. When I leave the park at 79th St Eastside i would often see him on the benches. Haven't seen him in several months and i was wondering where he was. What a nice guy with a really good heart. He'll be missed.

All the best,
Lloyd Spitalnik Photography

2. From Steve Kennedy, Charles Kennedy's brother:

May 30, 2013

Hi Friends,

I am deeply saddened to learn of Jim Lewis' passing. It is a somber time for the remaining Regulars. Debbie and I, as well as my dad and brother, Scott, are keeping you all in our thoughts. Each of us was so happy to count Jim as a dear Central Park friend. He was a good man, a dear friend to Charles, and a tremendous ally to Pale Male. It is hard to believe he is gone.

With love and sympathy,

Steve Kennedy