Each year the Bellows Falls Alumni Association honors a member of the community to serve as Grand Marshal for Alumni Weekend. This year the Bellows Falls Alumni Association has chosen Steve James as Grand Marshal for the 2010 Alumni Weekend.
James is known mostly because of his businesses, James Plumbing & Heating, which he and his family have owned and operated for the past 43 years, and Speedy Steve's, a laundromat he operates in North Walpole, NH.
Throughout the years James has been a dedicated family man, business man, and an overall outstanding citizen. Everyone in the community who knows him personally knows that he is the first to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.
He has been known to receive phone calls not just for frozen pipes, but also from ailing elderly neighbors, who he willingly transported to their doctors' offices or the hospital as needed.
He served on the local Bellows Falls Fire Department from 1970 to 1984. In February of 1982 he heroically entered the burning Star Hotel through a third floor window and at great personal risk rescued two elderly women, one of whom was disabled.
Over the years he has generously opened his home to everyone in the community. It has been commonplace for him to welcome large groups of friends, family, and neighbors to his house for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Many people in the community have fond memories of sitting on his sun porch, eating kielbasa, fried eggs, or his famous pancakes, talking and reminiscing about Bellows Falls. His customers often came to pay their bills in person; he would often give their children treats - popsicles, juice boxes, Devil Dogs or baggies full of freshly popped popcorn.
James was born and raised in Walpole, NH on the family farm. He married Carol Barry of Bellows Falls in 1965 and has been a resident ever since. They have three children and seven grandchildren all of Bellows Falls. Steve, now semi-retired, enjoys working in his garden, and spending time with his family and friends in the great outdoors, as he is an avid hunter and fisherman.
Even though Steve is not an graduate of Bellows Falls High School, he loves this town he calls home, and the spirit of Bellows Falls lives in his heart.