Half way through Scar Lover and thought of him and found this site. A truly remarkable humanity gone from us.
Thanks for the stories, Mr. Crews.
Great writer,inspired my own tales,Sergio
By reason of a strange combination of factors, including mere chance, I've met, interviewed, jammed with and otherwise gotten to know a fair number of luminary sorts of people in my life, but Harry Crews is the only one who ever intimidated me. He didn't do so by design or intent - it was just by reason of the walking power that was his. This was the case long before I read his book "A Childhood: The Biography of a Place," which is the single most moving piece of writing I have ever absorbed. I have some incredible stories revolving around Harry, and I intend to put them down at some point, but it isn't as if I was a best friend or shared some staggeringly important times together. It's more that the few times we were together were indelibly imprinted in my memory because of that undeniable importance that was Harry. I could never be myself around him, and more's the pity, because I think we could have been friends had I been able to rise above my stupid awe of him (which he hated, of course). His roll off a motorcycle and under a truck without dying; his writing alone, for God's sake; the life he led that didn't kill him; the fear he struck in muscle-bound idiots who ruined a get-together of mine - and I could go on. And all he was without my ever having to have gotten to know him really at all. Harry, I tried to learn the song you were trying to get me to play, but it wasn't to be. I did get to see a very gentle side of you, but I never was able to be myself around you. Never, never. I hope you get it now, if you even care, but the sorry thing is, I still care for you to care. What is that magic? And all of that aside from the incredible books - I read all but one or two. Still my favorite writer, by far. By far...
Dear Harry, all of us from English 8C at Lakeshore Junior High will remember you to the grave. Having a private reading of your short stories gave us many sleepless nights... especially the one about the guy with cancer of the lip, tongue, and epiglottis. Standing at the board with my nose in a chalk ring and failing to go the distance will stay with me forever. May God bless you if you meet him and thanks from me if you don't... I mean this with utmost respect and gratitude for the example you set as one who was willing to look into the abyss and wait for it to return the favor. Sorry we couldn't visit more while you were here. I'll look for you in the hereafter.
Had to say something: Same name, both former Marines, Not related to him, but know he's been living in the chaotic symmetry.
I am now reading A Gypsy's Curse and what a story it is. I have so enjoyed your descriptions of each and every character, especially Marvin Molar. One cannot help but chuckle at his thoughts described by you. I have easily pictured every character in my head as I read because of your descriptions.
Carry on Harry Crews!
Herman Mack of Harry's best book CAR said,"I'm going to eat a car, because it's there." Harry Crews wrote about the South and its misfits " because they are there." Now cracks a noble and genous heart. May choirs of dark angels sing thee to thy rest. Your roommate from the Punic Wars, Ed Nagel
My heart has been heavy since you've been gone. You cried long ago when I mentioned I child I knew of with a serious illness, and his parents were very poor and lived out in the sticks. You said “I'll pay the goddamn bills.” You fell, and leaned on me as we walked but not very hard. I called you a bad name once when I was frustrated by your drinking, and I have always been sorry about that. You were a good man and shared so unreservedly with so many. Dearest Harry, you blessed me. My deepest sympathies to the Crews family for their great loss.
Ah, Harry, you were unforgettable. And youwere curmudgeonely until the end. The pain an torments you endured mean plenty to even those disaffiliated former students, like myself, whose career you helped to propel.
But the pain, oh Harry, you always captured the pain. And ironically, that pain has helped me and mine understand the joy in life.
And I only lament that I never had the chance to share that, through my kids, with you.
You moved me to Gainesville by your words. That is saying something. And your love of the heart spurs me on still. Best to Byron and Sally. Indeed, this is complicated.
Upon sendng the manuscript of "THe Knockout Artist" to The U. of Georgia, you were, predictably, irritated and curt. And that I never lost your focus as narrator and reader, I will forever treasure.
What folks who've never done this won't get is the skill and craft to which you were ever dedicated, despite the rest.
I mourn your loos, bless your body of work, and pray some context gets people like me again within you love of narrative and irony.
