I have known Jamie for 40 years. Her sister and I were running buddies in high school and she was the “little sister” that hung around. She was the one we put up to doing all our mischievous endeavors.
Then life happened…we started growing up and lost touch. It was just a few years ago that I ran into the girl with the infectious smile. She was that friend you could be separated from for many years and pick up the conversation where you left off the last time you talked.
The conversation ended with this, “girl if you ever need a travel buddy to UK games give me a holler.” Little did Jamie know that statement would be the reason she would have to pack a bag and head out on a minute’s notice.
The text would be:
Me: Jamie, I need to cover the CATS at _______. Will you go with me?
Jamie: What time are you picking me up?
She never said no. I would be there with my media credentials and she would hang out at a local establishment until the game was over and the story was posted. She never asked for tickets or photos. She was just happy to be there, by my side, cheering on the CATS.
She spent a night in Ohio folding shirts until 3 a.m. for Cameron and of course listening to his stories. Woke up at 7 a.m. and became my photographer for the Kentucky Ohio Convention the next day.
She stood in line at the Tin Roof in Indianapolis for three hours before the Final Four game in 2015 with a fever of 102. She held me together in the madness after the Wisconsin game on the streets of Indy. “Get some sleep we are heading out of here at 8 in the morning or you and I both are going to end up in a fight.” We pulled into Danville by noon the next day.
The adventures with Jamie at the SEC Tournament in Nashville are too numerous to mention. There was the Mississippi State fan who is probably still blind in one eye from Jamie trying to grab his hat off his head. There is also the story of her crossing the street…I only wish I could share the details.
The trip to Vegas last year….what happens in Vega stays in Vegas. I will share, however, that every time I hear “Uptown Funk” I will picture Jamie sliding underneath the dueling pianos at New York, New York. Why someone would order $80 worth of ribs and how in the world she sold so many “One and Fun” books at the UK Alumni event still amazes me.
I will miss the game day texts:
What time is the game?
Where are you watching the game?
If you are at the game I am so jealous.
You were one of the kindest people I have ever met. You loved with all your heart.
Thank you, Jamie, for always being there to share my passion for Kentucky Basketball. Thank you for the long road trips and conversations. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for just being you.