The news that Jim Tar passed away Tuesday morning came as a shock. On a visit to the storefront he was always found in, Veronique Lyle Thurmond and Elizabeth Moretz-Britt were busy moving paintings around on the walls.
“The preacher is very heavy,” Veronique said as they attempted to position the heavy framed painting in a new spot.
“Preacher’s gotta go up two inches,” Elizabeth said, then seconds later… CRASH! The preacher comes down.
As Elizabeth bends over trying to reach the nails, she mutters “..and we’re gonna use two nails from now on, which is the Jim Tar rule.”
Customers filter in and out. Their steps make the entire floor shake as usual, which causes the wind chimes to chime, as usual.
“What are you doing with that?” Veronique asks Elizabeth. “I’m centering it above the preacher.”
“Oh my God, that’s the hardest one to get up there.”
No, the preacher was the hardest one. Okay, if you say so. The preacher was heavier. It needs to go a little bit to the right.
This Sunday, Jim would have turned 63. He was a settled soul who meant a lot to those who knew him. Kristen Varn and Jim met in the mid ’80s when Art on Broad was by the fountain on Riverwalk.
A customer asks what their new project is.
“Veronique had the wonderful idea of putting Jim up here. Isn’t that great?” answers Elizabeth. “It’s where he belongs. He never wanted to be up front but, sorry Jim, you can’t stop me now buddy boy. I used to say to him periodically, ‘Jim, we need to get some of your paintings up here.’ And he would say (imitates gruff voice), “Nope. No, back here, I’m in the back.”
To a great friend to many, the love of Kristen’s life, a true artist in every sense of the word. Jim, we’ll never forget you.