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Party Time

February 14, 2021
When he was in his prime, Jim was almost always recovering from a party, partying or planning a party. There was no lack ofgood times. So many memories.  This one is probably from 1982.

February 14, 2021
HJim   When eI will always Jim as the smiley, happy child

Somethings don’t change

February 15, 2019

Well here we are again in Australia. We lost you while here 7 years ago. We still come each year and miss you each year. What a friend we lost Jim Paine...

George and Andy

ps.  We tipped a cool one to you at the Missoula Club in September.

Hola, Jim

February 14, 2016

Clyde, I wish we could have sat together last night and watched the Republiclown Debate.  When Cruz and Rubio started arguing in Spanish about supporting deporting immigrants, I about lost it.  Miss you, amigo!

February 14, 2015
05 And When I Die

I still miss your sly giggles and humor-filled eyes, my friend.  On this day, my heart is not as full as it once was, but my memories of our times together make me smile.

Johnny B 

Memorial service--Lyons, Nebr.

February 13, 2013

Jim loved to visit cemeterys.  I think every trip I took with him, we always had to cruise through one.  He would speculate on where people came from, etc.  The Lyons cemetery was special to all of us.  Everytime he would go, he would stop at a grave and tell a story about that person, usually funny, and worth remembering.  I have visited Jim's grave often this year and can always hear his voice and some story.  The arrangement at the front of Jim's stone has a stone plaque which says.

" Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again."   

Brother Jim, by Randy Bacon

May 1, 2012

I first met Jim in 1958,
About the same year I met Fran.
His dimpled cheeks and friendly smile,
Would flatter any man.

He was very athletic, quite studious too,
And always ready to have some fun.
He'd help in the family hardware store,
With odd jobs that needed done.

Jim graduated from Lyons in 1965,
In spite of his parents worst fears.
And earned a Juris Doctorate from UNL,
From all his college years.

He spent one summer at our house,
His sophomore college year.
He enjoyed the collegiate campus life,
And the women, wine and cheer.

We hardly saw this college dude,
With all his vigor and pep.
His bed had seldom ever been used,
I guess he never slept.

I remember one night he did show up,
He was really out of sort.
The police gave him an MIP,
He had to go to court.

Jimmy was worried about the fine,
Didn't want his parents to know.
Some how we managed to work things out,
And came up with some dough.

Jimmy dated many a pretty girl,
When he was young and fit,
There was always another to replace the other,
They never seemed to quit.

He kept in touch with many old flames,
Later on in life.
He held respect for all of them,
Just never took a wife.

His work took him to Helena, Montana,
His colleague became his pal.
They bought a home and lived together,
Which raised many a brow.

His Dad said Jim would never marry,
He told me this one day.
With this new venture he was on,
He was sure he must be gay. 

We laughed and talked a little more,
We knew this wasn't true.
This was just a bachelor's dream,
And what they chose to do.

The day would come when one would marry,
The other couldn't take that step.
They sold their home and parted ways,
But their friendship, they always kept.

Jim took a job with Stoel & Rives,
Made Oregon his stompling ground.
He was with the firm nearly twenty years,
Till the economy started down.

He searched to find another job,
Throughout the great northwest.
And found one again in Montana,
The place that he loved best.

His job on earth is now complete,
God has a better place.
I'm sure there's no more legal disputes,
Or arguing some court case.

I'd bet he's up in heaven now,
Seated by the entryway.
Greeting people with his friendly smile,
When they come home to stay.

And if you get to the pearly gates,
And hear a voice that you might fear.
Just listen close and feel at ease,
It might say "Jim Paine here."

Birth Announcement

April 30, 2012

                              THE PAINE PRODUCTION CO.
                                           Lyons, Nebraska
                   MORRIS C. PAINE                          ANN PAINE
    Designer and Chief Engineer                     Production Manager
                  announces the arrival of the new 1947 PAINE
                              Model released June 11-2:37 p.m.
                                  Trade Name, JAMES CLYDE
              Two Lung Power, Free squealing, Scream Lined
            Shock Absorber on Rear,   Changeable Seat Covers
                                             Built for Action
                      Entire model weights 9 pounds 4 ounces
               Due to disagreement between Management and Labor,
                there will be no more models during the year of 1947

April 3, 2012

Jim and I went to law school together. Were roommates shortly after law school, mid-70s, Lincoln, Nebraska. He was an interesting roommate and good guy.

