By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
A New York resident since 1964, Jim now concentrates mostly on identifying himself as an “author” and is in the final stages of getting his fourth book ready for print by December of this year.
The progression of his life is an interesting story – one that is perhaps somewhat visible in the trio of books he has already published. He says his books fall into the category of ‘memoir/fiction’; in other words, the story line follows some of the author’s real experiences, but the names and settings may be different with some fiction added to the story as well.
Looking back at the early stages of his life, Jim recalls being a newspaper delivery boy in neighborhoods located near the old Hazel-Atlas plant in Clarksburg years ago. He remembers working at Kinney’s Shoe Store in Clarksburg as a teenager. As a student at WI High School in Clarksburg, he joined the journalism class and became a photographer, then sports editor and a “secret columnist” for the school newspaper, ‘The Hilltopper’. That is what “whet his whistle”, he says, and stimulated his dream to become a writer.
After graduation, Jim proceeded to the University of Miami in Florida to study journalism. His college roommate was Sam Bonasso, an engineering major who grew up in Wyatt. Carrying a full load of classes and working a job to help make ends meet didn’t allow Jim much time to participate in much else. He ultimately returned to his home and transferred to Salem College, graduating with a degree in English because the school didn’t offer journalism at the time.
To say that he took off for the ‘Big Apple’ shortly after graduation would be an…