About a half century ago, Harry McCawley and I arrived in Columbus, albeit from opposite directions and backgrounds. He was from Kentucky and bled UK blue, while I hailed from Northwest Indiana (yep, Da Region) and wore the red of IU quite proudly. We never allowed that difference to get in the way of our friendship.

Harry was the sports editor of The Republic at that time, and I was involved doing a fun thing as part of a team with Sam Simmermaker broadcasting high school sports on the radio. Sam and I were heading to Rushville to do a Bull Dogs basketball game, and Harry bummed a ride. Even though he and I soon were no longer involved in sports in that same way, we continued to be friends, crossing paths for a myriad of reasons.

A few years ago, the three of us decided to form a lunch group, including Seymour’s Jim Plump, who had been a sports reporter for the paper during the time that I still worked with Sam. Naturally, because of our mutual love and involvement with sports, that topic took an abundance of the luncheon discussions. However, Harry always managed to sneak in a comment or two about some project in which he was involved, and there were scores of those from which he could choose.

Before I join in with the multitudes singing praises of all that Harry has done for our community, I would like to add another verse to punctuate what I felt was his strongest attribute, and the underlying foundation for everything he ever did. Harry McCawley was a people person from the get-go, and people were his first consideration in any endeavor in which he was involved.

He also believed that before you could be a true success in any career or undertaking in life, you had to be a good person in the first place. And that’s what Harry was, before all else, he was a good man.

– Pete Orlich, Columbus