Thursday, May 10, 2012

Goodbye, Harald Knudsen


My dear friend Harald died last night, Wednesday May 9th at 7:40 p.m. in Argyle, New York.
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His brother, Ode, was by his side.

The last time I was with him, with our friend Steff in his Argyle nursing home, he was making inappropriate jokes about sponge baths.  When we said goodbye to him for the last time, he wryly smiled at us and said in his northern NY accent, "Hey. Think of me once in a while." And all three of us burst in to laughter.  Steff and I both kissed him on the head before we left.  In the picture above, he is making dancing feet out of olives and swizzle sticks.

 Harald traveled all over Eastern Europe, teaching English.  He was married three times.  He was an alcoholic who quit drinking all on his own.  He built a two story beautiful house in the woods of Northern New York with his own two hands.  He gave a killer shoulder rub.  Once when we were bored, in the quiet Estonian town of Haapsalu, he made up a game called "slipper ball"  He tipped a coffee table over, and instructed us to put slippers on our hands.  Harald and I batted a ball back and forth across the overturned coffee table with our slippered hands and laughed until there were tears in our eyes.

Harald is one of the kindest, funniest, weirdest, most loving and  interesting people I've ever met and I will miss him very very much.

 Wherever you are, Harald, I love you.




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