(Copied from my Amazon blog--8:00 AM PST, December 6, 2007, updated at 1:57 PM PST, December 21, 2007)
Harry’s father was a linguist who came to this country from Switzerland. He died when my dad was just 3 yrs. old. He got run over by a street car! Harry’s mom never remarried and raised Harry and his younger sister, Dorothy, on her own with the help of her sisters. His sister moved to Boston so they never had much contact with each other once they were adults.
Harry grew up in Cleveland, Ohio but did take a trip to Florida before he got married. Harry attended West Tech High School but didn’t graduate due to his stubborn streak. He flatly refused to do a required book report that was on a fiction book he had no interest in reading. Harry did read a lot though, but only from books that he could learn how to do things (many of which I sold on eBay after he died).
Harry never served in the armed forces because the draft board rejected him because he couldn’t pass their physical. He had flat feet and was told he had Diabetes. He had worked in a bicycle shop and on a production line. His job was making knots. Harry learned Morse Code and was a ham radio operator for awhile. He became a box designer at St. Regis Paper Company where he worked along with his wife (she was in payroll). He got hired because he knew how to use a slide rule and won many awards for his designs through the years. He worked there until retirement.
Harry and Lenore (his wife) met at a church youth group social. She was one of the planners and he was attracted to her outgoing personality. She commented to one of her friends, “Wow, Harrington Arlettaz, what a name. I feel sorry for whomever he marries!” Little did she know at the time it would be her! (Her name then was Niemann--German descent.)
After Harry and Lenore were married, at first they lived in the spacious upstairs of his mother’s house. Harry built their first home by himself in Garrettsville, Ohio. After Lenore saw a mouse in the house one day, they had to move. She said she couldn’t live in a house with a mouse! That’s when they moved to a ranch house in Parma, Ohio.
This is some background on Harry. The book, My Funny Dad, Harry starts from this point on. I’ve included this here after hearing from Cathy, my best friend growing up, that she wished I included my dad’s bio in the book. She told me he was the only person she knew who actually used a slide rule and was very impressed by that.