The week before last, Ocean View High School Coach Jim Harris addressed a candlelight vigil outside his home with grace, calm and characteristic fight.
The aggressive cancer he had been diagnosed with in August had clearly taken its toll, but in the warm night air, his spirit still soared. On the wings of the faithful students that had gathered, he seemed uplifted.
But then, just like that, he is gone.
Harris, who coached basketball for 33 years at Ocean View, who won 19 league championships and three Southern Section titles, passed away Sunday night at the age of 67.
The beloved coach's legacy was secure long before he became ill, yet as the specter of the sickness became more insidious over the last few weeks, living, breathing shrines were born on Facebook. Students from days gone by poured their hearts out, eloquently capturing their vivid love and respect for Coach Harris.