The loss of Jimbo Mason is a loss to fans of old time radio, and to fans of Vic and Sade.
I think i first came across Jimbo in doing searches for old time radio information. Mostly for podcasts to follow, but also in any kind of historical information i could turn up on the stars, and the shows they appeared in.
He had a podcast feed where he ttalked about the shows he liked. Lum and Abner was one, though he liked to gripe about their seeming lack of memory, and constantly getting into the same scrapes over again. Sorry Lum and Abner fans, whether its true or not, Jimbo’s enthusiasm shifted on to other things.
His attention was captivated by probably the most overlooked little show that ever was. Especially one in the realm of lasting for close to 20 years. That quirky show, amazingly written by one man, Paul Rhymer. I’m talking about Vic and Sade.
Jimbo obsessed over whatever project he had at hand, and shared his findings. While fascinated by the old gents in Pine Ridge, he started a dictionary of Lum and Abner speak, a project that i don’t think he finished. He interviewed people in the world of old time radio, and posted the emailed conversations on his OTR Buffet.
He contributed to the now almost non functioning Vic and Sade Yahoogroup. He started the Crazy World of Vic and Sade blog site, a focal point for his voluminous research on Vic and Sade. It was driven by his love for Vic and Sade that became the focus for all his online work, though I know he enjoyed other kinds of shows. It was all matters concerning Vic and Sade that kept him digging out new nuggets, starting new conversations, and sharing anything he could about the happenings in that little frame house, halfway up the next block.
He posted all the radio shows on his web site, complete with show notes with meticulous observations. He brought the characters to new life, and wasn’t afraid to tell what he didn’t like about the shows, characters in them, or how they related together. Jimbo was not a fan of the 30 minute format, or the annoying laugh of Dottie Brainfeeble. The new characters were a detriment for Jimbo. Somehow taking away from the charm and imagination of the show.
When Jimbo ran out of shows to podcast, he dug up radio listings, missing fragments of story arcs, articles from original radio guides, or any little scrap he could get his hands on about the show, actors, or on Paul Rhymer himself. He brought together authors, biographers, and fans who transcribed or otherwise kept the shows interest going.
One of his final projects was in bringing together a number of his online friends to introduce, and talk about his favorite show. His new, and final podcast is one that i am glad to have been able to contribute to. The result is a massive treasure on all things Vic and Sade. Anything imaginable about Vic and Sade. If it’s out there to know, it’s probably in Jimbo’s web site.
Getting back to my first conversation with Jimbo, it was in putting together a small round table discussion on Vic and Sade for my podcast. It was so much fun, but at the time, it wasn’t the kind of direction Jimbo wanted to go. Even then he had been battling health problems for some time. I don’t think he liked his own voice as being the authority in presenting Vic and Sade to the world.
It was such a priveledge just to talk with him for those moments.
I was never able to meet Jimbo in person, or get to know who he was in personal life. I would have loved that. I only know that he lived in Georgia, was married at one time, virtually homeless at one time, and suffered from some serious health problems.
Despite my lack of a face to face connection, I would do any thing Jimbo asked in our common love for Vic and Sade in particular and old time radio in general. I always looked forward to helping him out in his endeavors.
Jimbo’s vast archive of research lives on in the form of his many web site treasures, and having
as much information in one place as possible for finally come to an end. Truly a treasure trove for future generations to come and discover.
I know I’ll always enjoy Jimbo’s passion for this little radio show, and the web site he built around it.