This week I learned of the passing of one of my great friends in the Seattle salsa dance scene, the great Jim Hadley. (See the first picture in the “Photos” menu in this website.) Ann and I had visited him at his shoe store just two weeks ago to give him a promotional copy of the book, which he was very much a part of. He was weak, but he maintained his great spirit, and we had a wonderful conversation.
I learned very much from Jim, probably from his friendliness toward all, more than anything, and his ability to ignite and inspire new talent. Years ago, he was in charge of a very popular weekly salsa dance in the university district of Seattle. I used to help him set up the sound equipment and took note how he would give new DJ’s a chance to get their feet wet with their own music selection. Those were great dances. Chapter 5 is an account of an hilarious adventure in dancing I had there, and I’m happy that we mentioned his contribution on page 44.
Jim was an outstanding salsa dancer. He would dance with the best and then help promote them. Sometimes, after he danced with one of his remarkable partners, he would walk her over to me and insist that I dance with her to have the pleasure as well. My friends. . . . when’s the last time that we have experienced such class and friendship on the dance floor?
On other occasions, my wife and I would stop by his shoe store and have a blast. Sometimes he would stop everything to turn some music on just to dance with Ann, and draw a crowd with his customers as they witnessed how fun it was to salsa dance.
I cleaned out his store of corrugated polyester shirts which I use to this day, and I remember Ann buying her best shoes there. But what I remember most, was when the three of us, during quiet moments in the store. would start talking about salsa dancing. Inevidently, we would get into hysterical laughing fits at how child-like we all were, and how the funniest predicaments would appear on the dance floor, if you only stopped to think about it. For sure, these late afternoons of hilarious story telling, encouraged me to eventually write the book.
To mention all the goodness that Jim brought to all he met would fill a book in itself. God Bless you Jim, and don’t forget about us in the Spiritual World.