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Jim Schefter: The Final Chapter

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Jan 10, 2001
CenCoast CA
71 04 12 19
I write to you today with a very, heavy heart....

Jim Schefter, a friend of mine, a friend of our hobby and author of "All Corvettes are Red", the true story of the design and development of the C5, died last night in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jim became a serious Corvette enthusiast late in life, in the process of gathering information for ACAR in the early-90s. Shortly after the C5 went on the market, he bought one. What color? Red of course. Since then he became a great patron of the car and our hobby.

I met Jim in the mid-'90s and became friends with him as he was completing ACAR.

(Wow, people, this is difficult to write...sigh)

I feel proud to have known him and deeply flattered that several times, he took time out of his career as a higly-respected technical writer to help me learn some lessons about mine. At a book signing in California in the spring of 1997, Jim autographed my hardback copy of All Corvettes are Red as follows: "to Hib Halverson for his real Corvette love and for all the help! Jim Schefter." My God, that's how *I* would have said thanks to *him.*

Jim Schefter: Author, Corvette Enthusiast, Friend of our hobby.

We all should take a moment....

....thank you.

Now, please, raise your glasses in a toast.

To absent friends.....
Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet the man, but from what you've said about him now and in the past and based upon his book, "All Corvettes Are Red", he was a great man and a valued member of the Corvette community.

A silent prayer for James Schefter.....

<center><img src="../images/books/acar.gif" /></center>

This saddness is felt throughout the Corvette Community today. A man that has touched so many in our Community will be remembered for his contributions and his great zeal for the Corvette.

Hib, your association and friendship with James Schefter are memories and experiences that only you can reflect on. I extend my sorrow at the passing of your friend and one of our mentors.

The Greatness of a man lives on in the legacy he leaves behind. James Schefter, lives on through his writing and our memories of the legacy he left behind.

Bud Dougherty
Suprise news

I was just last night reading the book for the first time and couldn't put it down. I've just put an order in for my first C5, and wanted to get the story behind it. Strange coincidence.

This book is fantastic and I was intending to let Mr. Schefter know after I finished. I won't be able to now, but I will definitely pass the book on to other Corvette lovers when I am done. Anyone who has not read it should definitely pick it up.
I couldn't agree more. The book is fantastic reading and hard to put down. For those of you that own a C5, this book is a must have. You really get an all new sense of appreciation for the car and the people in Corvette Development that were able overcome some major hurdles to bring this car to market.
I believe I will check this book out at the library. Hib, I am sorry you have lost your friend, and sorry for us all that a great advocate of the Corvette is gone.
Please remember that the sorrow of loss is but a reflection of the regard you hold for someone. My thoughts are with all who are in pain at this man's passing.
Jim Schefter

Our Corvette community has suffered a deep loss in Jim's passing. For those who have not read "All Corvettes Are Red", it would be a great silent tribute (I think he'll know)to a man that obviously had a true passion for our cars. Having worked for General Motors during that bleak period when the value of our great Chevrolet icon was seriously being questioned by the pointy-headed, bean- counters who still have no idea of what automotive passion really is, I can say that Jim captured - to a tee- all of the corporate political BS, and the spirit of a few heroic figures within GM who would not accept any edict from management that did not include a Corvette in the future. The fact that he was allowed to chronicle the meetings, etc.speaks tomes about his character and integrity. I, for one, was waiting for his next book.
Sleep well, friend.
Once again, I have to agree. The book is extremely enlightening on how difficult it can be to get the simplest things accomplished due to red tape.

I too was looking forward to his next book.
Hib, I/we would like to thank you for such a warm hearted post.
I as well have read "All Corvettes Are Red" and could feel Jim's passion. We will all miss him.
Jim Schefter: the Final Chapter

Forum Members-
I'm posting two additional forwards off the internet in re: the late, Jim Schefter.

The first is a notice from his family about services in North Dakota this weekend. "Will" is Jim's son.

