Saturday, February 17, 2007

Everett Martin Sims
June 27, 1920 -- February 18, 2002
My partner for 24 years.

With an age difference of 37 years between us,
you could say there was asymmetry in the power dynamics.
But that was OK. I always treated him fairly,
and rarely lorded over him.

Before I knew him, he flew bombing missions over Germany as a radar counter-measures technician, and won the Air Medal and the Croix de Gare. He was recalled in the Korean "conflict," but resigned his commission instead, and never spoke of it again.

He could have married big bucks and been set, but then he wouldn't have been very real.

Instead, after the war he went to Harvard on the G.I. Bill, where he was student assistant to F.O. Matthiessen, who jumped off the twelfth-floor ledge of the Hotel Manger in Boston at age 48, in despair over the Cold War and the death of his lover, Russell Cheney, the painter. I'm glad Ev's name isn't forever inextricably mixed with the name of a hotel in Boston.

He was senior Vice-President and Director of College Publishing at Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich-- years I was a test, but he was a trooper, and I turned out to be the best investment he ever made.

We got to go full circle. I took care of him for some sick years, like he had helped me. He is my link to a time when morality was expected of a gentleman, if not a capitalist.

After he died, I went to Town Hall to get copies of his death certificate. At first I was denied access to the "semi-public" document because I couldn't prove a relationship. But then it was noted that I was the informant--had provided the information within the document--and was granted permission.

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