Thread: James V. Crow
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Old 11th May 2019, 22:08
Rabe Anton Rabe Anton is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alabama U.S.A.
Posts: 241
Rabe Anton
Re: James V. Crow

I am a little hesitant to write in this space concerning the passing of Jim Crow because others have set down their feelings so well. These sentiments speak for themslves. Nonetheless, I feel a need to add a few words of remembrance and appreciation from my own narrow perspective.

First, I really knew little about Jim Crow the private person. I know that he was a veteran with service in Europe, where he had acquired a German wife (Erika, who predeceased Jim by some five or six years). Returning to private life, he devoted himself to two things: serving veterans and to collecting Luftwaffe photographs. The two activities interacted, for Jim got many contacts through assisting veterans and their estates. Learning about an interesting photo collection or album, he usually managed to have the images copied and incorporated into his archive.

I do know that Jim was a devoted American patriot, faithful to the ideals of the U.S. military and to responsible citizenship. I also know that Jim had amassed an immense collection of Luftwaffe image material; by the time of his death I believe his holdings had reached beyond 10,000 items.

As a citizen, Jim was a true American conservative as contrasted with the European idea of conservative politics and issues. Of Jim's religious affiliation and activity, I never knew anything.

I suppose that I first heard of Jim Crow at least some 40 years ago. I must have first met him in person in the 1980s, almost certainly at an IPMS convention, possibly at Colomubus or at Atlanta. At such conventions Jim was a people-magnet, always offering something interesting to know and fellowship for supper. From first meeting forward, we were in touch periodically about points of connection in our Luftwaffe interests. I remember vividly that over the years, Jim must have written to me a dozen or fifteen times for help in identifying his new acquisitions. The research involved was always pleasurable if not always completely fulfilled. Jim's letters were invariably written in hand on the back of photocopies of photos in question—I think Jim did not type, and as the 1990s matured, he eschewed the computer and everything that went with it. The latter propensity in an age of e-mail inevitably limited us to old-fashioned correspondence.

Reflecting back across decades of friendship, today I am profoundly saddened by the loss of a genuine friend. But there is also the greater loss to our community. Jim Crow was, if anything, a perfectly unique and utterly irreplaceable asset to the interests we have and the things we do. Jim was smart enough to know his limits. He was never afraid to ask someone if he had questions about one of his images; he never ever pretended to have any of the diverse area skills or specialized knowledge that might be found in such as the TOCH.

Jim Crow, today is a sad day for me and for our little community. May light perpetual shine on you as you join Erika and those other saints you loved in this life.
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