How to live forever
Expanded from the 7-2-2006 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Updated 9-19-2006

A young man once asked Benjamin Franklin how to become successful.

"Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing about," said the wise old printer.

I never cease to marvel at this monster mannunkind's universal aspiration to self expression. After basic survival, it's a drive equal to reproduction, or perhaps part of it.

From the first caveman scratching an image onto a rock to a kid with a spray can deflowering a brick wall, all of us are potential Picassos. We have all stared at the stars in a clear night sky and vowed to defy our smallness by making our little lives matter in the grand scheme of things.

Some small minds resort to war and violence to make their marks upon family or humanity. The joke is on them.

Such lost souls never see the big picture or their place in it. They refuse to realize that their very existence matters. They have scored maximum points just by showing up to the big dance.

As Clarence the apprentice guardian angel says in It's a Wonderful Life, when someone is removed, it leaves an awful hole.

With minimal effort, even the most benighted mentality may now witness the early stages of a magical fusion of physics and metaphysics. If the universe as we know it is made up of tiny, interconnected, vibrating bits of energy, then everyone and everything matters – be it matter or energy.

Sir Isaac Newton said matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed, they merely change form. Now, scientists have found that about 90 percent of our universe is comprised of an unseeable, unknowable quantity which they can only term dark matter or dark energy.

It interlaces everything we are.

No theologian dares make the next logical leap, that the arcane agglomeration looks suspiciously similar to what Catholics call oneness with the father. To do so would be to admit that scientists have managed to take the first picture of God – and he is not an old white guy with a long beard suspiciously reminiscent of Charlton Heston. (Check your guns at the Pearly Gates.)

"After a long life, and thirty years in the public school trenches, I've concluded that genius is as common as dirt," retired New York educator John Taylor Gatto opined in Harper's magazine awhile back. Alas and alack, our hangups and prejudices most often grind budding minds down into fallow ground so that they can never flourish.

How often do we harm ourselves by failing to see – or worse, ignoring – what's right in front of us?

Our universally ingenious offspring are soon imbued with the hatreds, hangups and superstitions of adult society, mental pollution floating atop the chemical soup we plop them into at birth.

Harry Reynolds dies at 49
Reno Gazette-Journal 6-27-2006

Such a world first disposes of the artists who most easily recognize it for what it is.

Last week, we lost Harry Reynolds. The Sparks resident took his own life on June 23.

More than 150 people showed up to remember the KOZZ/KTHX "Happy Boy" at Sparks Christian Fellowship last Thursday.

Harry, 49, was a gentle soul apparently too battered to survive for the normal duration. We are the richer for his passing through our lives and much the poorer that not even all of us who loved him could keep him from spinning that very final song.

Whether musing his music or surfing the news, Harry made radio your friend because Harry was your friend, even if you never met him. His show always provided a cool and welcoming oasis amid the abusive bedlam of modernity. Like many who thrive on music, perhaps he wasn't manufactured with the same shelf life some of us enjoy.

Harry moved though us invisibly, using radio waves to seamlessly interweave his life with ours, a more personal version of the emerging order of the universe.

So Harry inhabits our micro dark matter even as he joins the macro version somewhere out where the ratings are always high and there are no commercials to run.

An adios toast of whisky and rye, music man.

You done good.

Be well. Raise hell.

Remembrances of Harry Reynolds welcome.


In a time where a person’s value is more often judged by their wealth or "diva" potential, where "hate" radio and shock jocks have flourished, and where good guys, more and more seem to be finishing last, I feel compelled to remember my friend, and long time Reno radio personality, Harry Reynolds (who lost his way, and his battle with this life)…as one of the best people I have known.

In radio, a business well known for its egos and cut throat dealings, Harry had a humbleness and honesty that took him to the top of his field. He was not only well-liked, but loved by those who had the opportunity to work with him. After I left Reno radio, it was Harry Reynolds who talked me into coming back on the air again, not once but twice, and if I hadn’t known I’d be working for him, I never would have returned. His integrity and sense of fairness made that much of a difference.

Harry cared deeply about this world, this planet and this country. He watched our democracy deteriorate over the last several years and told the truth about the dishonesty and corruption he had seen in government with a program called Believe It Or Else on the X. Some clients withdrew their sponsorships from this program because of his outspoken commentary, but telling the truth and doing the right thing meant more to Harry than selling out. And the X supported him.

Harry fought the demons of a difficult and sad childhood throughout his life and though most of us were drawn to Harry because of his light and strength, he wasn’t in his own corner for himself.

Sadly, we didn’t know until it was too late how much he needed us.

Ironically, Harry’s last phone message to me was about concern for another person, a friend he was worried about. He asked me to call him back before talking to my friend and as I listened to his message I felt a chill go through me. He wasn’t sounding good, wasn’t sounding "right," but I called my friend instead, to save time, cut to the chase. You see, like all of us, I was too busy, too stressed, too over- booked and figured I’d call Harry the next day…

And the next day, he was gone.

Somehow, it will always haunt me, that missed conversation. And from Harry, at the last, I have learned a lesson. When you’re thinking of calling, call; when you feel you should say something, say it; when your instincts tell you something’s wrong, follow them.

This life can drive us too hard and too fast and sometimes we need to lift our heads above the fray and pause… and breathe…and think.

Being too busy with life can cost you something dear and important in the end, and that price is too high to pay.

Be at peace Harry.

And thank you.

Christiane – Talk Radio Host, KJFK Radio 1230AM

This memory of Harry Reynolds by Christiane Brown appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal on August 4, 2006. Reproduced by permission. | U-News Archives

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Copyright © 2006 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 37-year Nevadan and editor of Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.


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