TRUMAN HARRIS: rings on his fingers

TRUMAN HARRIS

He loved to go to thrift shops and markets.  His sterling silver rings and turquoise necklace defined him.  Truman Harris loved trinkets and all kinds of jewelry.

“I bought this engraved silver band at the fair last week,” he said proudly.

I met Truman Harris on the bus in Colorado Springs.  His sense of fashion and his love of lunchtime pizza were his trademarks.   He told me that he loved to eat the gourmet pizza at Poor Richards Bookstore on Tejon Street.

“Meet me there,” he said.

In his friendly yet quiet way, he invited me to be his friend. Truman did not pretend to be anything other than gay.  He was authentic about his homosexuality and his politics.

When I became his friend, we have a standard greeting.

Truman would look at me and say:

“I  have one word for you…..SOCIALISM.”   (Truman was a socialist in a Texas sort of way).

I glared at him and responded.

“I have two words for you, Truman….STRONG MAYOR.”

It was an inside joke between us.  My politics was different from his…yet we both held similar opinions related to the transportation issues of Colorado Springs.  The bus system needed to be expanded and funded more fully. In his last years, Truman had difficulty breathing and wore a respirator.  it was difficult for him to walk to the bus stop. 

While taking the bus to Wal-Marts, Truman Harris found breathing difficult.  Nevertheless, he arrived at the Wal-Mart and shopped for the food items he needed.  Then, he fainted.  He died of congestive heart failure on that Wal-Mart trip.

I miss Truman Harris…..   

Zisa Moglen — August 30, 2014

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