Harold and the Drums.

drums

This is a sad time for our 10th Street Preschool community.
One of our founding fathers died Monday.
He was a friend and a parent, a loving father, grandfather and devoted husband.
His children have children now.

He was a big man with a bigger heart.

Harold Ramis was a quiet gentle genius.
He walked through the Red Door everyday, in his crisp white linen shirt,
smiling in his quiet booming way.

Harold had precious little time and made time for everyone,
especially his children. He was public and he was tall, yet he knew how
to keep his children first. Every day he found a quiet place to bend down
and whisper a private goodbye to his son.

The first day of school, his son loved the small drum that sat next to
the record player. On the second day of school, Harold offered to buy a
drum for every child. He said it would be easier for mommy to say goodbye
if every child had a drum. We settled on two special drums, one for a child and one for a daddy or mommy to play together.

We said goodbye to the family, a few years later, when they moved to Chicago shortly after a
gunman held a gun to Harold’s head while the boy and the new baby slept next to him
when Mommy was at Mom’s Night Out.

The moms and I insisted that Erica come join us, she hadn’t had a night out for a
long time. Erica had so much fun and  stayed longer than
she originally planned. She had a phone in her car, attached to the console and
called Harold to say she was on her way. When Harold answered the phone
she knew immediately that something was very wrong. She asked the valet
to come get me. I climbed into the child’s car seat, it was the only seat
available, and heard Harold’s controlled and chilling voice.

Everyone knew Harold. I knew where they lived, we had been friends for a long
time. I ran back into the restaurant to borrow their phone and called a
neighbor to call the police. The police told the neighbor  Erica should not come home.

The neighbor called the restaurant to tell us to wait for the police to arrive.

The daddy who owned the restaurant was a Daddy in our school and kept
sending food and tea to the Moms who waited inside while Erica and I waited inside the car.

Everyone wanted to go home to their families but no one wanted to leave.

While we were waiting, Erica so sweet and so scared, began to apologize
because her children were sleeping in Mommy and Daddy’s room.
We drove home when we heard the police had entered and apprehended the intruder.

I bought my first cell phone the very next day and had a holder
installed in the console of my car.

The Ramis Family stayed in Los Angeles while they tried to heal and then
moved back to Chicago. They felt safe in Harold’s hometown.

Harold was a generous man with a big heart. I called him big H.

I had to stand on tiptoes to hug him. Harold always hugged.
I reminded him every morning to bow his head when he walked into the
kitchen. I didn’t want him to hit his head. He didn’t need the reminder but
he understood I needed to say it.

Harold, you helped us get our feet off the ground. We bow our heads and
whisper our private goodbyes as you lift your feet off this ground.

We will take care of your beloved wife, your sons and daughter and
grandchildren.

I have put the drums away for a little while. Harold wouldn’t have wanted
me to put the drums away but he would have understood that I needed to.

Go bust those ghostbusters big H.

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