Little Cement Hispanic Dude

March 22, 2012

In 1979, my short-lived house partnership with Jim Paine came to an end. Needing a home, I bought a house in Sunhaven, a Helena subdivision.  Much to my chagrin, the sellers left me with a small, but very heavy, cement lawn ornament.  This was not a particularly great thing to inherit—it weighed a lot and was hardly a piece of art.


Over the years, the little guy moved around quite a bit.  It became a game, particularly after a night of drinking, to relocate him to someone else’s yard.  He spent a considerable time resting in the driver’s seat of a boat that Dennis and Bea Burr used infrequently.


When Sheila and I married in 1982, a large box was presented as a gift at our wedding reception.  It was a very heavy box.  Jim had been so thoughtful as to return him to us.


After awhile, we lost track of the ornament.  We lived in Denver and Atlanta, and I hadn’t thought about it in many years.  About six months ago, I looked in my backyard and had a strange sensation that I was looking at something from the past.  There was the Little Hispanic Dude.  I immediately called Mr. Paine, virtually certain that he was responsible.  While he first denied it, he later explained that he had been in touch with an old girlfriend, who told him that the ornament had spent several decades in her backyard.  She was ready for it to find a new home.  Jim and Greg Petesch (mostly Greg) wrestled him into place in our planter, where he sits today.


The Best Breakfast In Town

March 17, 2012

It has taken many weeks for the tears to clear enough for me to type a memory of Uncle Jim.  As we all know that anytime that was spent with Jim the potential to make a memory was there. There are too many to share at this time but this is one of my favorites.

Back in the 70s, when we were little kids we lived in Billings, Montana and Uncle Jim lived in Helena, MT. We (myself; my parents: Ken and Kay; and my sisters: Kimberly and Kristi) went on a road trip to visit Jim. We arrived late and the adults stayed up to ‘catch up’ on things much after the three of us girls went to bed. In the morning, we were starving but Uncle Jim was up to cook us the best breakfast in town.  Boy were we excited to see Jim in action in the kitchen. He was cooking eggs and bacon, one plate at a time. It was noticeable that as he prepared each plate the eggs looked more and more edible. Being the bachelor that he was, he did not have many dishes and definitely no matching dishes. I was in charge of setting the table and being the efficient table setter I had been trained to be, I noticed that we did not have plates. Uncle Jim said no problem. He sent me and my sister upstairs to collect the ashtrays from the coffee table. I assumed we were sent up to get these to help clean up and more importantly to get out of his hair in the kitchen. We retrieved three big square glass ashtrays. Boy was I mistaken!  He promptly cleaned the ashtrays and served the remaining breakfasts he had prepared on these ashtrays. I remember him commenting that he liked those ashtrays the best because they were multi-use. We often joked that when Jim cooked, the best looking breakfast was served last after he got warmed up in the kitchen but the best plates were used first. That way it was fair because everyone had something that was the best.

I must say that during my last visit with Uncle Jim last summer I was very impressed with his gourmet cooking. We shared a love for Cajun and Creole food and Music.  He cooked many delicious dishes from the Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine…..and he served them on all matching plates.

"Politically Incorrect"

March 5, 2012

Knowing "Clyde" was like living a perpetual stream of great memories and stories. We shared small-town Nebraska roots and I always felt a special bond with Jim. That, however, was one of his many gifts. Nealry everyone he met on his life's journey felt a special bond with Jim. He was able to connect with people and had the ability to stay connected.
     One of the ways that Jim stayed in contact with LaDonna and I was through his music. We would receive a packet of CD's in the mail every-once in-a-while. Jim would title these CD's based upon his state-of-mind at the time he was recording and the genre of the moment. One of his CD"s has made "Clyde" a cult hero, of sorts, here in Harrisburg, PA ---- "Politically Incorrect." It is a mixed collection with several of the recordings performed by  "Kinky Friedman and The Texas Jew Boys." When the evening gets late and we and our guests are ready to really be entertained, it is time to tell them about my friend from Montana and introduce them to some great sing-a-long, foot-stomping, "Politically Incorrect" tunes.
     Jim's memory will live on in many ways, but I am so happy some of his spirit lives in his music and I will be able to celebrate his life and share it with others.
     Jim was a terrific friend and I will miss him greatly, and remember him always.
Terry King

