Saturday, April 21, 2007

Jamie Bishop

One of the slain in the Virginia Tech massacre this week was teacher and artist Christopher James "Jamie" Bishop, son of our friends Michael and Jeri Bishop, who was teaching a German class when he died.

His colleagues have set up a scholarship in his name for Virginia Tech students studying German. "Anyone who wishes to do something in memory of our son," Michael writes, "could give any amount to this fund." The address is:
Jamie Bishop Scholarship
Virginia Tech Foundation
University Development
902 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, Va. 24061
Already there have been standing-room-only memorial services for Jamie at home in Georgia -- one at LaGrange College, where Michael has taught for years, and one at the family's church, First United Methodist in Pine Mountain. Funeral arrangements in Georgia will be posted by the church as they are known.

The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Ga., covered the church memorial service, at which the pastor read aloud the sermon that Jamie himself had written and delivered from the pulpit as a teenager in 1989, on "one of those Sundays a pastor turns his pulpit over to a teenager," in reporter Richard Hyatt's words. The excerpts Hyatt quoted were:
Be alert. Death comes without warning, any day, any time. ... Never give up. Don't think of turning back.
Of the many profiles of Jamie that have been published this week, one of the best was in Tech's excellent local paper, The Roanoke Times. The one in the Los Angeles Times was the first I saw. Here's the one in Time. NPR has done a couple of segments on Jamie as well.

Paul Di Filippo has posted an excerpt from Michael Bishop's essay "A Reverie for Mister Ray," about the experience of reading Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine aloud to Jamie, who then was 9:
I especially admired Jamie's outrage and indignation when three children in the first third of the novel tell seventy-two-year-old Helen Bentley that she was never young, never pretty, never blessed with a first name. Jamie could not comprehend these children's stupidity and rudeness ...
Here's more of Jamie in his own words and images, at his website.

1 comment:

Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Thanks for posting all these links, Andy. Jamie was a good friend, and I'm going to miss him terribly. I wrote a tribute that I hope does some justice to his life.