Click on the music note if you would like to listen to
Garth Brooks - “The Dance”
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had many friends thoughout his life. Many of those that were notified of his passing were asked to write a few words about their time with him. Some could not be contacted but that does not mean they were excluded from this Memorial to him.  If you have something that you would like posted here, please contact me and I will be happy to put up anything that is appropriate for his family and friends to read about .

For now, let’s let Harry’s friends tell you a little about their experiences with him.

Lea Blair writes:

Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry.  Whoa, we go back a long way. 

I remember back in 1975 Ron (my husband) mentioning a few friends that he had met from a grocery store that he delivered Weber’s Bread to. He wanted them to be invited to our annual New Year’s Eve Party. I really didn’t want him bringing two more drinking buddies to our fun but rather tame party.  Harry and Garry came a little late, rather drunk (what did I tell you?) but there was something about Harry that drew me to him.  We danced, sat by the fireplace and talked, as only Harry can talk when he was drunk. I fell in like with him that night and he with me. Ron would always say there was a mutual respect between Harry and me.

Garry passed by the wayside, but Ron, Harry and I would meet for drinks in and around Ventura county and always enjoyed talking and listening to music.

In ’77 we met a few other friends that would prove to be lifetime friends. Bob came first, then it was John, Charlene, Lindy, and everyone’s kids.  Harry was a part of this friendship totally.

Drinking was a big part of the picture back in the late 70s and early 80s. Ron quit drinking first, which changed the picture somewhat. Bob and Lindy broke up, which set the stage for Harry and Lindy. All these little changes would change the dynamics of the overall relationships between everyone, but Harry’s and my friendship remained pretty much the same throughout.

Harry had relationships with each and every one in this tight little group of people as befitted whatever they had in common.  Harry and Ron were drinking buddies and became best of friends. Harry and Bob were brothers for a long time.  Harry and Lindy were lovers.  Harry and John had a love/hate respect for one another. Harry and Charlene were in sync as long as Harry wasn’t drinking.

We would all play pool in the little playroom that Lindy had built.  Lindy, Chuck and Harry would play their guitars and we’d sing, dance, listen, play pool, enjoy the fireplace, the camaraderie.  All the kids would constantly be in and out, playing, enjoying life.

Harry and I didn’t always see eye to eye.  There were things I totally disliked about him. But when I really thought about it, most of the things I disliked about Harry were the things I disliked about myself. So I learned a lot about myself by being friends with Harry.  He was some kind of mirror unto myself.

The last trip we had to Vegas with Harry was the year I turned 50 and I was going to be a grandma for the first time, 1995.  Harry was so happy for me.  We were truly good friends. He was like a brother I never had.

We will always remember Harry and love him as the friend, brother, lover he was to us all.

Lea

Lindy Bratcher writes:

I met Harry in the Spring of 1977. I remember Charlene called me and asked me to meet her at a tiny bar in East Ventura called the Petty Pub after I got off work.  (That bar just happened to be owned by my cousin, Terry Petty. The only reason I mention that is somehow there seemed to be six degrees of separation in the dynamics that went on in the forming of this particular group.)  I was tired and really didn’t want to go, besides I was mourning the loss of a guy I was seeing at the time and Charlene was trying to snap me out of it. I argued with her to no avail. There really is no arguing with Char when she has her mind set on something so I gave in, like I always did, and agreed to meet her and John, her boyfriend then – her husband now, after I got off work.

