As a child, I noticed my love of writing and the swag and delivery of broadcast journalists that both caught my eye and heart. I was that so called weird kid who loved watching the evening news while growing up in Brooklyn, NY. Ernie Arnastos and Warner Wolf were my dudes. When I arrived in DC to attend Howard University, that local news and sports dynamic duo became Jim Vance and George Michaels. Sidebar: While at Howard I planned to major in journalism and become a Broadcast Journalist. That’s another story for another day.
Jim and Michael were amazing at what they did. But, more important, they allowed us to connect with and experience their human sides, the good and challenging. Such special men who not only informed us, taught us, let us have peeks into their amazing lives, but also made us laugh, laugh, laugh. The funniest ish was the day they played the video of the runway model repeatedly falling and the commentary and belly laughs that followed. The first time I found the video online after the initial broadcast, I played it over and over again. Pure hilarity and goofiness at its finest. “Whoa, whoa…” Enjoy! Warning: Don’t have food or drink in your mouth while you watch this. https://youtu.be/_0eINGyJHz8
– Healing = Freedom and it’s never too late for the little boy and girl in all of us to heal and be free. And, that we should seek help for our addictions and mental health issues. In a 2015 interview with his news’ partner and friend Doreen Gentzler, Jim spoke about his decision to go get psychiatric help as a result of depression, “That is one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. For which I am most grateful, because it had one of the most profound impacts on my life.” http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/Jim-Vance-Opens-Up-About-His-Battle-With-Depression_Washington-DC-303846981.html
– It’s NEVER too late to birth your dreams and LIVE them. Hey, it was 2016 and I was 49 when I was serendipitously offered a spot as a producer and co-host on WPFW-FM’s Inside Out LGBT Radio show. 🎶Fairy tales can come true. It can happen for you. If you’re young at heart…🎶
– Life will knock you down, but it’s all about how you rise up from the pain with grace to be a blessing.
– Find those people, places, or things you love and allow them to bring joy to your life and you to theirs. I was in awe and inspired the first time I saw Jim riding a motorcycle all swagged out.
– You can be professional, intelligent, transparent, vulnerable, cool, and goofy all in the same space. That’s true freedom.
– The power of living life with love, joy, and grace. Jim did that to the very end as he battled cancer and was honored and recognized at the new mural unveiling on the wall of Ben’s Chili Bowl. https://youtu.be/DR6sumxGw84. Thank you Aniekan Udofia for the creative, beautiful and amazing gifts of art you continue to bless us, DC, and all the world with.
– Find a buddy(ies) and laugh, laugh, laugh.
My prayers go out to Doreen Gentzler and the rest of the NBC Washington news family and community at large who mourn the loss of Jim and his beautiful infectious spirit.
Check out more about the life of Jim along with the beautiful tributes from his news’ family. http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/News4-Anchor-Jim-Vance-Dies-at-75-436001373.html
Jim, Much love and peace to your spirit and soul. We love and appreciate you for your gift(s), love, and how you inspired. May you and George catch up over the news (so much to talk about), laughs, jazz, and cigars. You’re going to be one heck of a Gangsta Angel. Thank YOU! Love! Ase. #BeDoLove #FindYourZen #BirthAndLiveYourSOULfullPurpose #JimVance #NBCWashington
PS: Jim, My laughing buddy (Man, do I miss that from the gut laugh) and now Gangsta Angel Ron Davis’ birthday is today. He’s a smart, cool, and goofy dude like you. Give him a birthday hug and dap him up for me. Love!
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