Monday, February 4, 2008

Missing Harry

After my second visit to the Happy Rock Cafe in Gladstone Oregon, Harry already knew me by name.

"Where's Augustin, Cornelia?" he asked.

On other occasions, he'd wonder, "What article are you writing right now, Cornelia?"

Always addressing me and every one else who entered Happy Rock Cafe by name was just Harry's style. It showed he cared. It showed his warmth.

Every time I'd walk into Happy Rock Cafe in Gladstone, there he was, playing Cribbage with the other guys. But Harry stood out. He had fishing stories and tales of his family in Gladstone and thoughts on life and questions as to how I was doing.

One time, he asked me more about my writing. I told him I write faith and inspiration stories for The Oregonian newspaper among other articles. The faith stories intrigued him -- one day I came in with my lap top to write and he was between cribbage games and told me to come join him on his table. He wanted to talk about the faith stories I wrote.

"Are you religious?" he asked and we talked about God and faith in Jesus Christ and I shared with him my personal journey coming to Christ in high school and Harry was honest. "I don't like people shoving religion down my throat." I believe in doing good and being kind to people and that he was.

Lately I have been very busy with my new teaching job and working on my book, so I have not gone as often to Happy Rock Cafe, and I happened to be there a day after Harry died and I found out he passed away from a heart attack the night before while taking his dog out at 11 at night and I was shocked. 62 years old.

Happy Rock Cafe will never be the same.

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