Shortly before her death in 2011, I asked my mom, Shirley London, what her favorite childhood memory was. She didn’t even hesitate. She told me it was getting to ride in a 1926 Ford Tri-motor plane when she was a little girl during the Depression.

The day my mother died, coincidentally, and I believe, magically, there was a picture of her on the front page of The Republic, looking down on Columbus from the window of a 1926 Ford Tri-motor plane. Harry had written the article, and I had taken it as a sign that she would always be watching over us from above.

I called Harry immediately and told him that I read his article to my mom while she lay in hospice. I don’t know if she heard me, but I know she died surrounded by the family she loved, and the memories she cherished. Later that week, with permission, he shared that story too. That’s the thing about Harry. He didn’t care if you owned the plane, or if you scrounged up $1 to take a ride in it. He just lived to tell your story.

Rest in peace, Harry. I’d print a few yard signs in your honor, but I know you’d hate that.

– Tony London, Columbus