Spirited debates won't happen anymore
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:00 PM
Jake Spoor represented so many things I disagreed with.
Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. This is an extra column that Timmons wanted to write and dedicate to Jake Spoor. You can reach Timmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He was one of the most liberal people I knew.
We did not see eye to eye on so many hot button issues, from gun control to health care to government's role in our day to day lives. He was as stubborn and obstinate, as frustrating, as the day is long.
Jake Spoor is dead today. Passed away a couple of days ago in his sleep.
I miss him already.
Jake came to town about 10 years ago and ran Campbell's on the corner of Washington and Main. He sold coffee, soft drinks and a bit of food. What he really sold was the early morning downtown place to be. Jake could often be found at one of the tables talking, debating, discussing or cussing whatever that day's topic was.
He and I shared a love of writing. Jake shared with me some articles he had penned many years ago. My favorite was a feature piece he did for an Indianapolis publication on the old Bank Cigar Shop. Jake didn't grow up here, but he visited Crawfordsville often in his youth and found the smoky front and backrooms of the establishment much to his liking. His narrative gave the reader insight on billiards, betting and characters.
Jake was also an entrepreneur at heart. He had a gleam in his eye when he talked about investing in downtown Crawfordsville. He talked about why investing in compressed natural gas was the next big thing. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Jake was a dreamer.
Jake invited me many times to what he said was his annual party. I always intended to go but didn't. Schedules, conflicts . . . life got in the way. I regret that now.
Jake lived for a while in Hawaii. It was clear the islands had an impact on his life, his outlook. Hard for me to say since I didn't know Jake before, but I imagine his time there mellowed him a bit. If that is accurate, I'm not at all sure I'd have wanted to have some of our philosophical disagreements prior to his stay there.
There was a lot for a conservative old guy like me to not like about Jake Spoor's opinions. But a man who can't be friends with someone who thinks differently than him is an idiot. We disagreed on much but Jake respected opinions that didn't line up with his own. He had a characteristic that is sadly disappearing in today's world. He could look beyond ideologies and take each person for who they were.
Communities need people who don't agree on everything but find accord in one area, their passion for that community. Jake often presented the other point of view and in so doing made the overall argument a little bit better, and thus the outcome as well. We need more Jake Spoors, not less. We need people with strong beliefs, who are willing to debate, to be aggressive and yet still be respectful of the other person's right to have a different take.
I'll miss our discussions. I'll miss his guest columns he penned for this paper. I'll miss the guy I disagreed with so much.
Like Jake used to say, aloha my friend.