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Sunday, January 19, 2014

James Salter, A Man You Probably Never Knew but Should Have

I was shocked yesterday when I learned of the passing of James M. Salter II, who passed away on January 6, 2014 at the age of 80.  You probably didn't know Jim, but I was fortunate to have known him, even if only for a very short time.

Jim was working for a period of time on issues regarding the welfare of standardbred horses, in particular those whose racing careers had concluded and were at risk of slaughter.  He was working on a film project on standardbreds with someone within the industry.  As a result of their partnership, he became aware of my writings on this subject and he contacted me to exchange ideas and opinions as to what could be done.  We exchanged emails, passing articles we found to each other and talked a couple of times on the phone. We were going to get together for lunch one day when he was up in my neck of the woods but alas, the one time he was in my area, I was unavailable.

When I saw his obituary, I was shocked to learn Jim was 80 years old for his voice was a voice of vitality, a man full of life and enthusiasm.  He loved his work and he made it clear to you he enjoyed what he was doing.  Even when there were set backs, it never discouraged Jim as he vowed to continue on.

There are times people come into your life even for a brief time and they leave a lasting impression.  Jim was one of those individuals.  I am honored to have had him as a friend even if for the brief time it was.

My sympathies to Jim's family.  May his memory be a blessing to those who knew and loved him.

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