I got a message in Facebook this morning from the niece of one of the best friends I’ve ever had. When I opened my Facebook and saw a message from her I smiled. What I saw when I opened the message was something I had hoped I would never see. My friend Adam had passed away.

I was really good friends with Adam’s brother, Chris. Through that friendship Adam and I also became dear friends. I’ve been in Japan for 20 years and my family has all moved away from my hometown. Every time I would return Adam’s house is where I would stay. One time, I had planned a trip home and I talked to Adam’s wife and let her know I was coming, but told her not to tell him because I wanted to surprise him. My flight wouldn’t arrive until the early evening so I thought it might be really funny for him to get home from work, find that she wasn’t there, call her and let her tell him that she was just out doing something and would be home later. Would be even better if she could piss him off a little. Then, she would meet us at the airport and when she arrived home, and he was well steaming, I’d walk through the door. It was the perfect plan. Around that time I also needed to go to the dentist while I was there so I called and made an appointment and gave their address and phone number as my contact info. Little did I know that they would call 3 days prior to my visit to confirm that I had the appointment. What I also didn’t expect was that he would be the one answering the phone. This plan had been in place for months and 3 days prior to my arrival the damned dentist screwed it up for me. Of course I had no idea. So, I show up at the airport, his wife is waiting as we had planned, and off we went. We got about half way down the concourse when someone rushed up from behind me and jumped on my back. They did the old switcheroo on me. I actually walked right past him and didn’t even see him. He was standing at a pay phone with his back to me when I walked by. I didn’t even notice.

I’ve got tons of memories of him that I could start into, but I doubt the internet is big enough to hold the sheer volume of it. Every memory I have of my teenage years, he is involved in some way shape or form. I just went looking through my Facebook pictures and almost every picture from back then has him in it with me. We were pretty much inseparable. Now, if you’re reading this, you’re more than likely someone that has known me since those days and you know how close we were. You probably also know that his brother Chris died back in 1999. To give anyone that doesn’t know us an idea of how close we were, when Chris died they called me literally within minutes of them finding out themselves. I practically lived at their house my junior and senior years of high school. I literally spent more time at their house than I did at my own, and that is not an exaggeration. Even now, it took a little longer, but they got with me directly so I wouldn’t find out through Facebook chatter. And it was still within a few hours.

Funny story to accompany this picture. I know exactly when this was taken. August 26th, 1989. I had gone to my company picnic that day and met my wife to be while there. After the picnic I caught up with everyone else at the camp site. I remember clearly telling him and Chris that I had met my future wife. 6 months later she and I were married and a year later I was in Japan.

One thing I want to set straight right now is that he died of heart failure. Everyone that knew Adam knows that he had his demons. That had absolutely nothing to do with this. He has been on the straight road for about 2 years now. I don’t want any nasty rumors going around. I got first hand information that he basically had heart failure. His heart was enlarged and he had fluid in his lungs. Something that could happen to any of us.

Adam, I’m gonna miss you, man. I was so hoping that you could eventually get over here to hang out with me for a while. We talked about it the last time we were on the phone. I really wish it could have happened. You were such a huge part of my life and I hate thinking about a world without you in it.

To Adam’s family, I don’t think I even have to tell you how sorry I am. Please keep in touch with me.

I love you, man. Rest in peace. I hope you’re up there looking down on me. You know, it’s so strange, but yesterday, my time, probably around the time this happened, I was shooting a video for YouTube and when I watched it back I could hear your voice in mine. I literally thought when I heard it “That sounds like Adam.” How strange. Makes you wonder.

I’m turning the light down for now, but y’all come back.

Sleep well, Amigo!!

I’m going to add to the story a little. This picture was taken at Chi Chi’s, a Mexican restaurant in Cincinnati. On one of my trips home we got the friends together and we all went out for dinner. Chi Chi’s was the type of place that, if someone had a birthday, they’d get all the staff together, roll up on the birthday person in full force, plop that goofy hat on them and sing Happy Birthday loud enough for the entire restaurant to hear. It really was embarrassing. I couldn’t resist…..and to be truthful, it wasn’t anywhere near his birthday. I just wanted to get him. I went and told the staff that we have a birthday at our table and to give us the works and then I pointed him out. The look on his face when they plopped that sombrero down on him was priceless. And he knew exactly where it came from, and made sure to call me every name in the book, lovingly, as they were singing and he was being stared at by about 100 other customers. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but knowing how we were with each other, I probably said something like “C’mon, Pedro, give us a smile” and this pic was taken. Priceless moment that I will never forget.




ex-pat American living in Japan since 1991. Love to play guitar and billiards. Love my Cincinnati Bengals too. Who-Dey!!
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12 Responses to Adam

  1. My sincere condolences. Memories of friends that have passed keep them eternally alive.

  2. Dang! It aint easy having pals. Specially losing them. Chin up brotha!

  3. Christina says:

    Jim that was wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Lonnie Jones says:

    Oh Man, I am SO sorry to read this! I know the hurt of losing a friend, but not one as close as Adam was to you. This is surely very difficult for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

    Peace to you, and to Adam’s family.


