OPINION

Gone but not forgotten

Ed Rood
Gone but not forgotten

One of the difficult things in life is witnessing the end of an era.

Recently I was a small part of a goodbye gathering for Bill Harrington at the Legion Hall in Maxwell. As I sat enjoying the camaraderie, I couldn’t suppress an empty feeling. Where has the time gone?

Over the past 25 years, I have made many a stop at Bill’s place of business, Harrington Motors. The used car business site was a popular part of Maxwell’s Main Street and not entirely because of the used cars on display. Nestled in the office’s back room was a long table, lined on both sides with a diversity of chairs. Over the years, at that table, many of the problems of the world and Maxwell have been discussed.

Yes, Harrington Motors was a great place to buy a car. It also served as the gathering place for an assortment of the area’s populace, who made their way through life with a variety of occupations and callings.

Bill made a habit of supplying coffee, while those present to discuss the ways of the world often supplied donuts, rolls or whatever. It made for a good informal atmosphere in which each attendee might express his views.

I especially enjoyed stopping by. Not only could I get the latest scoop on what was taking place in the Maxwell area, I could enjoy a little time visiting. Although I enjoyed listening to what the folks at the long table had to say, I felt honored when Bill would invite me into his private office for a one-on-one session.

Bill is one of my heroes. He is one of only two men I know who successfully completed U.S. Army Rangers training. The other is my grand-nephew. Ranger training is called “the toughest combat course in the world.” Only a small percentage of those who volunteer for the training ever complete it. It’s quite an achievement.

The days of Harrington Motor are gone. The building has been sold and a new business is located there. The coffee klatch now gathers at the Legion Hall each morning. Because of health reasons, Bill and his wife Barb will be moving to Florida in the near future.

Harrington Motors is no longer found on Maxwell’s Main Street. In my heart, it’s still there.

Ed Rood is former publisher of the Tri-County Times. He and his wife Sharon live near Cambridge.