Tom and Cheri Smylie, Steven Haber, Dennis and Rosalina Grisco, Alan and
Venice Beske, Jim and Chris Weaver
Remembering Jimmy C. Adamson
By Bob McCallum
I’m in my study, sitting at my
desk. On a shelf, eye-level, is a
small sarcophagus – about twelve
inches long and three inches
square. The lid is in a closed
position so that the interior is
hidden from view. Egyptian
hieroglyphics on the side of the
coffin translate to: Personal . . .
Confidential. On top of the coffin
is a body, wrapped in the fashion
of a mummy; only a beak is exposed. The mummified body is that
of a small falcon. The entire piece is made of clay, colored dirty tan,
and fired in a subdued finish.
Jimmy Adamson made
this piece for me in 1990.
He taught art at the local
college (Sierra College in
Rocklin, Ca.) and was a
master of that profession. At
times he was commissioned
by contractors and
homeowners to produce
wall-sized carvings on
damp clay bricks set up on
an easel 10 by 10 feet. Each
brick had been numbered,
and when the carving was complete, he would remove it from the
easel one brick at a time, trailer it to the local brick producer and
have them fired. Once fired, he would trailer the entire load to a
home, school, business, where he would mount it on a chosen wall.
Jimmy was also a master of the art of falconry. His falcons flew high
and responsive to Jimmy’s signals. His understanding of falcons was
evident in the partnership he had with them. Never rushed – almost
shuffling (which on some days was aggravating, especially when I
was eager to cast off a falcon and the sun was disappearing on the
horizon), always gentle in his hooding, unhooding and approaching
a falcon, etc., he definitely saw from within the eye of the falcon.
Jimmy and I flew together from 1989 until the early 2000’s when he
and his lovely wife, Joanne, moved to Idaho. But he did more than
just fly falcons, he was also a pioneer in falcon breeding.
Jimmy was a gentleman at all times . . . I don’t recall ever seeing him
angry or disparaging – which is difficult in the falconry world.
A few weeks before Jimmy passed, he asked me to edit a piece he
had written about his coming to the Mormon religion. It was to be
published in a Mormon magazine. I read and edited the piece and
was amazed by what I didn’t know about Jimmy and his Mormon
I never knew what I was going to hear out of Jimmy – some days he
would blurt out some Lakota phrase before going on to some tribal
pow-wow dressed in appropriate regalia – oh, by the way, he also
made beautiful hand-carved cedar tribal flutes – the long type. Other
times, he would start speaking French . . . I never knew what he was
saying . . I guess he did.
When the film, Dances with Wolves, came out, I had the pleasure of
watching it with Jimmy . . . He wept . . . as I did with his passing.
I miss you, Jimmy . . . Man who looked through eyes of falcons.
Jimmy was also a master of the art of falconry. His understanding of
falcons was evident in the partnership he had with them.
Jimmy was the first to take game at a NAFA meet
(1962 Reno – a jackrabbit with a gos)!
Jimmy saw from within
the eye of the falcon