Missing is a familiar figure up and down Main Street, Hazard and the courthouse square on this July 15th. Folks, our mutual friend White Jim Combs, age 93, passed away last night around 11:00 PM.
Things didn't look the same on the square, no noise or trading was going on. One of the old timers was missing. The rest of you were to me paying homage to him by your usual gathering on a Monday morning after a day of solitude at home. He went quickly without much suffering. White Jim was a mountain man that came up the hard way in the backwoods section of Eastern Kentucky, a long life had enabled him to see much progress here. He has seen with his eyes the hardships of pioneer days. It is too bad that we can never get a full story on a man's life such as Jim's. Many times he and I had talked it over, he would always say, "some day son when you have plenty of time we'll talk." He was a great character within himself, a man to be admired in regard to his philosophy of life.
The ranks are gradually getting thinner each day as the good man above is collecting his toll of our first people which you might say were the stepping stones of progress that we are treading on today. It is remarkable that a man of his age could still look forward to more progress, a man that wasn't bitter toward anyone, a man despite his age could still stand to hear the patter of little feat and cry of little children. The familiar tapping of his cane is going to be missed as he made his daily rounds.
May I say to you, all his friends, Jim's road now is at an end. Many more of us will soon have to travel over the same route, there is no turning back on this one. I am proud to have known White Jim Combs, and his many principals of what he stood for.
Yes there is a missing figure on the courthouse square today but I am sure the ones who have been so closely associated with Jim are not missing him in their minds. July 15th 1963