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Close to my heart

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2002

I first came to know Juan MacFarlane as a young child amongst the boat families at Aurora Harbor in the early 1980s. He was hard to miss. Having a problem with his legs, he wore a pair of heavy leather shoes with a long metal rod attached to each.

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You could often hear him as he clunked up and down the docks playing. I imagined how difficult this must have been for a small kid and wondered if the other children gave him a hard time or teased him about it. If they did he never let on.

His loving mother close at hand, he always, always had a wide smile, an easy laugh and an upbeat demeanor. Later as a teen-ager he would visit me at my cafe on South Franklin. We would laugh at our old days down in the harbor and talk of travel to exotic places. He related to me how much he loved going to school. More years went by. One day he introduced me to his new wife and family. Being a new family man myself we both decided our fates had been sent down directly from heaven.

It's hard to believe he is gone now. When my life gets rough I will hold close to my heart his life story for inspiration. He was a personal hero to me that I will never forget. We will forever keep his family in our thoughts and prayers as they begin their new journey.

T. Terry Harvey

Juneau



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