A bottle of Chivas

March 3, 2012

In the late 70's my then girlfriend, and now ex-wife Mary Jo, and I took a drive to Montana from Nebraska one summer for a visit with Jim in Helena.  At some point we travelled up to Kalispell to meet up with some other of his friends, staying at some cowboy themed motel.  For a diversion, Clyde, Mary Jo and I headed up to Flathead Lake for some fun in the sun. 

We were able to commandeer a floating dock out on the lake and spent most of the time making fun of all the people "rec-reating" with their water toys.  When it was time to leave, we packed up in Jim's car and started back to Kalispell.  Being neat and organized as Jim was, we stopped at a gas station to get a few things, and clean out the car.  Having done a little of this and a little of that, we hit the road with a couple of iced cups to use for some road pops.  Several miles from the lake, Jim asked me to get the sack with the bottle of Chivas that he had bought earlier, and pour us a couple.  We looked around the car floor and seats and couldn't find the sack.

I remember looking at Clyde and him looking back to me and both of us realizing the same thing.  Jim burned a uey and we raced back to the gas station and the dumpster.  We both jumped out and opened the lid to the trash bin where Jim reached down to grab the bag.  Our bottle of Chivas. 

As we drove down the road sipping our scotches, we all roared at the notion that had we not retrieved that bottle, some wino may have been dumpster diving and hit the jackpot!

"Our care should not be to have lived long as to have lived enough". Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Jimmy Clyde, you lived enough.  My life is fuller and sweeter because of you.  I miss you.

Johnny B

Before Cell Phones

February 29, 2012

One friday in the late 70s, Jim had a hearing in Kalispell.  A number of us arranged to pick up a load of folks in Great Falls and Cut Bank, then drive across the mountains to meet Jim around 6 p.m., before going on to a cabin in Glacier Park.  But it didnt work out so well.  An Amtrak derailment near East Glacier closed the road until late evening.  By the time we reached Jim at the Martin City bar around 11:00, he was penniless, could barely stand and knew everyone in the bar.  We poured him into the van and got on with our lost weekend.  Jim had gotten by on his charm when ATMs and cellphones hadn't yet been invented.  He was resilient that way.

George Hess

February 29, 2012

One of the few pictures Jim kept in his office was this picture of George Hess.  George was a consulting engineer from Minneapolis who had worked for many years with the Montana PSC and the Montana Consumer Counsel.  He was extremely well-regarded by both regulators and regulated companies for the depth of his knowledge and for his absolute integrity, and he was glad to share his wealth of knowledge with young regulatory staff members who were interested in learning.  George shared with many regulators a love for post-hearing discussions in taverns and dining establishments that went late into the night.  For all these reasons, Jim held him in special regard.

Jim's pal Sal

February 28, 2012

Jim and I were both refugees of a sort from Nebraska.  One way or another, we left the flat prairie and found ourselves in Montana, and we each found great friends here, including each other.  In thinking about him constantly this past week, I realized that I can't remember Jim ever calling me Sally.  He always called me "Sal".  I really loved that.

Jimmy loved the great outdoors. Greg and I were lucky enough to take a trip to Yellowstone with him last October.  We saw grizzly bears and geysers, ate great food, drank beer and whiskey and gin, and had so much fun.  Jim was really excited to see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and the falls again—he said he had not been to that spot for about 20 years.  He got such a kick out of spotting herds of elk and bison and seeing the beauty of the park.

