Writer opened doors to the past

Harry McCawley wrote about our history in a way that not only opened doors to the past, but also helped us to know the people who lived behind those doors and created that history. His words allowed us to walk beside them through their disappointments and to celebrate with them in their achievements; to share their sorrows and their victories. Harry was that kind of writer, the kind who truly cared about people and appreciated the value of their place in our history.

Harry was the editor for the panel of community columnists of which I was a member for more than seven years. I remember when he announced that our word/copy limit had been decreased to 650 words. Well! That edict set off a howl of protest from us, with the majority stating that we couldn’t possibly write our story in only 650 words! Harry sat quietly until the whining and complaining had ceased, then he smiled at us and said, “Yes, you can, and you will be a better writer for it.” He was absolutely correct.

Selfishly, I wanted Harry to outlive me; I wanted him to be the one to write my eulogy. I told him so, a few years ago, adding that I also expected him to say only nice things about me. He would have done that because Harry McCawley was my friend.

– Nancy Warren, Columbus