My grandfather, Rev. Harold W. Story, has passed away this morning at the age of nearly 92.
He was many things in his life. He enlisted in the Navy at the end of World War II and served as a photographer during the Korean War. He became a Presbyterian minister and served in Newark during the riots. He always found the good in the world. Everyone could laugh, and he was just as fearless dressed in a clown costume as he was in Newark and Korea. He always wanted to share joy, but was just as adept at dealing with serious situations. You might say that his real battlefield experience came in Newark during the riots, protecting people of color in his church and community, and flying to Washington and Alabama to march with Dr. King. He was no radical; he was just trying to be decent to his fellow humans. Clowning was a way of getting people to laugh, regardless of their language or background, and maybe come together in that laughter. “Will we never learn from war,” he once said, “that peace is so much finer?”
Raise a mug of coffee for Hal today, and tell your worst jokes. Make someone laugh. The world will still be a better place for it.