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James Bama: 1926–2022

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James Bama, a nationally regarded painter, died in Cody, Wyoming, recently, four days short of his 96th birthday. I regret being out of touch with him for most of the last 14 years since I moved to Idaho.

Jim was certainly a friend, though he was a man with a lot of friends, and he just as easily drew a crowd at the grocery store or on the streets of Cody as he could at a ritzy arts event at one of the town’s many galleries or the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. I mostly saw him at the Cody Public Library, where we shared a penchant for reading free newspapers.

His much younger wife, Lynne, was — like me — a freelance writer, regularly spending time researching her pieces in the library, and since they were inseparable, Jim always tagged along. Lynne’s and my

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