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Looking For Justin Harris, Young Years In Ozone, Arkansas

September 25, 2020

After not being successful through other means of locating a person I met in 2001 I felt perhaps this blog might be the next best step. After all, Caffeinated Politics is the reason a relative of Bascom Clarke, who lives in Paris, France is a many-years friend of this home. (She has been to our home in Madison twice.) This little place on the internet highway has found connections with the family of country singer Porter Wagoner, and families of famed radio announcers Grant Turner and Earl Nightingale. So it is my hope to find Justin Harris.

In 2001 my mother’s family ventured back to Ozone, Arkansas for a family reunion. My grandparents had owned and worked a farm ‘on the mountain’ before moving to Wisconsin in the 1940s. It was a weekend of visits and memories (both ones recalled and new ones made). Simply put it a grand time….a once in a lifetime event.

As our group prepared for lunch at the Old School I noticed a young boy–age five–from across the road who ventured over and asked what was going on. He had the type of outgoing energy and laughter that makes a young person fun to have as company. When I told him we were going to have lunch I also detected this young kid was hungry. We had all brought grocery type items and so sandwiches, chips, and cookies were on the menu. Since James and I had more than enough I asked if his parents would care if he joined us.

Ozone is not a large place and the crowd of us at the school was certainly more excitement than he normally saw on any given day. So with his mom’s permission Justin sat with us and made an impression on me for an authentic smile and delight in the small things…such as the way my umbrella opened with a little button being pressed. Again and again.

With pictures and goodbyes we took him back across the rather busy road—I think it might have even been labeled a highway–and we were on our way to other stops during our weekend. James and I sent a present that year of the framed pictures and discovered his great delight in receiving them.

Over the past weeks I have tried to think of good times as an antidote to the chaos and meanness that seems too often to take center stage. So his memory came back and as he was such an engaging person I would welcome the chance to write a note to him online or perhaps on Facebook. This blog post will allow comments so if anyone reads this and has information I would be appreciative.

The picture below is one that shows him grinning with his parents, Alice and Roy Harris in 2001.

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