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Tribute to a Great Man


Al Dente:
Yesterday, James McSwigin aka Jim aka Ol' Buff was laid to rest.  We stood there, in the somber moment as a Marine played Taps, while another stood watch just before we placed flowers upon his casket.  Days prior, the FDNY Honor Guard stood proud beside him while hundreds passed to pay their respects to man who was larger than life.
Jim was 82 years old when he ascended into the Lord's Kingdom.  Himself a Marine in his younger years, he later joined the FDNY as a firefighter, then he became a Fire Marshall.  He was also a hunter and a shooting enthusiast.  He hunted all over the world, killing hundreds of animals, some worthy of trophy book entry.  But Jim shunned the "Pope and Crockett" and SCI books.  While he did support them, he did not feel the need to enter ANY animal, despite having some that would've cracked the top 10 if entered.
He lived hard and hunted hard, all pistons firing.  Climbing mountains, enduring rogue African checkpoints, and even pneumonia at air thinning altitudes.
We spent thousands of miles and hours together, crisscrossing NYS on NYB business, working outdoor shows, or just passing time as friends who became family.
Jim could be gruff and filterless, but he was a kind, caring, and loving man.  One who never stopped giving, one who always there for you, regardless of the time of day or night.
I will miss you dearly my friend.  I am honored to have known you for over 25 years.  May God rest your soul.
As I held his hand one last time and kissed him on his forehead, I reflected back on all of the great times we shared, and I prayed for his comfort before I left his bedside.
Send an arrow downrange in his honor, for there is no nobler a man that I have ever encountered.

An arrow will be lofted in his honor, Al.  A fine tribute.

Al Dente:
Thank you.

Your tribute made me feel such sadness that I never knew this man. You are truly blessed in your time here, to have received such inspiration and so given a route to follow. He has shown you how he picked his trail, and now you can build on that knowledge and make your own trail beautiful.

Blessings to you both.


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