Where the hell do we go from here?

Hey there, it’s Josh – second-funniest male regular contributor to the Clam (and third overall, also behind KT). Then again, there’ve been only three regular posters so that should say something.

Losing Jim sucks. It sucks hard. He was the North Star that we guided the site through, and even what he didn’t write himself the rest of us wrote to try and make him proud. We’ve all in Clam Nation known this week was coming, but we all hated that reality.

I’ll share what is the ideal Dowd story – from the last time I saw him out in public. Here in Salem, Deacon Giles Distillery hosts a night of boozy three-minute PowerPoint presentations as a competition about once a quarter. In mid-February, they hosted the event. Jim decided a couple of days beforehand to enter – with his topic being “the difference between being eaten by a shark and brain cancer”.

I Googled “Sharkbite” and went with this because we’re a family-friendly blog here and JESUS THE REAL PICS WERE GROSS

To sum up, shark bite victims don’t need to deal with idiots sending you “Israeli company cures sharkbite!” emails, and the screams drown out morons on shore asking if you have tried CBD oil as shark repellent. But at the same time, there are very few hopeful clinical trials on sharkbite running currently.

I fixed my car’s radiator with CBD, too.

With facts like that, he put together a brilliant and funny presentation that, needless to say, won.

Once he knew his diagnosis last summer, he (and the rest of us) knew that we were on borrowed time, and he continued to work, make jokes about being radioactive, and do what he did best – stir shit up with brilliance and passion. Personally, for me he was the bridge that connected my world of friends in Salem with awesome people down the line on Cape Ann, expanding my universe of amazing, snarky, and sweet people that I remain connected to now. I was on my way home from a business trip to Florida when Jim passed away. That evening, some of his friends gathered to host a spur-of-the-moment memorial party that may still be going on, much like the party in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that has lasted for four generations thus far. I sent hugs from my airliner that was lurching around the sky.


What will become of the Clam and this website? I don’t think we can answer that right now. But we will. There are still things we are outraged by, things we want to celebrate, and stupidity to highlight. Regardless of what we do here on these pages, Clam Nation persists – because Clam Nation was founded from Jim Dowd’s vision, but it’s really all of you.

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  1. Aye, Cap’n.

  2. Odd, Josh, that since the news came that the one and only Jim Dowd had left us, this quote from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” has been coming to mind. “Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word ‘safe’ that I wasn’t previously aware of.” I’ve had the feeling that this is something Jim might say but have been reluctant to say something so strange. Thank you for opening that door. I do love synchronicity.

    May the Force be with you and all of us.

  3. Bobbe Anderson

    Please let this be a an ongoing tribute to him. I’ve enjoyed it incredibly. I probably should have thanked you all for the chuckles that you’ve collectively interjected into my semi colorless life, so here it is: Thank You.

  4. Twinkle twinkle little clam,
    Though you don’t know who I am,
    From afar I spy the gleam
    Of what you’ll be in what you’ve been.

  5. Audrey Serniak

    You all bring joy to me. And sanity. I am truly sorry for your loss.

  6. I almost snorted coffee out my nose as I read the line ‘I fixed my car’s radiator with CBD, too.’. Thank you Josh. Thanks to Jim for founding this blog, for all that he has contributed to our world through his humor, his snark, his wisdom and his way of being. Gratitude.

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