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Jim playing for his Church’s Outside Festival, smiling at his grandson!

It is difficult to put into words the privilege and blessing of knowing Jim Dunn. We were introduced to one another thanks to a work meeting that brought his wife, Audrey, and I together close to six years ago. From the very first dinner we all shared, Jim and his family have taken me in and accepted me as one of their very own. It is often that I refer to both of them as Mama and Papa Dunn.

Jim lived the life every young man obsessed with rock n roll and The Beatles dreamed of living during their prime. At a young age, Jim finished high school and left the college track behind for the road and bright dreams of “making it.” He loved music and he wanted to travel. Period.

A proud Canadian, Jim was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, therefore making him an immigrant and an undocumented musician here in the United States. Status and legal policies could hardly stop Jim and his eager rock n roll band at the time and in 1968 they crossed the border through the Niagara Falls and began their career on the road.

Jim’s story is one of youth, excitement, life-changing decisions, and living the life he’d always dreamed of. In measuring Jim’s wealth, it is easy to tell that he has gained more than a King in his 68 years of an incredible life. As an undocumented man, Jim came to a country whose, “streets are painted in gold,” where he gained an inspiring music career, the love of his life and wife of 32 years, and his children whom he greatly loves being a dad to and most of all watching them chase their own dreams – just as he did!

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Papa Dunn and Eddye.

Jim and I have known each other for several years and it is only now that I have discovered an even deeper level to the story that lives inside this man. An incredible man whom I hold dear in my heart and call my family. The following is an account of Jim’s journey to the United States, his path to eventually gaining citizenship, and the incredible life on the road as a rock and roll musician, devoted husband, loving father and grandpa! Papa Dunn – here’s to you!

My Childhood