September 27, 2007 at 7:13 a.m.
Grimm, who was born with cerebral palsy, broke ground in the 1970s and 80s mainstreaming disabled students into Chisago Lakes schools. He still finds time for a little R & R (rock and roll), but at age 40, the latest big thing in his life is a book he's releasing.
Grimm will be doing a book-signing Sunday, October 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Chisago Lake Lutheran Church, in his hometown of Center City.
Titled The Heart's Alphabet-- the sub-title of Grimm's book is "...daring to live with cerebral palsy."
That's an interesting word, daring.
While you won't find James Grimm listed in the Guinness Book of World Records among the self-proclaimed daring personalities; his life has been an accomplished one all the same.
Grimm's slim book should inspire readers, able-bodied or not, to overcome obstacles and court adventure. Family members and caregivers of disabled persons will find permission in this book to try new things. And Grimm isn't stingy on his advice about helped him and what didn't. He shares good times and bad in his book, balancing a big sense of humor ounce for ounce with cold hard truths in his beautiful mind.
Indicative of the stories Grimm tells is this.
Grimm writes of a "...cute little boy peeking around his mother's side staring at me. Just as I got Mary's (Grimm's sister) attention, and pointed him out to her, the little boy said to his mother quite loudly, "...mom look at that big puppet." To him I was a giant marionette, James writes.
He adds, "...it took some time before I got used to the staring of others but I am now comfortable with it."
The Heart's Alphabet is a remarkable undertaking especially considering Grimm doesn't speak, type or write longhand. The only muscle he really has control over is his tongue. He communicates listening to someone utter letters of the alphabet and sticking out his tongue at the correct letter.
James' father Gordy Grimm, says James is doing well. He's come through bouts of pneumonia, also described in the book, but this fall he is healthy.
James lives in his own house in New Hope that was purchased several years ago in cooperation with Life By Design. He has assistance and is very appreciative of how help from others has contributed to his quality of life-- he applauds his friends, neighbors and caregivers in the book.
The public is welcome to Grimm's book-signing and if you aren't able to make it, the book is available through www.itascabooks.com.