Tuesday, September 30, 2008


"The look of wild happiness in his eyes was amazing. Many people live their whole lives without that look. The best people in our lives never last long enough, but we have to be grateful for each moment that they get under our skins and in our souls" unknown email from one of Papa Squat's trail buddies

"Papa and I drank beers and dreamed about climbing Mt. Ranier in Washington sometime" He was part mischief and part mentor to me. And I loved him. When I hike the PCT I'm going to have Papa in my heart. And in life, when I start taking myself too seriously I'm going to think, What would Papa do?" Krispie

"one helluva hiker with two tours of the A.T. under his belt and prospects of the PCT in 2004, how can I even begin to think about the pct without him...see ya in hiker heaven brother!" Greenman

"Papa was a ray of sunshine whenever you ran into him and he always made me feel good about myself." Birdman

"I consider myself very lucky to have known Papa and to have had him as a friend. Papa wrote the most beautiful letters, and he truly cared for his friends in a way that few people do."

James Franklin LeCroy, Jr. - September 30, 1961 - November 27, 2003 Thinking about ya bro!
also know as Papa Squat - a name given to him on his first trek of the AT (Appalachian Trail)
To me, he was my little brother Jimmy (I am the only one on the planet that called him that!) Everyone else called him James. James worked as a kayak instructor/guide for a brief time.The "lemon squeezer" on the Appalachian Trail. "Papa Squat" had been on the trail awhile and lost some weight thus being able to squeeze thru.

SUCCESS! Completion of the Appalachian Trail (1st time) from Springer, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. James felt most alive when he was on a trail somewhere! He was so funny and entertaining and everyone loved him! We miss you James! Happy Birthday in Hiker Heaven!


Anonymous said...

Well written! I miss Uncle Jimmy daily...I still cant call him James!

DIVA said...

What a wonderful tribute to your brother. I know how you, Michelle, and Heather adored him. I had met him several times and observed his joie de vivre. I know you plan to make a trip to the AT yourself. May you be comforted with the beautiful memories of growing up with such a kind spirit!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute. It's obvious from the emails and comments of his friends that your brother was much loved and respected.

Anonymous said...

wow...your brother seemed to live many lifetimes in the short one he was given. the pictures and tribute are lovely...

*hugs* to you.

persistentillusion said...

O. M. G. The LEMON SQUEEZE. wow.

This is a beautiful post and I can just feel your own love of nature in it.

Rosezilla said...

I'm so sorry you lost your little brother. I have a "little" brother (38 years old and 6' 4" little!) so I know how special they are. Yours sounds like he fully lived every day he had, though.

Anonymous said...

Your brother didn't miss a moment here, that's for sure. I wish I had half the energy that he displays in these photos! I can see that joy and zest for living runs deep in your veins - as do love and kindness. Speaking of which, Connie I wore your GORGEOUS scarf 2 days ago, for the very first time. I can't tell you how many compliments I got on it. People were RAVING. One guy even stopped me on the street. Thank you, Thank you for your gift of friendship. xoxo

PS: Snotrocket. You know that's a name I won't soon forget.

Connie said...

Thanks to each of you for all your lovely comments. Jimmy was an inspiration to me and I intend to get to Mt. Ranier next year and hike some of it myself! Anyone want to come along?

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Connie, this was a beautiful tribute. Your brother sounds like an amazing person, with a great zest for life.

Thanks for your comment about my scarf project. I would love to know more about the chemotherapy caps. If you could email me or leave me a comment sometime, I'd appreciate it.