Letter - Memories of Stan Harris

To the editor:

I just finished reading Darrell Huckaby's column about Stan Harris in today's Newton Citizen. He did an excellent job of capturing the persona of such a great person. Stan and I grew up at probably the best time in our nation's history and for sure in one of the greatest towns anywhere. When we were kids we had the run of the city and were free to enjoy a life that today's kids can only read about. It was my great fortune to grow up around such a great person as Stan Harris.

Both he and his family always treated me like a member of their family. We went through elementary, junior high, high school, Middle Georgia College and the University of Georgia together. Never during this time can I recall Stan ever treating me, or anyone, in any manner other than how he would like to be treated. We had such great times playing ball together, skateboarding on I-20 before it was open to traffic, water skiing at Jackson Lake, going to stock car races, road trips, Beach Boys concerts and even the Beatles show in August of 1965 at Atlanta Stadium (for $5.50). I still have my ticket stub and I'll bet that Stan had his also.

When Stan met Becky, it was like she became one of our own and it was obvious that they both had such a love and respect for one another from the start. I remember well the trip we made to Virginia to visit Beck's wonderful family during spring break. I know it was meant for them to be together and they had nearly 40 great years of marriage. As we grew older and went our separate ways as adults, it didn't matter whether we had not seen each other in a few weeks or a few years, we were always able to take up right as we had been when we were young. Stan was always up-beat and always full of energy regardless of the moment. It always made me feel great to see Stan and Becky, no matter where or when.

The past week was like a bad dream. One that I wish I could have awakened from to find my dear friend of over 55 years alive and well. I wish I knew why bad things happen to such good people. It is clear to me that Stan never did one thing to deserve his fate. It is equally clear that I am a fortunate person to have known him all these years and to have had the privilege to call him my friend. It will never be quite the same without being able to see Stan from time to time and get that rush of nostalgia that he exuded so well, but one thing I know for sure is that I am a better person for having been his friend.

Tim Hopkins