Monday, October 31, 2005

Harold Parsons: reader, critic, friend

Harold S. Parsons, Rest In Peace

What the above link doesn't say is that Harold attended auctions here in Monmouth, every Sunday. He had worked for Jerry Ballard for the past year or so, more as a favor than for any other reason. It was, in fact, due to the auction I missed yesterday that I learned of his passing (ex sailorette came by to deliver treats and this news to me at my sickbed).

I'd met Harold and his wife, Mary Lou, at the Warren County Genealogical Society offices (you'd have to ask my mom why I was there, originally), and we'd enjoyed each other's company there and at the auctions, from the very start. I'm not sure how either place will get along without his considerable input. His daughter, Rowena, has also pitched in at Ballard's Auction House, but won't be able to work there much, once she finishes her degree and begins teaching.

Harold had always informed me (with good humor), every Sunday morning, that he had read my column in the Friday edition of the Review Atlas,* and he was always unflinching in his reviews. I think I was most pleased the day he finally said I got an "A".

Harold and I swapped barbs and books, when either of us found one we already had that the other might enjoy (he liked westerns, too).

I wish I had been healthy enough to attend his services this morning. His family deserves to know how much I liked and respected him. Harold Parsons was a good, generous man dressed in an ill-fitting curmudgeon suit.

*I'll save the sarcastic note for another time.

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