The Inspiration

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

The Dedication

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.

All love,

Casey, Hilary, Brittany and Ryan


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Author Bios

Write Me Something Beautiful Authors - Casey and Jimmy Gauntt

Casey Gauntt

is a retired attorney and former senior executive of a major San Diego real estate company. He lives in Solana Beach, California, with his wife, Hilary. Casey grew up in Itasca, Illinois, graduated Lake Park High School in 1968, and received B.S., JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

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Jimmy Gauntt

was born and raised in Solana Beach and graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2002.   A prestigious Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, he majored in English and Spanish. He authored six plays, five screenplays, and a multitude of poems and short stories. Beginning in 2010, the USC English Department annually bestows the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award—aka “The Jimmy”—to the top graduates in English.  Jimmy passed over to the other side in 2008 at age 24.

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