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Guns & Ammo Pays Tribute to Writer J. Guthrie

by Jim Bequette   |  April 12th, 2013 6

He always addressed me as Mister Jim—and I always told him to stop calling me Mister.

The Intermedia Outdoors family has lost one of its most valued and talented writers—and just all-around good guy.

J. Guthrie, 37, died April 12. Why is it the good die young? Quick wit, outgoing, always made everyone feel comfortable and welcome. “Mister Jim, pour yourself a drink, pull up a chair, and let’s talk,” he would say in that casual, southern drawl.

J. was a special talent, a special friend. Think deep-fried catfish, gumbo, jumbalaya, black-eyed peas, ham hocks, and turnip greens—and his love of firearms, hunting and shooting—when you remember J. Guthrie. This good old boy was as southern as southern gets. His family had roots in the Deep South, and he was proud as hell that he had family fight for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

When I phoned to tell him I wanted him to write the back page column of Guns & Ammo, there was complete silence—then an abrupt, “Do you have the right phone number? … Do you really want me to follow in the footsteps of Jeff Cooper? I idolized Jeff. You need to know, Mister Jim,  I’m no Jeff Cooper.”

When I assured him he was the writer I wanted to pen the  column, he paused again, and said, “Mister Jim, it’s an honor. I won’t disappoint.”

He didn’t, true to his word as always. Was he the perfect writer, always on deadline? No. But he was as honest as the day is long, and he always respected the magazines and editors he wrote for, including Shooting Times, Petersen’s Hunting, RifleShooter, Game & Fish and North American Whitetail.

J. also was a contributor to Guns & Ammo TV, and he was hellbent on making the show the best shooting show on cable TV. Some of his best work was done in the last year, when we filmed our “Direct Fire” segments. When we were discussing the informational and entertainment elements early on for this 13-week segment, I had no question who needed to play a major role. It was J. Guthrie, hands down.

J. also worked on our Modern Rifle Adventures and Ruger Inside & Out television shows.

When we were early in the planning stages of launching Modern Rifle Adventures, I was asked by my superiors which writers in the group would be the perfect fit for this ground-breaking show on modern sporting (AR) rifles. Without hesitation, I said J. Guthrie and Dick Metcalf. J. was the brash, young rookie, Dick the seasoned veteran. They played off each other so well—it was simply pure joy to see them grow into their roles.

Dick recalls, “I’d tell him everything would be good if he’d just remember I was the hero and he was the sidekick.  He’d say, ‘We ain’t makin’ no John Wayne movie, old man . . .’”  J and Dick worked together on three of our TV shows, all told.  “I loved that boy,” Dick says.  “He was my partner and my brother.  He was larger than life.  My world today is so much smaller without him in it.”

Again, J. didn’t disappoint. He never did.

J. now joins the ranks of talented writers who contributed to Guns & Ammo over the years, those who are no longer with us—to name just a few, Elmer Keith, Jeff Cooper, Bill Jordan, Bob Milek, John Wootters and many, many others.

J., we will meet again down the road—just remember, don’t call me Mister.

G&A's Tribute to Writer James Guthrie

We'll never be able to properly pay tribute to a man that's meant so much to everyone at Guns & Ammo. It's just not possible, there's too much we'd want to say. So, we're going to let you say it for us. Post your favorite J. Guthrie photos here, and share your favorite quotes and stories in the comments section below.
  • Pete Wallace

    Hate to hear this. Never knew or was personally acquainted with J. but he was a fellow Rebel, firearm lover, brother who was welcome in my house each time one of your shows came on. Godspeed J. you will be missed. May God grant peace and solace to your family, friends and fellow G&A brothers.

  • facebook-1607869883

    I had the honor to work with Guthrie & Dick on MRA. I didn’t know a thing about AR rifles when U stared working on the show. J. was very patient with my ignorance and taught me a lot during my time on the show. A great man who will be missed by everyone who knew him.

  • Mick Faherty

    Guthrie’s knowledge of firearms and hunting was only surpassed by his authentic Southern charm and goodness of heart. He was a great and loyal friend to me in good times and bad, and I will never forget him.

  • Brian Parsons

    James was an all around nice guy, and a talented guy. He shot my wife and I’s engagement photos for us in 2008 as a favor and didn’t ask for a thing. Condolences to the Guthrie family. 37 is too soon.

  • Rick Gonzales

    I am glad to see this racist cracker dead. He is proud of his southern heritage, please he is a fake, the south belongs to the Mexicans and you whites will soon be thrown out with your former black slaves.

    • Alex Taylor

      Big talk coming 6 months after he’s gone. Go to knob Creek and shout out your vile words to a bunch of Southerners. See what happens. Burn in he||, tro||. RIP J. Guthrie.

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