I fear too much the ridicule our times may offer your work. In it I bet a serious portion of my own life, became close to you, and now must try to make amends for a relationship that never met closure--but how well you novels reflect that. But the pain, oh
don,t know if we were related, but i would have liked to meet you. R.I .P. Rick Crews
HARRY CREWS ,I NEVER KNEW YOU ,READ SOME OF YOUR STORIES,WISH WE COULD HAVE SET AND TALKED ,LIVED IN THE SAME AREA ,LIVED SOME OF SAME CHILDHOOD LIFE STYLES AS YOU SO I CAN RELATE TO YOUR CHILDHOOD STORIES,NOT SURE BUT I THINK WE MAY BE RELATED,I'LL INVESTI GATE,MY FATHER AND GRANDFATHER WAS FROM THE SAME AREA.YOU AND I FAVOR SOMEWHAT.MAY YOU BE THREE DAYS THROUGH THE PEARLY GATES BEFORE THE OLD MAN KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD,YOU ARE ALREADY MISSED.
FRED E CREWS
Dear Crews Family,
Please accept my deepest sympathies on the loss of your beloved. There are never any right words to express how deeply sad I am for the pain your family is enduring at this difficult time.
Although I did not have the honor and pleasure of knowing him, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations, I am sincerely thankful for his valiant service in defense of our rights and freedom.
His commitment to family, friends, our community, and to serving our great nation leaves a wonderful legacy. May the love and the wonderful memories you shared with him help you when you need it most. He will never be forgotten, and your family will be remembered in my prayers.
Everytime I have to enter a secret clue to my password - i pick the : favorite author - Harry Crews
Harry is now in a better place than the rest of us. It is our loss and his peace at last! May the family find love in his memories.
Taylor's 7 generations Florida
Great writers live forever through their books. Rest in peace.
I have a policy against keeping books that I've read around, lazing on shelves with no purpose - trophies of self-importance - but I can't let go of any of these damn Crews books. They move with me from house to house, and I honestly find explaining their presence uncomfortable. Crews' writing hooks into me and worms its way around inside like no other writer. Harry, I will miss your voice. Thank You.
Truth of the matter was, stories were everything, and everything was stories.
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Mr. Crews could at times across as very obnoxious, I met him a few times but he was a very outspoken. He would not bite his tongue but would just tell how it was.
He will be missed by the ones who cared enough to really know him. He was a master at writing and capturing the attention of folks when they would hear him talking.
The man was a very, very great writer, one who hasn't ever received his proper evaluation. His book "Body" is among the finest novels written in the previous century. Rest in peace, Mr. Crews.
May the GOD of tender mercies bring you
comfort and peace.
I am very sorry for your lost. I assited with his movie "The Hawk is Dying".
Sally, You were always there to help Harry. We will miss his wit and the great stories he told us.
As it turns out, survival wasn't triumph enough; he created a life of profound significance and accomplishment yet remained a kind man whose basic goodness and authenticity shone through all the talent and success. With sincere gratitude for all the words, wisdom, and wonderful memories. Deepest sympathies to his family.
I've met Harry Crews only once at a book signing for "The Knockout Artist" sometime in the early 1990's. At the time I had almost all of his works which he gratefully signed with a personal message.
When I read his novels I am amazed at his ability to describe a character or situation in such fine detail that I hear his voice sculpting the character as I continue, seeing just what they look like in my mind.
His style is so readable and his characters so believable that it is as if he is a sculptor, making his characters totally three dimentional and very alive.
I read all his books over again as they are always fresh, always enjoyable and always Harry Crews believeable: Sometimes eccentric, sad, unfortunate, obsessed, freakish but always fully human in quality and situation.
Picking a favorite is difficult at best: Naked in Garden Hills, The Knockout Artist, Body, The Gospel Singer and The Gypsy's Curse are among my top pics at the moment.
I wish I had been able to sit down with him over a bottle of whiskey and discuss his methods and motives for his characters. He was and continues to be a national treasure that will always be with us.
I hope Harry is still dreaming and writing, wherever he is today.
May the cosmos keep you, Harry Crews.
A Harry Crews Fan for Life,
My Condolences to the Crews Family:
may you be comforted by God's Word, the Bible. James 4:8 encourages; "Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you."
“There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.”
Thank you Harry. Rest in peace.
Through his words, he touched lives in ways he could never have known. What finer testament to a life of purpose? Knowing the Lord will welcome that little boy, burned and frightened, who fueled the man's work and legacy. To the family and those closest to him, wishing you peace.
