In Memoriam: underpressure
R obert Holmes — known as underpressure on FlyerTalk and Jim in “real life” — has passed away on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at the age of 58 after battling a long illness and is currently being remembered on FlyerTalk.
I knew Jim personally and had met him numerous times; and I am saddened by this news. With some of the controversial content he posted over the years, no one can accuse him of being a model member of FlyerTalk — and in a way, I think he was rather proud of that, judging from the smile on his face whenever we would talk about it.
In fact, the last time Jim posted on FlyerTalk was in the OMNI forum — a forum open only to those FlyerTalk members who meet the minimum requirements to access it, where he frequented to engage in controversial debates and issues — and it was on August 30, 2015 at 8:26 in the evening Eastern Daylight Time when he posted “figure out tOSU’s in conference schedule and get back to os.”
Jim may have been quite controversial on FlyerTalk — enough that he has had his posting privileges suspended more than once — but he was a devoted family man in real life who believed in God and served his country in the military with the rank of major.
Most importantly, he would do just about anything for his family. As only one of many examples, please read this heartwarming story about when his son asked “his beautiful girlfriend to marry him” — which prompted other stories to be posted in this discussion on FlyerTalk.
FlyerTalk member GUWonder thoughtfully posted that “Of the things I’ll most fondly remember about him, it won’t be the OMNI PR stuff but his discussions about his family.”
He was also loyal to whom he considered his friends. He would invite FlyerTalk members and other friends to his home in northern Georgia, where he hosted informal gatherings. I was invited but regrettably never had the opportunity to attend.
In the spring of 2007, Jim was with me and several other members of FlyerTalk when we were invited to spend the day at the world headquarters of Delta Air Lines in Atlanta to — among other things — pilot the flight simulators there. It was my first time behind the yoke of a flight simulator; and probably the first time for Jim as well. After doing a “barrel roll” in a Boeing 737 flight simulator, Jim said that “for giggles, I flew the bird under the Golden Gate Bridge. This was my second trip out west this morning. I did the same with the same 777 earlier in the morning. The instructor had never seen the plane splash without a crash. As I was putting the plane up from 60 feet, the ass end splashed the water and probably scared the bejesus out of a couple of folks in a sail boat.
“It was a wonderful morning.”
It certainly was, Jim. We were like little kids that day who will never grow up.
Jim bought his dog from the same breeder as the dog of the now-former Delta Air Lines employee who invited us to that incredible day; and in fact, both dogs were from the same litter of West Highland White Terriers, which are also known as “Westies”. I broke the news of his death to that person — who has since become a friend of mine — and he was surprised by the news as well.
The last time I saw Jim was with FlyerTalk member Dovster, where we spent much of the day together near the international airport in Atlanta. He and Dovster were smoking buddies — it was difficult to endure the second-hand smoke that day; but they were worth it — and I remember how far we drove to dine on Chinese food, for which Dovster was in the mood while visiting in the United States. Despite backtracking approximately 23 miles — which is part of the way back to his home in north Georgia — to the closest Chinese restaurant known to me, Jim was more than happy to do the driving. After we were finished with our meal, he then drove back to the airport to drop Dovster off at the hotel at which he was staying before driving back to his home.
That is merely a glimpse of the type of man Jim was to his friends.
Despite the challenges he faced in life, he usually had a smile on his face; and his sense of humor was well known both on FlyerTalk and in person.
The last time I had posted an article in memoriam of a FlyerTalk member was this dedication to Black Adder on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 when The Gate still resided at FlyerTalk. It was nice not having to have posted an article in memoriam of a FlyerTalk member since then; but with 614,030 registered members of FlyerTalk, it was only a matter of time before I was to post one here at The Gate now that it is back at BoardingArea…
…I just did not think that the next person would be someone whom I knew personally; and I may add more information to this article — such as this link to his obituary — in the future to honor Jim, who will be sorely missed…
…but right now, I am mourning his untimely loss; and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.