Last Request

Melissa Byrns

Over the past 6 months I had moments with Jimmy that I will cherish forever. Though at times he expressed great sadness, he said he was not afraid of death. Jimmy was always teaching me something – how to correctly chop vegetables during our weekly cooking lessons, how to navigate the Chicago street grid system after I moved here and, of course, how to view what’s going on in the world with a more critical eye.

A couple weeks ago Jimmy said, Melissa, I need you to do me a favor.” Jimmy had not asked me to do one thing for him during his illness, so I knew he was serious. He told me to ask my friends to buy the paperback edition of The Long Detour. I said, Do you want to educate as many people as possible before you die?” With a grin, he said he knew most of my friends probably wouldn’t read the book, but that they should.

He then explained that if enough books were sold, then a third edition would be printed. He said that having his ideas around after he is gone was important to him and that a third printing would help accomplish this. I e‑mailed all my friends and 30 of them e‑mailed back and said they had bought the book.

So I am asking you, readers of In These Times, to keep The Long Detour in print and buy a new paperback copy. To read more about the book, and to order it, check out Jimmy’s Web site at http://​www​.jameswe​in​stein​.com.

Melissa Byrns, James Weinstein’s stepdaughter, lives in Chicago.
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