Jim Fielder was one of the first clerks we worked with when Doxpop was just getting started. We couldn't have had a better introduction to the hardworking and kind people who choose a life of service in county government.
In the past 11 years, no visit to Monroe County has been complete without a visit to Jim's office, either as Clerk, or later, as Recorder. It didn't matter whether we actually had any business to conduct- We would go see him for the selfish reason that he would always make the day better. If we went into his office feeling cynical about government, we would leave feeling hopeful and reminded that no matter what mischief the national politicians have been up to, the folks who work quietly in the county courthouses keep the services we really need working.
The poet Kenneth Rexroth could have had Jim Fielder in mind when he wrote "The mature man lives quietly, does good privately, assumes personal responsibility for his actions, treats others with friendliness and courtesy, finds mischief boring and keeps out of it. Without this hidden conspiracy of good will, society would not endure an hour."
Anyone who has seen Jim's impish smile knows he was part of the conspiracy of good will.
I don't know how long they'll leave the picture up, but this image from the Herald Times captures his spirit well.
It's also worth taking a moment to read this remembrance from Rachel Bunn at the Herald Times. When I went looking for the picture link above, it was comforting to find several articles like this one, eulogizing Jim as a courageous and honest public servant.
All we have to do is be the person we say we are - No need to shop for a better you, or to work overtime to make bigger promises. Keeping the promises we've already made is sufficient.
3 hours ago