3/29/1947 - 8/31/2023
Eulogy by Mike Darlington, Post 354 Trustee
Jim Davis was a big tall guy with a big tall personality. He was a soldier in Airborne Air Assault. He spent his youth jumping out of perfectly good helicopters, while they’re hovering, with nothing but a rope to get you to the ground. That kind of thing develops a sense of fearlessness that you carry with you the rest of your life and you could see that in Jim.
When I joined the Post Jim was already a long term member so he was one of those guys that newer members would look up to, he was always here, he was a fixture, and you felt like he was always going to be here. We shared 20+ years of Thursday meetings, cleanups, flag retirements, beer, liquor, cigars and crab feasts. All normal American Legion activities.
Speaking of the Crab Feast, our crab feast had been continuous for Almost 50 years until the Covid Lockdown. When the world opened back up, we didn’t have the normal planning period to get the crab feast rolling and there was a lot of discussion about whether we could do it in time.
Someone Actually said that it couldn’t be done within the time frame and Jim took that personally. So he rallied a bunch of members to jump into action and put the crab feast together in record time and it was a success for our post. The moral of the story is don’t tell Jim you can’t do something.
A while ago Jim was elected Trustee of our post. He also volunteered to lead buildings and grounds team. He had a vision for this place, he got some folks together who shared his vision and they went to work.
These grounds, with vibrant green grass, a clear view of the river as well as an almost complete renovation of the interior are all the result of the hard work of buildings and grounds under Jim’s leadership.
Jim and the crew worked hard. I would always be here on Wednesdays for a separate meeting and I would see the buildings and grounds crew working like crazy covered in sweat and dirt and I almost felt bad about not working as hard as they were.
The last time I saw Jim, he was here with the Wednesday grounds crew. He was walking with a cane and he couldn’t do much work but he was here because it was Wednesday, it was the big work day and that’s what he did.
Every time I’d walk up to the bar at a Legion meeting, Jim was back there and he’d always greet me with a handshake, a big smile and ask if I wanted one those brown beers.
When I said earlier I always felt like he was going to be here, I still feel his presence because I can see his stamp on almost every part of this post. He spent the last of his years making this place look as beautiful as it does now.
He was a good friend, a good member and we’ll all miss him.