- Don't have much of an update beyond what has already been posted on facebook.
For those who have not seen that update:
Yesterday, after a day of relatively heavy snow, Jim Radloff was working his snow blower at his home just south of Eau Claire, WI. Something led to something else which led to the mangling of his center three digits on his right hand. He is left with a thumb and a small finger, but at last report was going to have to lose the other three.
Jim has been a champion of ragtime songs and keeping the sing-along paradigm alive for decades. He is always fun, always ready to go, and also a great friend of the ragtime community for his formation of the Chippewa Valley Ragtime Society and the annual Eau Claire Ragtime Fesitval each January. This is one of the only fund-raising festivals of its kind currently in operation, and in its second decade.
While Jim has retired from his leadership of this event (Dave Majchrzak is currently music director) he still plays an important role in this event, as well as his appearances in Peoria, Sedalia, and elsewhere. Where ragtime and good times lurk, there is Jim.
We obviously do not know what the future for him is now. He can still sing, but will obviously be limited in what he can do melodically. It will be a challenging time for him over the next year or more.
Having nearly lost the facility of my left arm a decade ago, and struggling to get it back in spite of a major surgery, I can empathize with him to some extent. The loss of digits is more extreme, and the mental toll of having something you have such a passion about removed from your immediate periphery has to be devastating.
At this point we can keep Jim in our thoughts and prayers. If you have not friended me or Bryan Wright or Brent Watkins or Martin Spitznagel on facebook, you can do so to receive more updates as this process continues.
If we get the permission to do so from Jim's family we can mass email his address and web information to all on this list (not posting on the site). He will need and enjoy encouragement and love from his fellow musicians and fans and colleagues.
Face it - for those of us who play, especially for income but also for pure pleasure, this is the worst case scenario. In fact, for me, the removal of a hand might be less frustrating than being left with part of one. Sort of like low-calorie chocolate. I'd rather have none than to have to suffer through something less than the real deal. Jim will survive this, but it also takes a piece out of many of us as well.
Comments and well wishes posted here or sent to me on facebook or at perfbill at hotmail dt com will be forwarded to the Radloff family.
Humbly, Bill Edwards
- Turns out that Jim was part of a sad crowd yesterday, as this Eau Claire Leader article states:
- Current status this evening is...
well, unclear. He may or may not have lost the middle three fingers above the knuckles. That was the original indication, but there may have been some surgical miracles that have brought on a better outcome.
Tomorrow should yield another more accurate update. In any case, it will be months of recovery, both mental and physical. Now I'm not allowed to use our snowblower, but since we don't own one I'm OK, I s'pose.