Jim was born and spent his first 18 years in the flatlands of central Illinois. He has no regrets having passed on his first vocational choice (football coach and chemistry teacher) and completed a biology degree at Illinois Wesleyan University. He was attracted to Anatomy and to the (then) developing field of Neuroscience. He worked on early brain-behavior experiments using telemetry to stimulate and record from the brains of behaving animals, and studied feeding behavior in marsupials His subsequent work has centered on understanding somatosensory systems in mammals, including a prolonged foray into development and maturation of spinal cord systems in opossums. He has taught neuroscience/functional Neuroanatomy to medical students and residents at WVU School of Medicine for 42 years; he also teaches neuro and human anatomy to dental students and other health care professionals in training. He recently completed a stint as Visiting Professor teaching Neurobiology at Oman Medical College in Sohar, Oman, and today, in a phased retirement program, continues to teach half-time at WVU and to visit NYSC whenever possible.