Jim Ferguson: A Dedication

August 29, 2002

I’m often called upon to write
Some verse to celebrate
Achievement, meeting, or award.
This one, though, I hate.

It’s not that I am short of words.
It’s not that I don’t care.
It’s just that we would all prefer,
That Jim was standing there.

In a way, I guess he is.
His spirit fills this room.
Maybe, when we think of that
We push aside the gloom.

So, what is there that can be said,
To celebrate our friend?
No question that his character
Was an intriguing blend,

Of country boy and intellect.
Big man with a soft spot.
A complex man?  That wasn’t Jim.
You saw just what you got.

And what you got was quite a lot.
Jim was the best of us.
He earned oru love and our respect,
To know him was a plus.

Jim gave as much as he did get-
Was never curt or mean.
He had kind words for everyone,
Be they student, staff, or dean.

Jim was Okie on the surface,
And Okie to the core.
His background shaped his values,
And formed a solid floor.

Jim recognized the good in us,
Yet quickly saw our flaws.
Accepting us for who we were–

He did this without pause.

Jim believed in second chances.
Nell, you gave him one.
He used it wisely and quite well.
In life, I’d say he won.

Jim loved his life, he loved his wife,
His children, and his friends.
He had achieved what most would call
A nearly perfect blend.

And now Jim’s gone.  All we have left
Are blessed memories.
Perhaps we ease the pain a bit
When focusing on these.

Each of us holds a piece of Jim
When teaching in this place
That’s bound to have profound effects.
We all will gain some grace

As we conjure up that impish smile
And booming Okie drawl.
We’re better off for loving him.
I think that says it all.

Mark M. Rasenick, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physiology