James Darby was a typical 17-year-old kid. The baby of his family, he was a senior at Liverpool High School who liked paintball, video games, cars and going for long walks. Like any boy his age, he was reluctant to be caught in the embraces of the women in his life, but he was starting to grow out of that.
"He would never let me hug him," said his aunt Kiki. "He'd roll his eyes when I'd kiss him on the cheek. But the last few times I saw him, he kissed me on the cheek. He was maturing. He was starting to become a man."
Sadly, James Darby, Jimmy to his friends and family, won't get to become a man. He died last Sunday night as a result of injuries suffered when he lost control of the car he was driving and crashed in Auburn. Now his family is left to wonder why, left with nothing but memories of the boy they loved.
Jimmy's family shared those memories this weekend, hoping to give the community a glimpse of their son, brother, nephew, uncle and cousin.
"He walked a lot," his mother Darlene recalled. "He would walk all throughout the neighborhood (the Darbys live on Kies Drive) 10 times a day. Sometimes he'd walk all the way to Long Branch Park.
"It was his thinking time," said sister Theresa. "He'd put on his headphones and just go for miles. He didn't like us to tag along; we were too slow."
Darlene recalled a time when Jimmy was so lost in his thoughts that he ended up in another town entirely.
"He called me crying," she said. "He was lost. He said he was somewhere that started with an 'S.' I said, 'Skaneateles?!?' But he was in Solvay. I drove out to Lakeland to pick him up."