Many fond memories of Club's Jim Mooney
To the editor:
I am writing in response to the sad news that Jim Mooney, long-time director of the Boys & Girls Club of Pittsfield, has passed away.
The club was Mr. Mooney's vocation for many decades, but it was more than that. My initial experience with Jim began as a 5-year-old kid who didn't know a basketball from a grapefruit. He suggested I join the Police Athletic League for boys. The local police coached and refereed the league so we always knew who was in charge! I was scared at first about the game and life itself until Jim showed interest in me and offered plenty of encouragement. I saw how much he cared about guiding young people through life's challenges.
I want to share one small story of his empathy for those who were less fortunate. I entered the Boys Club one night in January when the weather was frigid. As Jim saw I was freezing he said to go with him downstairs. There I saw a huge "lost and found" box. He insisted I pick out a pair of gloves and a hat for my walk home later that night. In those 1960 days you walked everywhere.
He told me that I only had to behave and that would be enough payment. I was 10-years-old and I never forgot his compassion. There are so many similar stories I could tell about Jim. Those who knew him felt fortunate.
My relationship with Jim listed more than 50 years. Even as an adult he was there with advice and consolation, and never once said that he didn't have the time.
Jim Mooney was the best Boys & Girls Club director who ever lived. May God bless him.