The second is an obit that ran in the Houston Chronicle yesterday morning

Forwarded Message:

----------------- Forwarded Message -----------------

Subject: Memorial Service
From: c5@pcfastnet.com
Date: 2001-01-23 17:08:37 EST
To: Allizwebb@aol.com, rmorse2089@cs.com
BCC: Finspeed

From: c5@pcfastnet.com
To: Allizwebb@aol.com, rmorse2089@cs.com
Hi everyone.

Here is the information that I have on a memorial service.

It is being held in Grand Forks, North Dakota on Saturday the 27th at
1:30pm. I realize that this is short notice and completely understand if
anyone cannot make it. Just knowing that everybody cared the way that they
did is quite enough.

For those of you who would like to attend I will supply tommorrow a site
address for the memorial. Then we are going to have a reception afterwards
at Jerry Schefter's house.

Again, thanks everybody.


Subject: Houston Chronicle Obit.
From: c5@pcfastnet.com
Date: 2001-01-24 01:01:46 EST
To: Allizwebb@aol.com, england@umich.edu
BCC: Finspeed

From: c5@pcfastnet.com
To: Allizwebb@aol.com, england@umich.edu

23, 2001, 12:34PM

space writer
Schefter dies

Copyright 2001
Houston Chronicle

James Schefter, a prolific
space and automotive
writer, died of
complications associated
with pulmonary fibrosis
Sunday night. He was

Schefter covered the end
of NASA Gemini
Missions for the Houston
Chronicle in the early
1960s and wrote about
the Apollo Space
Missions for Time and
Life magazines. He
began writing for
Popular Science
magazine in the early
1970s and was a
consulting editor for
almost a decade.

Schefter also wrote
extensively about the
automotive and computer
industries as a freelance
writer. He is the author
of The Race: The
Uncensored Story of
How America Beat
Russia To The Moon
and All Corvettes Are
Red: Inside the
Rebirth Of An
American Legend.

He also worked with
Chris Kraft, flight
director of the Apollo
Mission, on Flight -- a
book about the space
missions that will be
published in March

Schefter is survived by
three sons, Michael
Schefter and Andrew


Jim Schefter: the Final Chapter

Forum Members,

This morning, I received an email from Will Schefter, Jim's son, about the Internet traffic concerning his Dad's death. For the Forum's benefit, I'll also post my reply.

At this point, only a few days after his Dad's passing, that he can write to me to say thanks is remarkable. All those Shefters are pretty cool people.

I'll say it again---we're gonna miss Jim Schefter.

---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------
Date: 01/24/01 8:32 AM
Received: 01/24/01 9:57 AM
From: Jim Schefter, c5@pcfastnet.com
To: finspeed@earthlink.net

I don't know what to say. I am Jim's son, Will, and I received a call from
Claudio at GM a short time ago to let me know about your Web Page. I am
truely greatful for what you have done. I never had any idea how many
people my dad had touched over the years. I have to admit that I was
tearing up (okay, tears running) when I was reading the responses that you
received to your announcement. I have added the last email that I sent out
announcing the passing of my father. Maybe you could add this to those
respones and thank everyone for there kind words.

Again thank you very much. It means more than you can imagine.

Will Schefter


Hi all.

I think this is the most difficult thing that I have ever had to do.

My father passed away at 10:23 this evening, January 21st.

It was a decsion that I made with the help of my brother, Drew, to withdraw
life-support for my father.

Around 2am on the 21st dad took a major down turn. His blood pressure and
heart rate dropped dramatically and it took some time to bring him back to
normal. Then sometime before 7am his kidneys shut down and his stomach
stopped processing. It was only a little while later that his heart formed
an irreagular heart beat. It was at this point that I made the initial
decsion to withdraw support. His body had given up the fight and it would
have been terribly unfair to him to have kept him alive when his body
wanted otherwise.

I had set a time up for the afternoon of the 21st to sit down with Kat and
the doctor to decide on the best course of action. When I left the
hospital on the 20th, a little after 9:30pm, Estelle, his doctor, told me
that things would be much easier on everyone if he could decide one way or
the other what he wanted to do. He made that decsion.

