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James Stratton Tribute: Ben C.

Nov 27, 2013


Location: St. Eustatius
Author: Ben C.
James was like another brother to me. Throughout the trip it was easy to cheer yourself up if you simply just listened to his simple, yet home-run hitting jokes normally said under his breath because it kept the mystery of it all. We could talk for days about the greatness of Cape Cod and all the amazing places to go, but most of all, it was the fishing we were most interested in. Whether it be tuna, marlin, bluefish, striper, or the simple cod or haddock, how to catch them, where to catch them, when to catch them, and better yet, who to catch them with was always the topic.It soon came to be that the two of us had found a commonality that would bring us closer together than we had ever thought. I still plan to go on that fishing trip we always planned, and I wont be leaving until I catch us a nice big tuna. Might I remind you, we are both from the Northeast, are Boston sports fans, and tend to be rough around the edges sometimes, so our personalities are quite similar in many aspects and when it came to enjoying each others time together, it was easy. Catching the fish with him on board was like any other. His energy for fishing, yet loving personality for the animal was even more incredible. It wasn’t the fact that he had just caught dinner that he loved, but the fact that he had won a battle between man and animal, and he would treat them as respectfully as possible when conquered. Even to the point of eating the fish’s heart raw as a sign of respect and good luck.I think one of the funniest moments with James was when we were hiking Mount Qua Qua and he slipped down the side of the mountain. Oops. But all James could say was Hey, well that was fun! I’m okay by the way! And nearly all of us burst out in tears we were laughing so hard. And better yet, James would be laughing with us. It was James who celebrated with me when the Red Sox won the World Series. We screamed and shouted, and danced, and smiled for days. And it was James who celebrated with me in the form of some Cuban cigars and a nice big hug for when I found out my branch for the Army. His compassion for other people he cared about was unlike any other and I will miss that about him. I know every time I am in the presence of the majesty of the ocean, he will be there. You motivate me to be the best person a man can be, I love you bud.