Jim spent many a lazy (or was that crazy or somewhat hazy?) weekend at Greg's cabin along the Rocky Mountain Front and enjoyed entertaining his out-of-town friends there too. A couple of years ago on a perfect summer afternoon, we cracked open ice cold beers on the gravel road to the cabin  The sky was cloudless, and the mountainsides were lush green with incredible blankets of wildflowers.  We rolled down the windows and opened the sunroof and sucked in the fresh mountain air.  We had seen a few deer and lots of bluebirds flitting from fencepost to fencepost (and an owl, which on further inspection, turned out to be a wad of branches in a tree--lots of laughs about that one), and we were listening to great music on satellite radio.  As we rounded a bend in the road, an incredibly strong feeling suddenly swept over me.  Jim and Greg really laughed at me when I blurted out with delight "I just felt a moment of total peace and contentment!"  It was true!  How often do any of us get to feel that feeling--being in just the right place at just the right time with just the right people and having all of your worries and cares disappear?  Jimmy was such a special part of my world.  He always fit perfectly. He was so easy to love, and I will hold that love for him in my heart forever. One of the best things in my life has been the honor and delight of being Jim's pal Sal.


Email from Celia Farlan in Arizona

February 27, 2012

My heavy heart joins those gathered in sadness of Jim's untimely death.

I send sincere sympathy to Mary Fran and to all of Jim's friends.

I respected and admired Jim as my boss at the Consumer Counsel, I treasured Jim as a friend, and I am proud and lucky to have known this gentle and good man.   

Allen Buckalew Email

February 27, 2012

This is an email Allen Buckalew sent prior to the memorial:

I would have said that Jim will live with me forever.  We talked after my last adventure to the other-side, and we agreed that we will always be here.

Native American Prayer

I give you this one thought to keep-
I am with you still- I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning's hush I am the swift,
uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not thing of me as gone-
I am with you still- in each new dawn.              


February 26, 2012

Four years now, meeting Jim and Lloyd in Missoula on the first night of our annual trek to NYC.  Cowboy stories, Paine stories, lots of beers and laughs. Jim always the glue.  Dinner, then the transfer of the Galloway peaches to Mr. Paine's possession...oh that first sniff and then the wide open smile as the waft of the ripe peach smell hit his perennial stuffed nose.  He shared those treasures with all his friends in Helena....what a friend, he put us all to shame.

Jim's Grin - Smile

February 25, 2012

As you can see in the picture posted - Jim could win anyone over with that big smile - even at three years old in this 1950 picture. He is with his sister, Mary Fran and his brother Ken here.  He and Ken are up there having a Ball now.  They also had a younger brother, Johnnie, who they lost at the age of 2.

I was living on the East Coast and one day I walked into the Nursing Home in Lyons, NE and all the residents were sitting with their back to me watching T.V. and someone said (without turning around) "Hello Marilyn"!  I thought WOW these elderly people are really sharp today.  I looked to see who it was - it was Jim sitting there with his Mom.  He then turned around with a BIG GRIN - I had not seen him for a long time.  No, Jim never changed - he always made you smile. 

Jimmy Clyde Paine as remembered by Mary Jo Pane

February 24, 2012

When I got the call that Jim had died I went on a trip down memory lane, there are so many and I have edited them both for the number of them and some other more obvious reasons. I met Jim about 35 years ago through an ex boyfriend, I luckily got custody of Jim in that breakup. This was my first really significant grown up relationship and I appointed Jim my personal shrink, he would spend hours on the phone with me as I analyzed every minute, listening quietly and always ending by making me laugh  at myself and my drama.At one point I sent Jim what I remember to be at least a 10 page letter full of my deepest secrets and insecurities about the break up and myself, he kindly saved it for me and gave it back to me on my 40th birthday.This was the first of a stream of boyfriends Jim really didn't like of mine, more on that later.

