Ira Ludwin called me tonight. I haven’t spoken to him in a while. Our mutual friend Harry Wolf was killed in a car crash. I hadn’t spoken to Harry in a while either.
Harry and I, to use the term currently in vogue, palled around in the 70s. We were friends through ham radio. I knew Harry when he met, moved in with, then married Debby. They were married 32 years. They had a son and daughter–both in their twenties now.
Harry was an off-center kind of guy. Bald early, Harry wore glasses and was never confused with an athlete. He was a smart guy who knew a lot about a lot of different things. He ran a self-financed talk show on a little station in Jersey. I understand he was teaching recently–at Temple, his alma mater.
His relationship with Debby was the best part of the story. She was an amazing catch and Harry knew it. She loved him unconditionally from day one. It is difficult to conceive a more nurturing relationship.
Tonight on the phone Debby reminded me of July 4, 1976. I was living in the Philly area. Harry and Debby, along with a few other friends went to Washington, DC for the Bicentennial fireworks.
We sat on a small hill overlooking the Mall. Our section applauded loudly when, from our vantage point, it looked like a shell would hit a plane. I know that sounds awful today, but we knew it was just an optical illusion. It was a good natured example of homogeneous crowd personality. It was a memorable day all around.
What do you say at a time like this?
This is the part of life they never explain when you’re growing up.