Jim Scott, aka "Scottie," was born March 12, 1929, in San Francisco, Calif., to James Edward Scott I and Ellen Josephine Gimini. Scottie died peacefully at home in Ketchum, Idaho, on April 17, 2009.
For the most part of his early life, Jim grew up in Fresno, Calif., where his mother took him and his sister after the death of his father. Jim graduated from Fresno High School in 1947. After high school graduation, Jim spent a couple of years on the racecar circuit. During this period of his life, he also pursued his interests in both sailing and skiing. He was a member of the Fresno Yacht and Ski clubs as an expert sailor and a Class A ski racer. He raced in Heavenly Valley, Squaw Valley and Yosemite and won the Silver Dollar Race in Tahoe in 1950. Jim first came to Sun Valley in 1948, and Sun Valley and ski racing became a major part of his life.
Jim graduated from Fresno State College in 1953. After graduation he joined the Air Force and was a Korean War veteran as an escort officer for the Worldwide Tour of the "Tops in Blue of 55." This troupe of 24 airmen presented 220 performances in 200 days at 155 installations, traveling 43,000 miles to entertain more than 200,000 military personnel and their dependents.
After leaving the Air Force, Jim went to England and began building his first ketch sailboat, the Gitano, and sailed across the Atlantic without the use of modern navigational equipment or radio communication. He made this sailing trip twice; the second time in a boat that he also built, called August Moon. These were incredible trips for the times. During these times Jim lived and sailed the Mediterranean and loved his life and times off the coast of Spain.
Jim then began to settle in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Sun Valley, where he traveled back and forth, skiing and sailing. In Sun Valley he was known for his incredible skiing abilities, skiing with all of the famous ski racers of his times during the 1950s and 1960s. Jim worked various jobs so he could pursue his passions of sailing and skiing and in St. Thomas he built a boat named the Sestina. He spent many hours sailing throughout the Caribbean with the boat that he loved so dearly. When he wasn't sailing in the Caribbean he was skiing and working his many skills in Sun Valley.
Jim Scott lived his life exactly the way he wanted and was truly the last of the Sun Valley ski bums. For those who knew him—consider yourselves to be the lucky ones.
We love you and will miss you, Scottie!