Jim graciously let Bill stay in the bunkhouse during his visit to Talkeetna. Tape I was going along fine until Bill realized that the tape was not winding. In tape II, they went back over the missing topics and continued to the end of the interview. Jim was able to repeat the lost discussions almost word for word as Bill had first heard and noted them. Jim came to Alaska with the U.S. Air Force in 1964, as a helicopter pilot working at the Rescue Coordination Center based at Elmendorf Field. His interest in the mountain got an added thrust when his son,Brian,started climbing and Jim began flying him to the mountain. As retirement approached in the 1970's, Jim and his family spent more time in the Denali-Susitna Valley area, in a cabin in the woods and finally in Talkeetna itself.
Jim Okonek appears in the following new Jukebox projects: