Crazy Man Harry

I was reading a post (link is below) by my brilliant friend and industry peer, Linda Larsen. It’s about understanding that every person you meet has a story. I couldn’t help but think of Crazy Man Harry, who I’d like to share with you today.

Crazy Man Harry….by motivational speaker Kelly Swanson (I put a link to the youtube video below in case you want to hear it instead.)

Crazy Man Harry lived on the corner of Route 29 and Old Wiley School Road. You don’t have to live there to know him – just drive by and you’ll see him. His old rusted out lawn chair with the strap dragging the ground.  Him sitting there in his boxers and stained t-shirt – waving around that brown bag. The wild look in his eyes and the frizzy gray hair. Screaming at people as they pass. Obscenities mostly – too colorful for me to repeat. And when you get just close enough to see the yellow in his eyes and the spittle in the corners of his mouth, he’ll scream at you too. “Get out! Get the hell out!”  Complain if you will, but it won’t do any good. People have been complaining for years. For as long as he’s been sitting out there. Ever since he got back. You see, years ago, Harry and a group of his buddies hopped on a bus and took off for Vietnam. Crazy Man Harry was the only one of his friends to come back alive. And since then he hadn’t been the same. Something in him just snapped. Forced to relive a moment over and over in his head. That moment where he tried to save his friends. Where he screamed as loud as he could, “Get out! Get the hell out!”  Crazy Man Harry lives on the corner of Route 29 and Ole Wiley School Road. You don’t have to live there to know him. But drive by, and chances are good he’ll yell at you too. But if you don’t mind, we’d appreciate it if you’d turn the other cheek. And remember that people, and situations, are rarely if ever what they seem. And that those “difficult people” are really normal people just like us, who got stuck in a difficult circumstance.


Crazy Man Harry on YouTube:

Linda Larsen’s blog post:


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Oh thank you so much for sharing this brilliant story of yours, Kelly. It Perfectly illustrates my point in my blog you referred to. You have such a talent for seeing the human story behind any set of circumstances. 

  2. What synergy you two motivational speakers share! Love both the post and the story to illustrate the point. Bravo!

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