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Humor and grace and all things good and true

I know little of Mr. Jim Mackey’s past; our conversations were mostly focused on present and future. I’ve seen pictures and heard stories about his arrival in Nevada County, the changing landscape of Jim’s Nevada City, and his various careers, but he seldom talked about himself. Still, if sharing a private experience was relevant to our conversation – and appropriate – he was always as candid as he was honest, and always spoke with humor.

Jim was from the “Greatest Generation.” He was from a time when you were only as good as your word. Business turned on a handshake. People comported themselves with courtesy and respect and dignity. He was always a gentleman first. And gentlemen don’t discuss personal matters.

Nowadays, it seems nothing is personal. Nothing is private. Kindness is seen as weakness. Trusting and believing makes you a mark. Jim was from a bygone era, and I will miss the man; his advice, his honor and dignity in all things. No one can take that from him.



But it isn’t just the sense of loss that we suffer. Those of us with spirits still intact realize yet another loss, one that strikes us to our souls. It’s not just the loss of someone who was a rock-solid presence in our lives, someone whose sterling character brought humor and grace and all things good and true. It’s also a feeling that a piece of our foundation has gone missing, and only now can we realize the dimensions of it, now that it’s gone.

There were many kind souls at Mr. Mackey’s memorial, each of whom were touched in some way to share their grief. All is not lost, thanks to them. And to Mr. Coleman: Thank you for helping to guide us through this time.




Michael McGowen

Nevada City


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