While I still have mixed opinions about Facebook and whether or not I'm staying on it for the long haul, one very cool thing about it is I've been able to re-connect with a couple of my old radio buddies from 20 years ago. Over the weekend, I asked one of them if he had heard from my man "Easy" Earl Harris, whom I'd lost track of about ten years ago. Well, out of the clear blue sky, today I received a note from one of Earl's daughters in response to the blog post I did about Earl a couple years ago. It actually helps to read Great Moments In Radio, Vol. V first before continuing on here.
Anyway, she wrote: "Mr. Holland, I wanted to respond to your Great Moments in Radio, Vol. V. My name is Tija Jackson and I am the oldest daughter of Earl Harris. I moved my father here with me in Kentucky several years ago to pursue his radio career. He was very successful here on the Gospel, R&B and Hip Hop stations as Easy Earl and Brother Earl. About 3 years ago my father had a stroke and it caused him to lose most of his memory as well as his Barry White voice. In fact he had to learn how to speak all over again. Although he has retained some memory and his voice, he has (in his words), "Lost my music". It is so sad because music was his motivation and now he is just going through the motions, pretty much giving up on everything. So when I read your article to my father he remembered the Prince of Darkness and I actually saw some light in his eyes. He made me print a copy of this article so he can have it, he doesn't comprehend what he reads so he has me read to him. This may be his bedtime story for some time now. So Thank You, for Remembering my father."
Wow, what can I say? It sickens me to hear what Earl has been through. He got his nickname for a reason—he's one of the most easy-going people you'll ever meet, and even when life would knock him down, he'd dust himself off, get back up smiling and get back in the race. It certainly blows my mind that my words somehow might be giving him a lift now. I've often questioned (and been questioned) why I spend/waste so much time doing this blog. I confess total self-indulgence on my part, but if it's helping an old friend even one iota in his time of need, then it's been totally worth it.
Thanks so much, Tija, for your note, and I appreciate your taking the time to write and give me an update on your father. Earl, my friend, I miss you and hope there are better days ahead in your life—you're too good a man to be down for long. Whenever I hear the word "patio" I think of you and your mighty "KKJO Patio". I still have the Captain Comet ballcap you had made for me back in the day too. Hang in there, my man, and keep getting better. Long live the Prince of Darkness and the KKJO Patio!