Well, here’s another head-scratcher-goosebumper for you. 

In December of 2011, Courtney Day, a friend of Jimmy’s from Torrey Pines High School, reached out to me through Write Me Something Beautiful with an amazing story involving her and her new roommate, JJ, in Los Angeles.   The depth of the synchronicity required for these two women, in a metro area of over ten million, in coming together and discovering the things they shared in common is simply mind-blowing.  Yes, Jimmy, once again, is at the center of it all.

Read Courtney’s story first

I shared Courtney’s story on WMSB in early 2012. It’s short.  Here’s the link.

Fast forward November 2023

Dave Case is my cousin and we share a lot in common.   We have the same birthday, January 13, although he’s 9 years my junior.  We both attended USC and once loved SC football.    He has a son, Ryan, who’s married to a Brittney, and our Brittany is married to a Ryan.  We love family Thanksgiving football games, costumes and having our pictures taken.

Casey and Cousin Dave sporting our football ‘uniforms’

A week before Thanksgiving, Dave called to lament we wouldn’t be joining the family out in Palm Desert for the holiday.   My gimpy neck has hobbled me once again and I’ll be getting more surgery on December 15.  More on that later.

But Dave really called to share a story involving his son, Ryan.  Dave said, “I know you guys have had a lot of weird stuff happen that really can’t be explained, so I knew it would be OK to share this with you.”  Understatement.

Ryan and his young family live in San Clemente, and in early November Ryan went into their garage to look for something stored in one of several boxes on head-level shelves.  

Dave said, “As Ryan pulled one of the boxes off the shelf, a folded piece of paper fell out onto the garage floor. Ryan picked it up and was stunned.” Ryan told his Dad,

“It was the program from Jimmy’s memorial service in La Jolla.  It kind of freaked me out. Of all the papers that are kept in those boxes, why did this one fall out?   And it was the only one. I don’t think I’ve seen it since the day of his funeral.”

Ryan told Dave when he looked at the dates on the front of the program below the photo of Jimmy, that’s when the hair on the back of his head stood up.

November 8 was the day The Program fell out of the box. 

November 8 was Jimmy’s 40th birthday.  

Ryan Case with Jimmy’s Program
Ryan, Dave and Kennedy Case

November 8 also happened to be the 15th anniversary of the arrival in my hands, thanks to Emily Sue Buckberry, of The Letter from my father written in June of 1968, when I was working in Coalwood, WV.  The letter, my father’s loving words of advice, landing on Jimmy’s 25th birthday in 2008 changed my life.

My father’s closing words remain prescient and powerful.

“I’ll be around, anytime you want me, I’ll be there—because I care more than you’ll ever know-my son.  All love, Dad”

Jimmy is definitely around, making sure we remember him and his birthday.

And so am I.   It works both ways, you know.

May the holidays and New Year bring you peace, good health and joy.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

From The Blog

Read the Blog

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.

Featured Stories

See All The Stories