Wednesday, February 28, 2007 true!

I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When sorrow walked with me.

-Robert Browning Hamilton

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Jamin I Loved - Part I

Below are some pictures (all taken within the last four years) of some fun moments with Jamin that were captured by camera. I am so thankful for these images now because his crazy faces and exuberance for practically anything will always make me smile.

Ha, ha . . . I don't even know how to explain this picture. The only thing that can make it more funny is knowing that this was taken in the "middle of nowhere" Wyoming.
"Life's Little Book of Instructions" a gift via a matching plaid dad was obviously something that Jamin got a little bit more excited about than the rest of us.
Jamin scanning the "wild blue yonder" - always one to look forward and never back
One of my all time favorites! Jamin, while waterskiing discovered that the string holding his swimsuit up had broken and consequently had to let go of the line and climb back in the boat with one hand holding up his swimming trunks. All of us on shore wondered what was going on. When the boat pulled back up to the dock Jamin stepped out on the dock looking like this . . . . with a giant piece of yellow rope now tied around his waist. He was pretty proud of his ingenuity in a "crisis situation" as he called it, and gladly modeled it for me to take this shot.

Adams House Blocking Group

The following was submitted by Sara Lewis, a friend and fellow Adams house mate during his time at Harvard:

I was part of J.B.'s blocking group at Harvard, I knew him only very little when we decided to block as part of one big group with all the folks from Gray's and me and my one roommate from Canaday (a dorm across the yard). From the second I met J.B. I thought he was one of the nicest, easiest people to get to know, and while I may have been nervous I would get along with some of the other people I had faith that J.B. would be probably the most accepting person in the blocking group. As the years went on and we lived in Adams together, I had a meal with J.B. here and there and always enjoyed his company, and he occasionally challenged my beliefs, because he was so strong and sure in his, and I always appreciated the fact he made me think about exactly what I stood for. To me J.B. was always one of the kindest, most confident and modest persons I have met in my life, and I am honored he was a part of it.

I have trouble imagining a world without J.B., he was an incredible person.

JBs Yogurt

I know its not a shock for many of you to hear that J.B. was a perfectionist. But it may be a shock that J.B. even brought perfection to the table during meals. See whenever we had a meal that included yogurt it was always an experience. It was usually at breakfast when we saw this magnificent feat of perfection. J.B. would grab a bottle of yogurt and would scoot his chair back a little bit from the table. He would then take a deep breath and shake the yogurt vigorously in his hand off to the side of his chair. He would continue shaking it until he was either tired or felt it had been shaken sufficiently. To me it seemed like it was an excess amount when he would shake it that much because I could shake it one or twice and it would be fine. He just had to have it the "perfect consistency" as he would put it. At times it would be very annoying to us especially me in the mornings since I am not much of a morning person some days. My parents would often ask him to stop but it ended up making us all laugh because the way he did it was hilarious. I can still picture him doing that and now as a joke I do it sometimes just to remind myself and my family about how funny he was when it came to his perfectionism.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Outstanding Sir!

The following was submitted to us by Carlos Pinedo, 2Lt, USAF who was a fellow ROTC cadet at MIT during Jamin's years in college:

J.B. was an "outstanding" person. Now when I say "outstanding," I don't just mean because of all the excellent things he did, but also because he said "outstanding" a lot.

At MIT, ROTC class always started around 6am on Monday mornings. Now out in the real world that's pretty early, but for college students that is an ungodly hour! To begin, the commanding officers would have us stand at attention for morning inspection. While passing down the line they would usually ask you how you were doing. The expected response "outstanding" was usually delivered more as a grumble than exclamation by most of the cadets. But no one, especially myself, felt outstanding that early on a Monday morning. However to our dismay, envy, etc., whenever the inspector got to J.B. you always knew because out of no where you would hear "OUTSTANDING! SIR!" I bring this up not showcase how lazy and unmotivated I or the rest of the squadron was in ROTC, as most of my friends can attest, but rather to show the dedication and joy that J.B. had for ROTC, the military, and anything else that challenged him in the least. He loved getting dirty, dropping and doing push ups, and was always getting yelled at for having a that smile of his spread across his face.

here was also another thing that J.B. did that I always admired. Even though I went to MIT and he Harvard, we would still run into each other all the time during ROTC, after class, or on weekends. When we did meet, J.B. never gave a simple hello, what's up, or the proverbial head nod. He would not only stop to greet you but would say your name, "Carlos, hey man, how's it going" Just that small thing of saying one's name, of acknowledging who they are, was so amazing. He did it because he genuinely cared about how things were going and genuinely cared for people.