I know he is in heaven now. I know I will see him again and I am looking
forward for that day with everything I have. I loved my father and I
already miss him terribly but he is at peace now and that gives me all the
comfort in the world.

Again I must thank everyone for all your kind words. They have kept me
going the past two weeks and I will always remember and treasure them.
This won't be the last time you hear from me either. Tommorrow I must
start planning the memorial service. I will let everyone know what will be
occurring when I get it all figured out.

Until later.

Will Schefter

----------------- End Forwarded Message -----------------
Forum Members,
Below is my reply to Will Schefter's email posted above.


Hello, Will-
Thanks for your nice words.

I don't suppose there's much I can say that will make this time any better for you and your family.

Your Dad was a cool guy. I'm gonna miss him.

One of my fondest memories of him was sitting in his home in Park City, looking out the window at the mountains and talking about our careers and Corvettes. This happened in the summer of 1996. On the way home to California from the 1996 Black Hills Corvette Classic, I overnighted in Park City at the invite of your Dad. We had a great afternoon, evening dinner and morning coffee before I drove on south to Henderson, Nevada the next day.

I'm about ten years younger than he and came into the technical writing career much later in life than he did. I met your Dad because we traveled in some of the same circles when he was working on ACAR. He and I talked a lot and saw each other once in a while in L.A. when he was in the final stages of the book and, after that, when he was marketing it. As he moved on to doing "The Race," we continued to keep in touch because I love aerospace stuff. I was amazed to learn that the articles I read as a late-teenager in Time and Life about Apollo was mostly written by him. I loved to talk with him about those times. It was fascinating. I hope Jim was able to complete "Flight" before he passed. I was awaiting that book with baited breath. When your Dad wrote me last year about "Flight" and asked me to prime the Internet Corvette community about it, the first thing I did was reserve a copy on Amazon.

Your Dad offered me valuable advice I've used in my career. I can only hope to be a quarter as good a technical writer as was your Dad.

> received a call from
>Claudio at GM a short time ago to let me know about your Web Page.
Well, I think you are talking about the post I made to the Corvette Forum at http://www.corvetteforum.com. It's not really my web site, but I did make a public discussion board post to the Forum, along with public posts to two of the Internet email lists the Corvette community uses. I did this on the morning after your Dad's death both to express my feelings and to let the greater Corvette community know of the tremendous and untimely loss it and your family have sustained. Unfortunately, one thing I could not do is post to the third email list, the one owned by the C5 Registry. That's actually the largest group of Internet C5 enthusiasts, but that list has been temporarily off-line for a while.

> I have added the last email that I sent out
>announcing the passing of my father. Maybe you could add this to those
>respones and thank everyone for there kind words.
I actually have that.
Your Dad and I have a mutual friend, retired Chevrolet employee, Tom Hoxie, who received that post from you early on the morning of the 22nd. He forwarded it to me. I read it and thought it was maybe a bit too raw for public posting and decided to write something on my own, but---I will be glad to post it to the greater
Corvette Internet. I will take care of that in just a few minutes.

>I never had any idea how many
>people my dad had touched over the years.
Dude--we're talking thousands and thousands---and that's just in the Corvette community.
All Corvettes are Red is giant of a book amongst the C5 Corvette enthusiasts. Heck, my Corvettes aren't even C5s and I have three different versions of the book: a yellow, paper-back proof-copy of the hardback edition (which I treasure because it was a personal gift from your Dad), an autographed hardback version and the softback version. Countless times in the last five years, when writing magazine articles about C5, I've referred to ACAR.

>Again thank you very much. It means more than you can imagine.
You are so welcome.
I know this is a really tough time for you and your family.
But, as you've said, Jim is in a better place know.
If there's anything I can do or, if you just feel like writing about your Dad---contact me.
Please note that my current email address is:
The old one you used to send to me, today, will soon shut down.

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