People knew who he was when he walked into the bar or club. Everyone would shout, “Hey Harold!” and shake his hand as he walked by. One guy would run up to him and shake his hand, another patted him on the back.
Harold was in seventh heaven when he walked into the bar or club. He was ready to roll, or as he said, ready to do business. He was a good old boy and he swept people off their feet, or so he thought.
Harold was an older guy, balding a little, but with a sort of charisma that made people stop and talk to him and even listen. He’d wing girls around the dance floor and make them smile and squeal and the husbands never got jealous when Harold would come by and swing their wives around because, as he said, it was good promotion for the band he was promoting.
Harold apparently promoted many bands. According to Harold, it wasn’t how well the band members played, but the mixture of sound, and of course he was responsible for making the sound so stellar.
At first, Harold dazzled everyone, but little did he know that after a while, some of his stories did not ring true – did he really have two black belts in martial arts, a J.D. in law, a Ph.D. in Physics, plus he wrote over 3,000 songs and published them, not to mention his stint with the government doing undercover work overseas and his engineering work. Had he really run a dog training business and trained Oprah’s dog and how can one forget that he was a bodyguard for people like Steve Miller and even George Harrison back in the day? When did he have time to be a bodyguard when he was going to school as a perpetual student for most of his life?
After a while, one has to wonder if he can really save failing businesses and get them back on their feet, and did he really once have a lot of money and was able to invest into all these businesses, and they now all owe him thousands of dollars?
Most people don’t care if it’s true or not at the bars – they probably don’t think it’s true. But the stories are so entertaining and Harold tells them in a very alluring deep voice…oh yeah, he also was a DJ for a radio station for many years as well.
So who is this guy who’s been everywhere and done everything? He’s sharp enough… Ken, who owns Woodham’s, even said that he thought Harold must have a lot of money, but that perhaps he’s just eccentric.
Sometimes the whiskey talks for Harold – and the more whiskey he drinks out of the bottle, the better his stories are and the more he’s done. He doesn’t have the money to buy shots at the bar, so he orders a coke and looks like he’s not even drinking. The bottle of whiskey resides in the trunk of his car and he sashays outside to take swigs frequently throughout the night, not to mention of course light up a cigarette every time he goes outside.
“But if he a good man? Be honest with me!” I shouted to Ken, who owns Woodham’s. He had just listened to Harold’s spiel about how he is going to do everything in his power to save Woodham’s, a place that’s struggling right now – where amazing live music happens.
“Well, he wants to do good things,” Ken shouted back. “It’s like that book, The Secret – you just keep talking about it and maybe then it will all just really happen!”
“Yeah,” I said. “But…”
I sigh, sitting at the bar at Woodham’s listening to live music…a guy is singing a Jimi Hendrix song and playing his heart out…
I see Harold sashay into the bar. A couple of guys yell, “Hey Harold!” and Harold smiles and walks up and shakes their hands. Then he grabs a girl and swings her around the dance floor for a moment and the husband or boyfriend just smiles – it’s just old Harold.
Our eyes meet and I can see that there’s true feeling in them underneath the rest of it…
I know that Harold is on social security disability and lives in a tiny apartment above a coffee shop in Willow Glen with a roommate who really once was a CPA Accountant, but hit his head and was in a coma for months and admits he’s been a full-blown alcoholic for 40 years. I know that part of it is real because I’ve visited the place, I’ve been there.
And I realize as he walks up to me and gives me a special hug and looks into my eyes and then slurs into my ear, “I set up a corporation while talking to those guys outside! We’re going to save all the businesses that are going down!” His breath smells strongly of whiskey and cigarettes.
And I realize that he’s a good man, and he really wants to save the world. But we can never be anything more than friends.