Our members who blazed new trails

Gone, but not forgotten
Jim Masson (RMCA #3)
On Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 we lost a dear friend, Jim Masson. Jim died of an apparent heart attack while having coffee and reading his morning paper. He would have been 76 later this month. Jim was a pioneer to road map collecting; one of the original members in our organization with member # 3. His family owned a chain of florist shops in the Kansas-Missouri area, and they had a large truck fleet. Back in the 1970’s, he sponsored an Indianapolis 500 race car. Jim graduated from Oklahoma State University, and did a term paper on the history of American Petrofina, his favorite company.
He got an A, of course, and was A-1 in our collective hearts.
Gary Spaid will always remember Jim as a stranger to no one, always with a smile and a story to share. Jim was old-fashioned, shied away from things like computers and email, but that didn’t keep him from having a very detailed catalog of his maps which he carried with him as he browsed through maps at nearly all the map EXPOs we’ve had. Many of us have bought, sold and traded maps with Jim but the joy of doing so with him was the time spent talking with him, and listening to the stories about oil companies and gas stations now long gone. Jim may be gone too but he is forever in our hearts.
Noel Levy comments that the sad news about Jim hit really hard. They met at one of the Des Moines swap meet back in the mid-1980s. They probably traded thousands of maps over the years. He was one of the guys who got Levy into the Extra Miler Club, and they were always comparing lists of counties they’d been to, and of completed states. He had a big barn full of 19th century wagons and buckboards, old cars and trucks, including a vintage Avanti, and scores of gas pumps!