Times Squares mourns the loss of James Shaffer. It has just been known to us that Jim died at home this past January from an apparent heart attack. Jim began dancing in 1987. Although he had not been able physically to dance in many years, he continued supporting the club financially, went to conventions each year, and maintained his square dance friendships made over time. He was a sweet and gentle man that cherished his Times Squares memories. Jim was also a talented singer. He had belonged to several choral groups, sang opera and was an avid supporter of the Washington Gay Men’s Chorus. At this time no other details are known.
The following is a reprint of an article that appeared in the Village Light Opera Group's newsletter. It was submitted by Barry Fisher. It always amazes me to discover more about our club members than what is known on the dance floor. There is, after all is said and done, always so much more to each of us. Sometimes I think we forget that. This is for you, Jim. —Eddie Careri
From his first VLOG production (Fairfax in "Yeomen," 1962) to his last (Lord Tolloller, "Iolanthe," 1982) Jimmy Stack was a leading tenor with energy and attitude! He sang with countless community theater groups, choruses and church and synagogue choirs in Westchester and Long Island, and with VLOG in our sun1mer concerts and other music activities well into the 90's.
He served as group treasurer from 1968 to 1971, later as treasurer for several BALOE seasons and our 50th anniversary, forging a still unchallenged reputation as the tightest of VLOG tightwads. The man for whom the Stacks (our ticket sales awards) were named, Jim was consistently the highest seller, banking $1153 in 1971 when tickets cost only $4!! That was the year VLOG named him a Life Member.
In 1968, as they took their curtain call in "Ruddigore", Jim's leading lady whispered "I'm pregnant" and he instantly became godfather to Christiane, daughter of Sara Ann and Ronald Noll. In recent years he travelled with his square dance group to festivals and conventions and to see Christiane wherever she was performing.
Jim was a gourmet cook. He edited and produced the VLOG Golden Gourmet Cookbook as a fundraiser for our 50th anniversary. He was a headline entertainer for our 60th anniversary celebration. It will be hard to face our 70th without him.
- Times Squared newsletter, v.20 no.5 (April 2005) p.4
- Times Squared newsletter, v.20 no.7 (June 2005) p.5