As most of us are struggling, albeit happily, to “spring ahead” – rising an hour earlier, adjusting to darker mornings and lighter nights – there is one anti-DST protester who has just said good-bye to all that.
Harry Weathersby Stamps died Saturday, just before he would have had to adjust to another round of clock manipulation.
In his obituary for the Sun Herald in Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss., his daughter Amanda Lewis wrote, “He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil's Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest.”
Describing her dad as a “ladies' man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler,” Lewis has written an obituary that has “gone viral,” making its delighted way into email in-boxes around the country, perhaps the world.
PHOTO COURTESY AMANDA LEWIS: Harry Stamps rests at a campsite. 'This is a picture from my childhood with daddy at Indian Creek the campground in North Carolina,' daughter Amanda Lewis says. 'Note his elastic waist shorts and T-shirt in full swing in the 1970s. In the background is our starter tent before the upgrade to the used pop up. Blow up the picture and you can see where he used colored tape on the tent poles as his marking system to know which pole went to the right pole.' (Photo via Sun Herald)
“I’ve been getting emails and texts from all my friends and my sister is on Twitter and we are shocked at what people are saying,” Lewis said the morning after the wake. “We’ve gotten calls from people all over the country who he taught…I am so joyful for him…it just tickles me.”
Lewis said she wrote the obituary in the car as her family drove from Dallas, where she is a lawyer, to Mississippi when the doctor said the end was near. “My mom is the exact opposite of my dad, very proper and this just wouldn’t be her style. I wasn’t sure she would let me run with it but it’s who my dad was.”
Stamps packed a lot into his 80 years. Here are some of the highlights:
Harry was locally sourcing his food years before chefs in California starting using cilantro and arugula (both of which he hated).
He had a life-long love affair with deviled eggs, Lane cakes, boiled peanuts, Vienna [Vi-e-na] sausages on Saltines, his homemade canned fig preserves, pork chops, turnip greens, and buttermilk served in martini glasses garnished with cornbread.
The women in his life were numerous. He particularly fancied smart women. … He married his main squeeze Ann Moore, a home economics teacher, almost 50 years ago.
He taught [his daughters] to fish, to select a quality hammer, to love nature, and to just be thankful. He took great pride in stocking their tool boxes.
Harry took fashion cues from no one. His signature every day look was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt designed by the fashion house Fruit of the Loom, his black-label elastic waist shorts worn above the navel and sold exclusively at the Sam's on Highway 49, and a pair of old school Wallabees (who can even remember where he got those?) that were always paired with a grass-stained MSU baseball cap.
Harry traveled extensively. He only stayed in the finest quality AAA-rated campgrounds, his favorite being Indian Creek outside Cherokee, North Carolina. He always spent the extra money to upgrade to a creek view for his tent. Many years later he purchased a used pop-up camper for his family to travel in style, which spoiled his daughters for life.
He despised phonies, his 1969 Volvo (which he also loved), know-it-all Yankees, Southerners who used the words "veranda" and "porte cochere" to put on airs, eating grape leaves, Law and Order (all franchises), cats, and Martha Stewart.
In a final tribute to a dearly beloved Southern character, the obit concludes: “… the family asks that in honor of Harry that you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time.”
Written by Susan Soper. Soper is the author of ObitKit™, A Guide to Celebrating Your Life. A lifelong journalist, she has been a reporter with Newsday, writer for CNN, and Features Editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she launched a series called "Living with Grief."