I first saw Harry Crews walking down that trace in "Search for the One-Eyed Jesus" and simply thought him to be the finest and most riveting story-teller I had ever heard. This in combination with his truthful depiction of his part of the country, a part I had come to know and love and hate only as an adult, made me seek out his work and every scrap he ever wrote. To know his work is to feel like you are harboring a terrible but beautiful secret, one which you are dying to share with everyone, but know you have to be careful in your choices, as not everyone would appreciate it.
Sounds like a hell of a man!
Condolences to his family and friends. Had the experience of knowing him and was better for it.
R.I.P. from one of those living the Gypsy's Curse.
“In time, the heart heals, leaving us with memories —
not of our sorrow, but of the love we have ...
I HAD BRO. CREWS FOR ENGLISH AT BROWARD
JUNIOR COLLEGE IN '68 OR '69. HE WOULD TELL
US STORIES OF HIS TIME IN THE MARINES AND OF THE PUBLICATION OF HIS FIRST NOVEL.
FROM A FLORIDA CRACKER TO A GEORGIA CRACKER I HOPE HE FOUND WOLFES "A LAND
MORE KIND THAN HOME"
OLD TIMER POMPANO
Ive BEEN A FAN OF HARRY CREWS SINCE MY OWN TIME IN THE MARINE CORPS IN THE LATE 70s. A UNIQUE AND TIMELESS AMERICAN VOICE>SEMPER FI AND RIP. FRANK KOVACS BETHEL CT
Thank-you Harry Crew for being your self and opening many doors for generations to come.
Spent some time with Harry in re-hab some years ago. He lived out here in the woods near me also along time ago. A special person, my condolences to the family. He was certainly different in the good sence. He will be missed. A great person to know for the short time I did. His works will live forever.
Time ran out... Such Sadness, but you'll be long remembered by so many. I have you to thank for all the stories about my "blood" as you called us. I'd like to think that perching hawk on my car is you!! Time ran out...
May you have peace knowing that your loved one suffers no more. God is greater than our hearts. He will help you to bear your loss.
every time i called harry on the phone he answered and spoke politely even tho he didnt know who i was. he once gave me his address and said visit, which i did, and i left thrilled and saddened and inspired. if there is the conventional christian god that harry and i were reared with i hope it remembers harrys acts of kindness to strangers like me.
"Peace I leave with you, peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
To a man who exemplified the true meaning of survivorship...blessings to his family.
Susan Sharp (Author, San Antonio, TX)
My condolences to the family and know that God will comfort your heart in your time of loss. Psalms 55:22
May the God of comfort be with the family during this time of distress. Psalms 46:1
rip jarhead-see you in the next world don't be late
i'm sorry to hear about your lost i once lost someone dear to me and at first it felt like i was dying inside but the thing that help me to cope was the bible and prayer to jeahovah
My sympathies are with your family. During this difficult time may you draw close to God and he will draw close to you. James 4:8
Inside Written Journey
In memory of time loss
LifeLove Joy Inspired
And admired humor~
Sentiments for HARRYCREWS
"Don't go crazy, Joe Lon. Don't go crazy, boy."
The Rev. Maurice L. Goldsmith, D.D.
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Sally, Byron, family, friends, and fans: My prayers and sorrow are for you at with the loss of Harry. He obviously loved ya'll more than he loved life and his legacy. He will be truly missed!
In my life I have been a coward and I have been brave. I have been a drunk and a drug addict and a sober judge of men. I have been to prison and I have put men there. I have been to war and I have been a pacifist. Harry knew me for what I was and for what I became. He never judged me. I loved him for that. I shall always love him as as if a beloved brother. Rest in peace, man. I will see you again.
I loved Harry Crews the author, I never had the privilege of meeting him in person. My condolences to all who knew him in real life and are missing him. I gave a copy of Body last month to a young friend of mine and told him you have to read this book, I will keep recommending him to all my friends when they say do you know a good book to read. My dad, who passed away sometime ago and I read Harry Crew's book of short stories at the same time, and isn't great how reading the same book makes you closer to someone.
Sorry for your loss.(Isa.33:24)
I am so sorry for your lost. May you and your family rely on God in this time if grief.
Dear Family, you have my deepest heartfelt condolences. May God be with you to bring you comfort and peace through this difficult time. He promises us at Isaiah 61:2, 25:8 "he will actually do away with death forever...will certainly wipe the tears from all faces."
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
Harry Crews made a lasting, positive impression about writing in his UF classes.
