Oh Oberlin No. 1: Harvey Pratt

So what do you do when a small community rallies around you and helps you raise funds to start a podcast? You think back on what you told them about your mission, and you follow through.

The mechanisms of Amazon.com and Kickstarter are wonderful things but, even in the age of the Internet, details take longer to resolve than you think. I have spent the last two weeks watching those websites work through the process of telling me that I can proceed.

Now they have. But I find that I’m not going to wait for everything to be perfectly aligned. Because this week, Oberlin resident, fireman and NASCORP employee Ben Ryba approached me and let me know about a coworker, Harvey Pratt.

Harvey is an Oberlin High School graduate, the same as myself. I believe he graduated a couple of years ahead of me. But I’ll ask him that and much more on Saturday, because he’s agreed to be the first person I interview for my podcast.

The thing is, Harvey has been diagnosed with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. So when I ask him the question on Saturday, “How are you these days?” I don’t expect to get the same answer I might get from many other people.

That’s not really okay. But from what I read in fliers being handed out, Harvey and his family are staying as steady and peaceful as possible.

The idea of the podcast was always to be engaged in Oberlin. So I’m looking for stories, and storytellers. People who have lived here a while or people who just moved here.

All I am looking for is real conversation about the people who live in the city where I grew up.

Harvey, your up first.

For more information, visit http://www.gofundme.com/harveypratt.

On Thursday, July 17, a pasta dinner will be held at the New Russia Township Hall. On Saturday, Aug. 2 a golf outing will be held at Grey Hawk in Lagrange. Money raised from both events will go directly to Harvey and his family.

On Sunday, Sept. 21 at Progressive Field, there will be a 2.5-mile walk as part of an ALS fundraiser. Sign up here.

And also, enjoy the podcast. I’ll hope to have it posted this weekend.

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