To the editor:
One of the hard defeats in life is to lose a fishing pal. Harry James went on to better waters. Confined to a wheelchair, he was the great friend of everyone. He was a tennis expert, the friend, the outdoor enthusiast.Only a few weeks ago, before the snows clogged the wheels on his hand-powered vehicle, he was rowing around in a boat with fly rod in hand, chatting with his host, David Freed, and friends. Harry caught a lot of fish that day, tenderly and lovingly returning them to their habitat - to be caught and released again.
There's a spot around by Eskelson Bay which should be named "Harry's Bay." He and I sat there one day in 1963, the evening before they treated the lake to renew its fishery. Harry let out a scream. He had a four-pound rainbow trout walking on top of the lake - taking out line as fast as Harry's reel could offer it. That was when we decided the state should leave the lake alone.
Harry and I spent some days together at Fort Sill, Okla., in 1942-3 before we both went overseas to fight World War II. Next time I saw Harry was in his wheelchair - from polio, which he contracted just before he was to represent the U.S. Army in the post-war European tennis championships.
Harry told me once that his wheelchair was no handicap. Harry gained an appreciation of people and things more than any of us with legs. He was very special.
Of course, there were times Harry cried. He loved Margaret and his lovely daughters. He was Daddy and Harry to all of them. And a special friend to the rest of us.
Wherever the best people go when they quit this earth, Harry will be there. And Harry will be back on his legs.
Salt Lake City