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They’re Laughing in Heaven

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I had a challenging day of conference calls yesterday. When it was finished, my back hurt from being hunched over the desk for eight hours and my ear buzzed from the headset I wear during these calls. I put my cellphone in a drawer and went out to dinner and to a movie.

Late last night, I went to send an email and saw a link on CNN that invited readers to share their Bozo memories. I figured it was giving people a chance to recount embarrasing tales of falling down or putting their foot in their mouth. I thought it referred to the general connotation of being clownish. After sending my email, I went back to CNN to look at that article. And then I saw this headline above, one that I hadn’t noticed the first time.

“Bozo actor dead at 83.”

And a bad day got immensely worse.

Over the last year, I had gotten to know Larry Harmon, the man who owned the rights to Bozo for more than fifty years. He was a kind man, always smiling, who truly loved life, people, and his country. Maybe someday I’ll be able to describe him without falling back on old cliches that people always spout whenever someone passes away. But for right now, all I can think of are those cliches. And they’ll have to do because they do apply here. He was an inspiration to the power of positivity.

I spoke to him on the phone a few days before his unfortunate death. Just like always, his voice boomed over the line as he told jokes and performed impersonations. At the age of 83, he had suffered from some of the various health issues that creep up at such ages. But he never showed any decline in energy or laughter. He always smiled great big grins, with his mouth open and teeth shining, while his eyes beamed.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Harmon family. This is sad, sad news.

But the kind people in heaven better be ready. Because Bozo’s coming and they’ll soon be rolling with laughter.