The Heroes of Harry

My Heroes 

William Douglas - on the Supreme Court for longer than any other person, 38 years. He wrote Griswald v Conn, which is what Roe v Wade is based on. He was an environmentalist. He was a great man. 

Eugene Debs - He was a great legislator who tried to make the country a better place. 

Alan Watts - Alan Watts is an Eastern Philosopher, he had a brilliant mind, he had a book called The Book, which is the best book ever written. He goes beyond Eastern Philosophy to the way minds really work. 

Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel, his thinking, his music fills up my head with religion, politics and sociology, I think like I think because of Peter Gabrial. 

Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, his politics are great. He is 74 years old, and he’s still making people mad. 

William Burroughs - His brain is all messed up, but he thinks crooked. 

Robert Anton Wilson - He is one of my favorite thinkers. 

Those are my heroes, you're all my heroes, but those are my heroes that I don't know. 

Jerry C. Larson Jr. August 13, 2019


  1. Off the top of my head I'd have to say the first hero that comes to my mind is Carl Sagan. His beautifully done PBS series Cosmos began moving me away from superstition to rational thinking. Now, I'm not always rational but I try.

  2. Peter Gabriel. Nasreen earned my undying loyalty by not only knowing the lyrics to "Supper's Ready" but mentioning them online.
    That's also how I knew that Nasreen was likely not who she claimed she was as she was kinda young to be a fan of Gabriel era Genesis.
    There aren't that many people around who one can joke and banter with about Peter Gabriel lyrics, but Harry was one of them, and I adored him for it.
    Peter Gabriel has had a large impact on my life. It was at a show of his at the Greek Theater in Berkeley in 1983 that Briana and myself first realized that we needed to live in the East Bay, and 36 years later we're still here, although I don't know how much longer we can last in this housing market.
    Thank you for posting this. I saw Pam's description of the memorial service here and on Michelle's blog (where he used to comment sometimes) and read her appeal for you to post it. It really is an illuminating list.

    -Doug in Oakland

    1. A few months ago, Harry had to undergo Gamma Knife Radiation for the lesions that were forming in his head. (Don't worry, this part of the story gets happier to a degree). This procedure was to take four hours to have done and he would have to lay mostly still on his back. Because of some of the issues that he had, it terribly hurt him to lay flat on his back for any period of time, let alone for four hours. Luckliy, unlike having to go through with an MRI, they were able to stop and start it at any stage. With twenty minutes left, he got to a point where he said that he was done and could not continue with this remaining time because the back pain was getting unbearable. During this procedure that was taking more than almost five hours, we were able to play music for him throughout the whole duration. I have video of his feet bouncing back and forth with the music that was playing. During this small break, I was able to enter the room and talk to him. I helped him sit up for a minute after they disconnected his head frame from the machine. I gave him a hug while he kept saying that he cannot continue. I asked him if he would do it for me. He just kinda sat there for a few seconds without saying anything. The only words that he spoke next was "Supper's Ready". To my mom, dad or the technician, these words would probably just confuse them, but I knew exactly what he wanted. He knew the song so well, and knew how long he had left at any given point of that remaining twenty minutes. He went through the entire song with no complaints and was able to finish.

  3. Great thinkers, philosophers, men of principle, compassion and insight. I'm not surprised they were on Harry's Heroes list. Thank you for sharing the list with us! I hope you and your family are beginning to find a little heart's ease.

    1. Thank you. It is hard on everyone.
      I was thinking about earlier tonight that he and I had built our own little worlds with music, books, movies and anything else that touched upon any and all of those things.
      I have to learn to live alone in this world that we built.
      I know I am fortunate to have it though, I just wish I still had his company within it.

  4. Harry asked a group of us that was gathered in his room one day at the hospital, if we would like to know who his heroes were. I had turned on the voice memos recorder on my phone, as our mom used hers to video his telling of who his heroes were. He pointed at each of us individually and told us each that we were his heroes, but these were the heroes that he did not know.

    A few moments after he finished telling us, Harry asked who was going to speak at his funeral. I told him unfortunately that I was going to. I then proceeded to ask him if he would write it for me. He told me no.

    I began my speech with the "unfortunate" conversation above. I finished it with reading word for word what he had told us that day about these heroes. So I suppose in a way, he was still able to write it for me.

  5. Thank you for continuing to share - hope this is helping you too.

  6. That's a great list. I've never had a list of heroes, since I know how incredibly flawed and worthy we each are. I said the Matthew McConaughey thing years before he did about how my future self is my hero but I didn't say it on an awards stage so no one heard me. I've never read "The Book." Could be that's my hero in waiting. ��

  7. I was just looking at an old blog post of mine and saw a comment from Nasreen, which led me back here again. It's lovely that you're keeping his voice alive.


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