A dear, dear man, another of the Greatest Generation Ever, gone... Harold would come by our house to sweettalk my late father, Steve La Grande, out of $100 to contribute to the St. Patrick's Day Bazaar. Amazingly Dad always won something great as a result & those of you who have been by our home know that the green machine bike in the family room was the last & best of those prizes...!)
Harold liked tea. I'd brew him a cup, serve oatmeal cookies & he & Dad would proceed to reminisce about old days of farming, old neighbors & giggle like 8 year old boys...
One day he came by with some treasures found in a shack on his property & knew I'd be interested. They were lithographs (seemingly original, not sure frankly) of Colusa County ranches & towns from the 1870's. He designated me the steward of them. When Dad passeed away (2007) Harold & I donated the entire collection to the Sacramento Valley Museum in his memory. Those two used to pour over the framed images (probably originally commissioned to advertise the RR coming through the west side of Sacramento Valley). Some of the llustrations have been published in local Colusa Co. history books. They are precious archives that only Harold understood the true value of. You can find them in the Archives Library of the Sacramento Valley Museum & I can later submit a list of whose ranches are depicted. It's a terrific find.
Harold & I would discuss the future of our towns, our ag economy. He was of unusal generosity as his obituary so well stated, of COMMON SENSE & wisdom.
My brother Dennis just kindly forwarded me this notcie of his demise. So I am writing this in France on the Atlantic Brittany Shore where I am leading a tour. The Normandy D Day beaches on the English Channel will be featured in a few days time on our route. I will dedicate the day to his memory to honor him, He is one of our many WWII veterans of uncommon committment & courage, always dedicated to duty.
May his life be a good model for us all, especially to remind us to contribute to the well being of Colusa County (as well as to places & peoples far away) with an open heart, and to advocate for a sustainable future that retains our rural lifestyle, holds our leaders accountable to make decisions & choices that benefit the common good which do NOT cater to a greedy few.
A special hug to Joan (& to Pris & to all your sibs...) Rest in eternal well-deserved peace dear family friend & neighbor...