Erik Shepner walked to the podium on the stage of the Mandeville Auditorium at the University of California San Diego campus and spoke to over one thousand mourners assembled for our son Jimmy’s memorial service on August 15, 2008. Jimmy, only 24 years old, was accidentally struck and killed by an automobile walking home from a friend’s house.
Erik said, “ I used to dream, literally dream, that one day I would have the chance to get on a stage and sing Jimmy’s praises. It’s unfortunate that it is a setting like this, but it is one of the greatest honors of my life. The last time I saw Jimmy was a couple of months ago at Roberto’s in Solana Beach. We had a great talk and he seemed really well…he was just on it. And his parting words as we were leaving, the last thing he said was “Shep. Write me something beautiful. I want you to write something beautiful and send it to me.” And I said “Yeah, Jim. I will”. I didn’t get the chance until now. So I wrote something which I hope is beautiful.”
At Jimmy’s behest, Erik had indeed written something extraordinarily beautiful. To Jimmy, From Erik That’s what Jimmy does—he inspires people—and he is the inspiration for Write Me Something Beautiful. To Jimmy, From Ryan
It is with infinite pride and gratitude that we carry his torch and dedicate Write Me Something Beautiful to the everlasting memory of its founding member and creative genius, our beloved son and brother, James (Jimmy) Tedrow Gauntt.
We also dedicate Write Me Something Beautiful in loving memory of Jimmy’s grandfathers, Grover Cleveland Gauntt, Jr. (1919-1970) and James Woodhouse Tedrow (1921-2011), who now, together with their grandson, bound up the hill.
Casey, Hilary, Brittany and Ryan