Thursday, October 13, 2016
RIP Jim Hayden
It was with a great shock that I leaned of the death of an old friend Jim Hayden. I am not on Facebook, but Janine is which is where we learned of this. It appears he died Friday 7 October.
Jim and I worked together at Minute Man National Historical Park back in the 1990's. He ran the bookstore for Eastern National while I was a front line Ranger. Both of us had been involved in reenactment groups and both of us had a life long love of the American Revolutionary war.
During the time we worked together Jim made each day a treat. He was a happy man who always saw the funny side of things. No matter how bad a meeting went Jim would come out with a one liner that made us laugh and forget the bureaucratic madness. He was always there to help me with crazy interpretive programs. Heroes of the Battle Road candle light tour, Halloween story readings, living history weekends at Hartwell Tavern or school programs Jim could be counted on to roll up his sleeves and help out. And to get others to volunteer!
I introduced Jim to miniature war games. While he never painted miniatures he made great terrain pieces. Fields, roads, stone walls, fences and houses he made were little works of art. Since we had both been in rev war reenactment units I made sure I painted both his regiment (1st New Hampshire) and my regiment (23rd RWF). Jim would take delight in routing my regiment as I would his in return. The moment of Jim's greatest triumph was when his cavalry, which he had carefully concealed charged and took out all my guns in one shot! It was an embarrassment I never forgot nor one Jim failed to reminded me about; always in a most humorous manner. We both laughted a lot about our games.
Jim moved on to better jobs and we drifted apart. I looked forward to his and Karen's Christmas cards and occasionally their marvelous Christmas party. When watching New England Patriots football games Janine and I would always look out for Karen and Jim who were members of the End Zone Militia. This past January Janine and I were invited to his holiday party. A great time was had. When leaving Jim and I both said we have to get together more often. I think sometimes you should not put things like that off. I wishing I hadn't.