  5. Angie says:

    I’m in shock as well Mully, Adam and I dated for awhile when they first moved to Alexandria I actually still have in my scrapbook the card and a flower he gave me for valentines day. We would double date with Sonny and Fran back in those days. I can’t believe this is really happened. He was a good person and always could make me smile. My heart breaks for his family especially his daughter. Kudos for you well spoken tribute

  6. Chris (levsco) says:

    You have my deepest condolences Mully.

  7. Beverly Carolan says:

    Wow, that was a powerful tribute. So sorry to hear of your loss. God Bless his family!

  8. Pappy says:

    Thanks Jim, that was beautiful. We appreciate you friendship with Adam and you know you were always and still are welcome to stay with us anytime. Maybe the next time you come home. Again, thanks for the tribute.

    Pappy and Ma

  9. Shawna says:

    Jim, that was beautiful. I just can’t believe it. I know it’s hard losing a real close best friend. My thoughts and prayers to you and the family of Adam. Rest in Peace dear Adam!

  10. Dena Wagel says:

    I just got on FB and thought who is Jim talking about? ADAM?? As I sat here and read what you wrote, the tears rolled down and I am so saddened, The memories that I have of Adam started rolling through my head and he is someone that Jeff and I both were friends with before and after we were married. One memory I have of him that showed what a great person he was way back long ago, when I lived in Southgate in an apartment by myself, not to far from where he and Julie lived. I was 19 I think and Anyways one night I had been at “Annies” and a girl that I had came there with got mad at me and left my ass there! (only time someone left me stranded!) Also my purse was in her car, so I had no way to get home and it was getting late, and no keys to get in my apartment. Luckly for me there were some of the guys there that we all hung out with, Chris Turner had driven there and I asked him for a ride home, I remember Adam being in the car and when we got to my apartment they dropped me off, but I still had a problem! I couldn’t get in to my apartment on the 2nd floor! Well Chris figured he did his part, bringing me home and Adam volunteered to help me get into my apartment through the 2nd floor window, I told him that if we were able to get into apartment then I could get my car keys and give him a ride home! I remember being so thankful! Those were the years of No cell phones so I couldn’t call anyone for help and I surely didn’t want to call my parents at 3am! I had just planned on sitting on the steps til my neighbors started waking up so I could use their phone or wait til management came in to give me a key to my apartment. Anyways…Adam boosted me up on his shoulders and I somehow opened that window and crawled in finally…after many tries. I felt Adam was a true friend from that day on for not being able to leave a young girl in a parking lot of an apartment complex at 3 in the morning.! So I got my keys and drove him home, worrying the whole time what it would look like with me pulling up to Adam’s house at 3 in the morning and dropping him off, thinking that Julie would never believe what really happened and we both worried that she would think the worst of both of us! So I dropped him off at the corner of his block and it was never spoken of again. I wish I could tell him now how much that meant to me. And thank him once again for helping me out when no one else would.
    There were alot of fun times and memories with both Julie and Adam, going to Gatlinburg, hanging out together back then….our kids were just babies back then.
    The last time I sat and talked with Adam was at Schafer’s 40th Birthday party. Jeff and I sat there and talked with him most of the time we were there, Adam was someone I always found very refreshingly funny, easy to talk to, and a friend I will never forget. I seen him once more briefly at Jack’s pet store and he was there with Sidney.. she holding a puppy and he telling me about working at NKU and how college will be free since he works there for Sidney.
    A couple years ago he helped Rob R. put in our concrete basement steps and outside entrance, I will remember him everytime I use those steps.
    I attended Chris’s sevice at St. Mary’s back when he passed away, I just can’t believe I will be going to Adam’s as well.

    thanks Jim for posting some of your memories, my heart was in my throat reading it.

    Numb with Sadness

  11. David Dimitriadis says:

    Jim, I am in shock to hear this, I am in touch with my 2 best friends every week Jeff Combs , and Dan Ledman . I could not begin to know how you must feel, your tribute brought tears to my eyes . God bless you and , your friendship to him!!!! I know it was well appreciated. Its hard to find and have a true friend . My prayers go out too the family as well I’m so sorry for your loss . Dear Adam I know your in a better place I do believe that you spoke through Jim on his video that was your way of saying he brother I’m looking down on you ,and watching over you. Rest in peace Adam . Jim I pray that the days will pass and you will feel better I know it hurts .

  12. Tina says:

    That was the most beautiful and heartfelt thing I have ever seen. He will be deeply missed. You really touched my heart.

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