All this comes back to two things. While in college I was expanding upon my own spirituality and learning what it means to be a Christian. From the gospels I learned two important things from the life of Jesus Christ. One was his great love for all, the other his willingness to serve. That's what J.B. did all the time. He loved everyone, and was always willing to help you out, or cheer you up. He never stopped showing that he cared. His also always carried with him a willingness to serve; his friends, family, or this country.

I have tried and failed many times to live up to Christ's example. But J.B. got closer to Christ's character than any other person I have known, closer than any of us could aspire to. We're gonna miss you J.B.!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Chef Jamin

Jamin couldn't have been more than 7 years old and I around 5. Everyone else in the house was asleep but somehow the two of us were up before the sun even was. I remember looking out of the doors in our dining room at the time and being so excited about what we were about to do.

The first step was the cardboard table . . . we set it up in the corner of the dining room with two chairs behind it. Then J.B. began unfolding his plan, directing me every step of the way. We emptied the cupboards of every breakfast food you could imagine. We had about 8 boxes of cereal out on the table, every kind of tea you could imagine, a gallon of milk, and probably even some foods that you wouldn't normally eat for breakfast. We were just finishing setting up shop when we heard the first footsteps coming down the hall "Get behind the table Molly," the whisper accompanied by a very hurried hand motion indicating the urgency of the action.

"What can I get you for breakfast sir? . . . " he went on to list every item that my Dad could already clearly see laid out on the table. And, so began a Saturday morning at the Wilson house.

As I am sure you know by now, Jamin loved to do things well and anything he couldn't do well he viewed as a challenge, most of which he gladly accepted. Cooking eventually fell into this category.

We were so fortuneate growing up to have an amazing mother who also happened to be a fantastic cook (and still is today)! She tried, whenever possible to have one of us help out in the kitchen. I think that J.B. was the only one who actually paid attention.

Although he learned the basics growing up it wasn't until J.B. was out on his own that he really began to become friends with the kitchen. As you may have read in either his Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe or Lasagna making adventure, Jamin would not settle for anything less than the best even if that meant the sacrifice of time. Always precise, Jamin would make sure that he had the perfect amounts of the necessary ingredients and would not stray from the instructions of the recipe book. But, he did have a point (as one friend recounted) "we have the directions here so if we just follow them we should come out with something good" and from what I understand he ususally did.

He is probably the only bachelor I have ever heard of that made lasagna from scratch just because he wanted to try, or would make cookies when he had the time only to give them away. Less than a month before his death Jamin conquered what I think most people consider to be the ultimate test of cooking capability . . . the Thanksgiving turkey. And as I understand it, he passed with flying colors.

I know that this is kind of a silly example but it is just one more reason why I admired my brother so much. He would take on something he had never done before and somehow or another still come out on top.

"J.B. what are you DOING?" . . . "Cook-ing mom"

He was so proud of the hat he even kept it on for the meal!

Kids night in the kitchen . . . and yes I did help (I just didn't want to wear the silly hat)

While the rest of us went for quantity, J.B. made sure that his job was done with quality (he did manage to peel the skin off in one long strand)

Jamin fixing us dinner in his German kitchen just a few months ago . . . more to come on this particular meal later

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Memories of a Green Beetle

The following was contributed by Vera Valentine, a friend and fellow counselor from Jamin's Camp Elim days in High School.

I met J.B. at Camp I think in 98', and am a couple of years younger than he was. I remember once, being so happy to get picked up by the shiny green beetle and ride safely (I do also remember feeling so safe with him at the wheel) up to camp for a training week I think. I don't remember much of that weekend except for that in a fairly rough game of "full contact" spoons,
J.B. managed to rip a hole through a new shirt of mine. We were both very surprised but I assured him not to worry, it was only a small hole and told him it could be repaired.

On the way home J.B. pulled off the highway to I think some castle rock outlets. I was not sure
what he was doing but soon figured out that he was determined to repair the "damage" he had done to the silly cotton shirt. He would not refuse taking me to choose another top to replace the one he had accidentally pulled. Once I figured I could not convince him to change his mind, I reluctantly went with him inside. We chose a sweater that I still wear today. I will not forget that gesture.

He probably never told you, but after leaving the store, we bumped into a well known receiver for the Denver Broncos. Poor J.B. had no idea who he was, but as a side note, I am a huge fan and will never forget that day. Meeting the bronco was just a bonus I guess.

I'm sure there are so many more meaningful stories than mine exemplifying his generosity and kindness, but I just wanted to let you know that I was glad to have known your son and thank you so much for raising such a wonderful young man.

Share Your Memories

This site has been created for friends, family, and co-workers of Jamin Wilson to share their memories, photos, and videos of this incredible man. Feel free to comment on any posts that have already been created. However, if you would like to be added as a contributor to this blog please send me an email at Please include your name and your relationship to Jamin so that I can add you to the list. This will allow you to upload text, photos, or videos whenever a memory comes to mind.