At any pen show, the busiest man on the floor was Jim Rouse. If you stopped by the Franklin-Christoph booth, you were often greeted by the crown of his bald head, or 10x-sized eyeballs peering at you through his jeweler’s glasses. As busy as he was, he had time for everybody. That’s what made Jim so special.
There wasn’t a show where Jim didn’t stop to tell me a new story or joke. There wasn’t a show when where Jim didn’t stop to tell me the same joke or story for the tenth time. And I loved every one of them.
Jim was good at his job. No, he was great. His nib grinds and ongoing support are one of the main reasons Franklin-Christoph has become so successful in my mind. I don’t think Scott Franklin would disagree with that. The service Jim and team provided was unparalleled. So was the quality.
One thing you may not know about Jim is how much he loved kids. Whenever he wasn’t talking pens, he was talking about his family. Hanging out with Mr. Jim was a highlight for my kids at the Raleigh pen show. He made them laugh and smile and was happy to teach them things too. It’s ok that most of those things were shenanigans. That’s what made him great.
Yesterday was tough, and I miss him already. My condolences to his family, both at home and in the community. He will be missed.