He was the most terrifying and exhilarating teacher I ever had. The world is a much duller place without him.
mad forever mad about harry to skies of blank sheets of papers .you can now write in peace.never forgotten in the book of life
He lived a poor and tough childhood, but became an interesting free man. Senator Byrd In Augusta
A true American free spirit has passed this way and gone. An original man and one for the ages. God bless and rest in peace.
Lots of memories of nights at Lillian's. A hui hou Harry.
Memories fade. Not all. Most. Mine of him are alive and strong as long as I remain to admire them. I'm sorry to learn of his passing away.
By the looks of the guest book highlights....He kindness overruled...
He really was a gentlemen and a scholar. Thanks Henry for bestowing your kindness to the world. RIP.
The hawk has passed ; The words still soar. RIP Harry
Good Bye Mr Crews May you Rest in Peace.. You will be Missed.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW - What a Ride!"
You did it, Harry! And you were a great inspiration to me.
My thoughts are with you during this time, Byron. I remember you fondly, as a boy in Sabines.
Mr. Crews enriched my passion for reading---his words were magic---his work made me laugh, smile and at times just a shake of the head at how he could bring to life such dysfunctional characters.
Harry meeting up with Bert Sugar the same week on the other side of the river with Mickey Rourke waiting. See ya later guys.
Harry Crews was one of the most intestesting, complex personalities I've had the priviledge to know for over 40 years. He'll be missed. Condolences to the Crews family.
We grow old. All my heroes perish.
I will read Mr.Harry Crews books after reading his Obit. Bacon County,GA had an inspirational person from there and hope they remember Mr.Crews. May God bless his family.
"How do you like your blue eyed boy Mr. Death?" Harry will be missed by many. RIP Harry you lived a hard life.
Condolences to the Crews Family - What endurance displayed by one who suffered much tragedy. Soon..."and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
I knew Harry as a colleague and friend at UF in the 60s. He was kind to my mother. His friendship meant a lot to me. I will miss him. Butler Waugh Tampa Bay. FL
My memories of Harry Crews go back to Gainesville when he used to chat about almost everything, including cabbages and kings, at the old Burger House on University Avenue where he tended bar during his student days at UF. I like to think Harry made my life a little fuller than it would have otherwise been. Ave atque vale!
Thank you for your service to your country
Harry was a wonderful mentor and good friend to me not too many years ago when I really needed both. I will always remember him and love him equally--for his brilliant writing, kindness to new writers, and the sweet soul that I was fortunate enough to get to know. RIP Harry. My thoughts and prayers go out to his treasured family.
Iona St. will miss you as will the Canditos, most of whom are also gone.
We are the same age Harry. But I never knew ye' That I will rectify now. Go in peace.
I took a course with Mr. Crews in G'ville, 1970-'71 and will always remember him as an exceptionally talented teacher, so vibrant and alive. My condolences to his family and friends.
R.I.P. Harry... you are remembered as a mentor and friend by so many of us aspiring writers from the '70s. Deepest condolences to Sally Ellis Crews, to his son Byron, his brother, and to his grandson. He's remembered by so many of us. He said that he intended to keep writing “until the curtain comes down”... and he did that so well.
"O that now my words were written down!
O that in a book they were even inscribed!" (Job 19:23)
Harry wrote about real to life stories.
May the God of love and peace ,comfort you.Please accept my deepest sympathy.
I had Freshman English (C-31)in a 7:40 class with Harry Crews in 1956. Even then, his innate skill with the written word was obvious. He had returned from duty with the Marines, attended class in jeans and a white tee shirt with sleeve appropriately rolled to hold his cigarettes, a colorful character even then. His work speaks for itself, although my favorite was "The Gospel Singer". RIP, Harry.
Rest in Peace Harry Crews, the world has lost a great person but at least you are no longer in pain.
Thanks for the South Ga. stories that I could identify with! In tribute I will re-read Feast of Snakes....
I have many of his books. Had the pleasure to get them personally signed along with a "Knockout Artist" poster.
The "Duke" was "True Grit" Harry was "True Wit". A very talented,fellow UF Alum who was an intelligent man....ride on Harry RIP.
Rest in peace..For your stories- I can't possibly thank you enough.....and I bet I'm not the only one.
Please accept my deepest sympathies.
May the God of comfort be with the family and friends.
Florida has lost one of its last true storytellers. RIP Mr. Crews. Thanks for the memories.