Home Mens wear Those were the days: Jim Brown

Those were the days: Jim Brown

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By Gary Griffin

We’ve all heard the saying, “He never met a stranger!” Jim Brown was one of those who really fit this category. When I read his obituary in the Pampa News the other day, it brought back fond memories of knowing Jim. In 1963, my family and I moved back to our hometown of Pampas to start coaching Harvester Basketball with coach Terry Culley. Growing up in Pampa, I bought all my clothes from Ed Mize’s Friendly Menswear. Since they no longer existed, I started buying things from the new store, Brown-Freeman Men’s Wear. These two guys were very friendly to anyone who walked into the Cuyler Street store.

I will never forget Jim’s introduction when I walked into his store. When I walked through the front door he came over to me and his first words were, “Size 46 extra long, pants 36 at the waist and 36″ inseam, and I guess size 13 in a shoe!” Well sir, I was really impressed because he hit the nail on the head. He continued, “I’m Jim Brown; welcome to my store. How can I help you?”

This started a unique relationship with Mr. Brown! I say unique because he always had something special to keep a customer’s attention, make you laugh and enjoy your day. He was a scholar on just about any subject you were talking about. My wife and I were guests at Jim and Betty’s on Mary Ellen Street. There were books everywhere. They both liked to read. He was also a connoisseur of fine wines and I received training in how grapes were grown and made into wine. He loved the New Mexico, Santa Fe, and Taos areas, and they had a collection of Indian artifacts, especially Indian pottery.

Jim was also heavily involved with many civic clubs, the Red Cross and especially the First Presbyterian Church. Jim truly loved people, life and his country. Being around him rubbed off his enthusiasm on everyone he met. Jim Brown has certainly had an effect as a mentor on my life.

As Christ teaches in the scriptures, we are to (/love your neighbor as yourself,” and Jim was that kind of person. With a glass of wine raised, Jim always said, “Yours, my friend!