Saturday, January 9, 2016

Goodbye, Spindly

His nickname was Spindly, and as nicknames go, it suited him. I came to know James Scott "Spindly" Wilson late in his eventful life, helping our mutual friend and attorney Philip Banks prosecute a personal injury claim on his behalf. The best part of the experience was coming to know Scott.

Growing up in the 1950's and 60's, especially in Bryan, Texas, must have been the cultural equivalent of the Planet Mars crashing down in the middle of it's downtown. The Pill. Vietnam. The Draft. This transcendent time was the world in which Scott and Phil grew into young men. Keeping your life between the ditches when you could be involuntarily shipped off to a war ravaged rice paddy half a world away tends to mess with your head.

For Scott it unfortunately led to addiction.

Scott's story, however, is not one of dissipation, it is one of redemption. His nickname may have been apt description of his physical stature, but in no way described him. The man was fearless. I saw this in the dogged pursuit of the litigation he honored me with being a part of.

I also heard it in the stories Phil told. Phil Banks is a raconteur of the first order. My favorite about Scott came while we prepped for trial. In Phil's yarn he tells of he and Scott eating in some long forgotten Mexican food restaurant in Bryan as teenagers. Seated across the restaurant was the Texas A&M offensive line. The leader of the group, as Phil tells it, was being obnoxious and loud. Scott, with Phil shuddering, got up, walked across the restaurant an told this very large man-child to  keep it down. Words ensued, but by Phil's reckoning, the football team backed down.

How could you not go to the mattresses for a guy like that?

His fearlessness helped Scott through recovery. Scott was well read, articulate and smart. When Phil posted about Scott's demise on his Facebook page, Micki Baudoin, a local probation officer and friend of Phil, Scott (and mine) posted:

Phil and I received a nice verdict for Scott. We were in the midst of collecting the verdict from an insurance company that has continued, wrongfully, in my opinion, to withhold paying the judgement when Scott passed yesterday, Friday January 8, 2016.

That insurance company's day of reckoning is coming. Scott "Spindly" Wilson fought the good fight to the end. We shall too.

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