Rosie Hill (Breller)
I was just talking about James this past weekend at our 40th Class Reunion. I have a couple of vivid memories about him that I have never forgotten.
I remember seeing him being bullied once in the halls, weaving and moving, his briefcase firmly in his grip, and his long coat flailing along with the shakedown that was taking place. He held his own, and finally was able to just quietly walk away...a lonely, pensive silouette.
James was odd. Everyone will tell you that. He had a briefcase that apparently took him to outerspace..back to his planet, he would say. He had an obsession with one of my childhood classmates, and would unnerve her by just appearing suddenly and whispering "helloo". We would teeter between gasping and laughing!
What some may not know, is that James was incredibly brilliant. In our sophmore year, in Mr. Bonner's class, I was teamed up with James to write a paper. We each had a section, a subject and a perspective that we had to write about. We probably had a week or two deadline before we turned it in. A couple of days after we got the assignment, James brought me his contribution. It was probably ten typed pages! He had a surreal command of the english language, his research was thorough, and his perspective was complex and profound: FAR reaching that of the normal person. I would have loved to have seen Mr. Bonner's face when he read it! I had always been sensitive to James Apostle, but having been able to read something that his brain and soul had created, changed my perspective and fostered an eerie respect for my odd little classmate.
I often wondered what happened to James Apostle. I wondered if this unusual creature had ever experienced life the way most of us had. But, life was not good to James after high school and his incredible intellect probably turned on him slowly. I pray today that James is peaceful, that the days of having his lunch money bullied out of him no longer haunt him, and that he walks among the angels of Planet Heaven, no longer a lonely, pensive, silouette....
Angela Durant (Turner)
Rosie, your comments are so kind and thoughtful and I thank you for sharing them! Like you, I hope he has found some much deserved peace.
Barbara Frey (Woodsmall)
Rosie, I agree with Angela, well said. Thank you for saying what I'm sure others are thinking. God bless you James.
Rosie it was great to read your experience with James. It certainly opened up memories of a few of my own, and I will share the observation that I always felt that he was a brilliant person, but used his "meek" stature as a disguise to keep others at bay due to what we all might have percieved to be a weaker person on the outside. I was in many of his classes as well and witnessed him taunting others with his mind rather than his brawn. To that end I decided he knew very well what was going on around him and that he had full command of his own capabilities, but used only what he needed to at the moment. It was an uncanny presentation of wit and intelligence in my mind.
Sorry... hit the return button by mistake...One day he was accosted by Bob harris and a few other from the football team during the lunch break. we were all outside onthe lawn behind the cafeteria and the back open hallway enjoying the sun and warmth after a cold snap. Bob and the others circled James and began to close in, seemingly with no avenue of escape. As they drew closer and closer, with the impending physical abuse about to begin he instantly diverted their attention simultaneously be simply saying emphatically LOOK! and looked in the direction of the cafeteria. As they all looked too, he simply slipped between two of the players and was gone in a flash and around the corner and out of sight. Brilliant. Cool. Presence of mind in the heat of about to be battle. Rest in peace.
Marian Brown (Maxey)
my he R.I.P.