I walked into this small dark bar, looked around and smack in the middle of the back part of the bar was this large group of people, about 10 or 12. I saw Charlene and started to walk towards the tables they had pushed together to make one large seating space. I was working at a restaurant in Ventura at the time tending bar so my eyes adjusted quickly and I could tell everyone was having a lively discussion and seemed to be having a good time. Charlene greeted me, whispering in my ear “there are some single guys here”, and John started making the introductions.  As he went around the table he introduced me to Ron and Lea Blair and I piped up “I know you! You do our pool!”  (Ron worked for Weber’s but was starting his own pool business and was doing ours)  Ron took a minute then finally recognized me but it was the first time Lea and I had met so she shook my hand and smiled. I liked her immediately and could see she was somewhat shy and I could relate to that. Charlene was talking a mile a minute to someone else at the table while John concluded the introductions.  Little did I know that my second husband was sitting right across the table from me! Bob was from New Jersey and a little scary because he was so “in charge” of everything around him, but he really did grow on all of us. Harry was sitting next to Bob and next to Harry was his girlfriend Cheri.  I looked at Harry trying to figure him out because he was the only one at the table not saying much and seemed almost sad.  I wondered about that and what his story was. I did find out later that he was a very quiet individual and one time I asked him about it and he told me “there is no point in saying anything if you don’t have anything to say”. I guess he was right about that. There were times I wish I had kept my mouth shut about a lot of things! 

Over the years, things changed, some for the better and some not so good.  But through it all, Harry was there.  He dated different women while we knew him but Lea, Charlene and I were always there some how in the middle of Harry’s life like a bunch of mother hens not wanting to let go of our sad little chick. We loved him more than any of his “women” that passed through and we were not afraid to tell him so.  Lea would cry, Harry would comfort her, Charlene would make deep intellectual observations and Harry would tease her about bending her brain, I would have some fear or reservations about whatever and Harry would tell me it would be all right and would work out. We were a family that included more than blood and we did not exclude anyone.  We would chastise each other, encourage each other, laugh and cry together and we helped each other through some major traumas.  Through it all we were together, even when we were apart. We loved each other and still do.  Not much ever came between us, not much could because we wouldn’t let it.  There was a deep abiding respect for each other that is hard to find in a world so very big and very scary. We needed each other. 

Things change over time but some things stay the same. Love remains, friendship remains, family remains.  I have shed many tears over Harry in my life but these are the saddest tears ever and I am sure they will not stop for a very long time.

 

Charlene Edwards writes:

I met Harry in 1977 with my other close friends, Lindy Bratcher and Lea Blair.  This group of friends would grow and change in size and personality over the course of twenty-five years.  It was a somewhat fluid group, figuratively and literally, which Harry was the more "fluid."  My contact with him would be on the contingency of his sober state.   I really didn't want to be around him when he was under the influence.

We did have a few primary things in common:  ELVIS, music, and a sense of humor. We would talk about ELVIS music and ELVIS movies and ELVIS stuff.  One time on vacation I bought him an ELVIS tin filled with chocolates.  One time he bought me a little wooden case in the shape of a guitar with a facsimile of an ELVIS PRESLEY signature on it.  Inside of it was a decorative ELVIS pen. I still have it on my bookcase and see it daily.
                  
I always enjoyed the music he made and never missed a chance to listen when he was playing guitar.  We also talked about music, technique, and artists. 
                
Too many humorous events happened to recount, but there used to be a program on television that had a puppet character of an old man named "Walter."  We loved that guy and would laugh to tears watching him.  It was really Harry's mirror image. As long as you loved "Walter," you really loved Harry.

I think at one point, talking to Harry after he stopped drinking, he wanted to make a change in his life.  I believe that change was his marriage to Josephine and being a father to two young sons.  He gave it his all!  I was very proud of him.

Harry and I had some very humorous times and some really serious ones, too.  I will remember those times the most and cherish them as what I liked best about Harry and our friendship. One of the nicest things Harry every said to me was that he thought I was a "good Mother."  Well Harry, you were a "good Father."

Rest in peace Harry, we all loved you.

 

Chuck Boyer writes:

Dear Harry,

I'd like to thank you:

For late night drives on country roads

For so many conversations

For questions I couldn't answer

For honest answers

For music played and music shared

For hopping freights

For football games

For fishing trips

For poker nights

For a cold beer

For double dates and double weddings

For a place to stay

For sharing laughter

For sharing tears

For sharing fears

For sharing with me who you really were

For always accepting me for who I was

For helping me become who I am

For being there

For loving me

For 38 years of memories

For being my most loyal friend

I miss you terribly but I will never forget you. You will always be a part of me.

Your friend,

Chuck

 

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