An experienced sports writer became my mentor.

Photo provided by Jerry Harshman

One day as I glanced through the classified ads of the local newspaper one ad caught my eye, “Needed Sports Minded Individuals.” My high school playing days were clearly behind me, but I was still an avid sports fan so I answered the ad. The next afternoon Gene Conard, the Frankfort Times sports editor, interviewed me and offered me an opportunity that led to over 30 years of writing sports coverage and special features.

In high school, I enjoyed writing term papers and compositions and eventually scored high enough on my college essay to test out of the dreaded freshman…

Interesting idea, Sergey! What would be a fair price to charge for stories? I did a newletter a few years ago which I charged $15 for 12 weeks of articles.

My dad’s winter hospitality turned into a lawsuit.

Photo by Ethan Hu on Unsplash

Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his den for the annual Groundhog Day appearance and saw his shadow that is a certain sign that there will be six more weeks of bad weather. The skiers, snowboarders, and even the avid sledders could not be happier. Snow pack and freshly falling snow brings jubilation to both children and adults.

Each year our family hoped for a snowy Christmas. As our niece and nephews were growing up, they anxiously anticipated their annual trek from Alabama to their father’s roots in central Indiana. Snow is such a rarity in Alabama that they could hardly contain…

God was guiding me from behind the scenes.

Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash

In 1972, my career path looked more likely to lead to the factory than the classroom. I had graduated near the top of my class in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) at Indiana University. Unfortunately, my resumes, applications and inquiries seemed to hit one brick wall after another.

When I met with my advisor at the beginning of my freshman year, he gave me some very bad advice. I decided to major in physical education because all I wanted to do was coach, but I needed to declare a minor area in which I could teach…

I was an accomplice as my dad helped his gay friend escape from a mental institution

Photo by Joel Goodman on Unsplash

It did seem a little strange for us to drive two cars to Logansport that day. It was the July 4 holiday weekend in 1966. We were on our way to visit dad’s close friend who we affectionately referred to as Uncle Vern.

My dad and mom had started their marriage living in an apartment house owned by Vern’s mother. Vern, dad, and mom became good friends, but their friendship could not fully escape the cultural bias of those days.

To mom and dad Vern was a dear friend, but to the authorities he was a homosexual who exhibited deviant…

Growing up, this little stream was my outdoor learning lab!

Photo by Jerry Harshman

Today many youth spend hours glued to computers or devices that stream their favorite video games or Netflix movies. Others spend hours on Instagram or the latest social media platform, while countless others find themselves tightly entrenched in the drug scene or intimately engaged in dangerous gang activities.

Growing up in the 60s my experience was much different. Times were certainly different and admittedly much simpler. I was so lucky to grow up in a small rural setting that included a small stream that meandered through the countryside just north of my house. …

I guess I was looking through a lens that knew me much differently!

Photo from American Legion.Org (

Have you ever heard your name called aloud unexpectedly? Have you ever been signaled out for an award you didn’t think you deserved? I was shocked when it happened to me!

Most small Indiana towns celebrate “Hoosier Hysteria” every Friday during basketball season. Rossville Jr./Sr. High School was no exception. It started the weekly celebration around 3:00 when the entire school gathered in the gymnasium for a pep session. For about a half-hour the varsity players shot baskets, the high school cheerleaders led the students in chants, and the band played. …

Was my dad secretly trying to get rid of me by putting me behind the wheel of a Corvair?

Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

As parents or grandparents, we all shudder at the thought of our children getting behind the wheel. I’m sure my parents worried a lot more than they let on, but they had no idea how many times I escaped serious accidents or even death. Today, my grown children constantly tease me about how slowly I drive. They would be shocked to know that my driving has not always been that way!

People, places and things greatly affect each seeker’s journey.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

My wife never left the road.

Three of us found much different paths to our salvation. Her pastor baptized my wife, Sheri, as an infant at First United Methodist Church in Marion, where the entire family had attended for nearly four generations. Sheri grew up in the church, but one summer her heart “was strangely warmed” during church camp at Epworth Forest in North Webster. Since that life-changing experience, she has lived a good Christian life and has never seriously questioned her salvation.

My friend’s neighbors got him headed down the right road.

A decade or so ago, I remember talking with a newfound friend at our church. During our conversation we realized both of us…

A Goal-Action Plan can help your resolutions become reality.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Howard Bennett wrote in the Washington Times, “A New Year’s resolution is a decision to do or not do something to accomplish a personal goal or break a habit. It comes at a time when people look back at the past year and make an effort to improve themselves as the new year begins.”

Every year people make New Year’s Resolutions. At the time, they sound very promising, but a few days later they are no longer important or even worse have already been forgot. A few simple steps could make this year’s resolutions more than simply pipe dreams.

Three simple steps to make your resolutions become a reality


Jerry Harshman

A retired teacher, coach, administrator and sports writer shares some of the humor and lessons learned during the past seven decades. Truly a sage on the page!

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