One of my all time favorite stories is the time Jim came back to Lincoln for a Husker game, I drove down on Thursday night to meet Jim, our friends John and Mary Jo Beltzer and our friend Mary Krupinsky, I think it's safe to say none of were sober after the 1st 15 minutes. I unfortunately could not get game day Saturday off and had to drive back to Omaha for work, the plan was I returning on Sunday to fix dinner and drive Jim back to Omaha for his flight. Jim and Mary were entrusted with buying the wine for the dinner, a task the rest of them reminded them of many times since liquor stores in Lincoln were not opened on Sunday. I got back to Lincoln on Sunday afternoon all fresh and perky to find the my friends were all very hungover. My first question was did you get the wine. I was informed of course they had after the game they remembered and went and got it and low and behold they got it on sale,came time for dinner and Jim and Mary proudly brought out the 3 fer special wine they had bought. I am sitting at the table with the Beltzers looking at the wine, Jim is crowing about the great deal they got 3 bottles for $21.00. I am looking at  a bottle and I say tell me again how much did you pay for this wine and he repeated the price, by this time the Beltzers had caught on to my reason for questioning and they both asked him and with that big ole grin he told us again about his great bargain. It was about this time I showed Jim and  Mary the 2 labels on each bottle one that said 3 for $21.00 or 1 for $3.99. It was a story that lived on for many years. Sometimes Jim would even bring it up himself because he knew he had no choice since Mary Jo Beltzer saved one of the bottles for him.

I flew out to Portland one year for my birthday again in the tragic throws of a breakup, Jim and I were walking on the beach I was most likely crying and he told me all was not lost, that when I was through with all these jerks I found to date, that he in fact was going to marry me...even though he had sworn never to marry anyone. I am quite sure we ended up laughing about that, but I know there was a sincerity in what he said and I always kept that in a special place in my heart. I am not sure I deserved a friend as swell as Jimmy Clyde, he was always there for me, his heart as big as his smile. Loyalty that knew no bounds, the best secret keeper ever, he was a "friends friend" and I was blessed to have called him mine. And when we meet up old friend I am going to kick your ass for going before you could make an honest woman of me.

February 24, 2012

(PSC phone) "This is Robin."  (Portland) "JAMES C. PAINE here."  The slow, crisp, careful enunciation. A twinkle in his voice (which matched his eyes).  The pleasantries, followed by that inimitable chuckle, as if he were sharing something slightly mischievous.  When Jim decided to bookend his career at the PSC I was told there had to be an interview (what!?!).  Ok I thought.  And Jim good naturedly agreed to interview me.  He was welcomed back-it would have been unthinkable to "hire" someone of Jim's stature.  Including his time in Portland, Jim had one of the, longest, most impressive, and varied legal/utility/regulatory careers in Montana since the inception of the 5 person commission. (For fun check out the appearances at PSC Docket 6546, Order No. 4417b, 1978.  Jim's there of course.  See if you can guess the others.) But mostly I will miss Jim for Jim.  Running into him.  Hearing the chuckle.  I am sad that he will not see some of a richly deserved retirement.  My thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to Jim's family and many close friends. 

NWE Sympathy Letter

February 24, 2012

Dear Friends,

On behalf of NorthWestern Energy, I write to express our sadness at the loss of your good friend and great colleague, Jim Paine.  Many of us knew Jim at each point of his diverse and accomplished career.  Like you, we were delighted when he decided to return to Montana to finish his career as he began it, in public service.  Jim was ethical, smart, experienced, wise and warm.  His sharp mind was matched by a sharp wit, both of which were judiciously deployed.

As Jim was nearing retirement, we knew we would only have the privilege of working with him for a limited number of years.  Therefore, we especially appreciated his decision to finish his career at the Public Service Commission.  Our time with him has ended too soon, and we will miss him.  He and you are all in our thoughts and prayers.


Robert C. Rowe
President and CEO      


February 24, 2012

I had just met Jim and he let me ride with him in the cart following the golfers. He didn't even get mad when I wanted to take pictures the whole time. I was so looking forward to this year's Wishy-Washy so I could spend time getting to know him better.

The Sting

February 23, 2012

One interesting story that shows the clever, mischievious shrewdness that Jim had, was broughrt out during one of the Paine get togethers many years ago at Chico Hot Springs.  We were about th partake of our supper hour and spirits when Jimmy decided he would pay for the meals , if brother Ken and I would take care of the drinks.  Since there were only seven people in our group, we agreed.  We all ordered a mutliple course meal which I thought was quite pricey, but felt comfortable in the fact that Jimmy was going to pick up the tab.  Little did we know that J.C. Paine was going to order one or two bottles of wine each time the next meal course came.  I think, when the evening finished, Ken and I each paid twice as much as Jimmy Paine.  How he laughed at this little stunt he pulled off.  Wish we could do it again.  Randy  Bacon

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