100 Years

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JOHN HARMON


  100 Years Of Stories Told


BY WILL HARMON


  On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, John Daniel Harmon reached the youthful age of one-hundred.
  John Harmon is a lifelong resident of Saluda County, a World War Two veteran, and local legend. To me he is simply Granddaddy.
  In his lifetime my grandad has been through every major historical event of the last one hundred years from the Great Depression to the Cold War and beyond. John Daniel Harmon was born in the early year of 1919 to Amos and Ethel. My grandad had six siblings, one of whom did not make it to adulthood. Childhood was rough in the early 1900s.
  As soon as he was old enough to walk, he would find himself carrying out chores around their small home. My grandad once told me of an experience he remembers when he was around eight years old. His dad sat him on the back of an old mule and sent him trotting into town. Amos Harmon gave my grandad only a quarter to buy as much seed as he could to plant their field. His father, Amos Harmon, then told him that he could buy some candy with what was left.
  John Harmon went to school through the tenth grade, mostly in one room school houses. He finished at Hollywood School in 1937 which is now known as Hollywood Elementary. After suffering through the Great Depression, John Harmon left home to fight in World War Two as a medic. To this very day, he is extremely modest about his involvement in the war. When someone makes a comment about him being a hero, he is quick to say that he is no hero.
  Some of my best times with my grandparents were listening to my grandad reminisce about the war with a twinkle in his eye. I have always enjoyed spending time with him and listening as he tells about his experience overseas.
  In one such war story, my grandad was almost court martialed. My grandad, a private first class, was cleaning under his bunk when he discovered a shell which he took to be fake. He was infuriated knowing that if it was found under his bunk during inspection, he would be disciplined for it.
  He demanded “Who’s this damn thing belong to?”
  A corporal and superior officer said, “pitch it here!”
  Not wanting the shell found under his bunk he tossed it. Upon tossing it, the shell exploded with a loud boom. It blasted a hole in the floor and injured several people. The first thing my grandad was told by a commanding officer was, “We aren’t going to take responsibility for this mess, so they are going to drag you through it.”
  They didn’t arrest my grandad, John Harmon, because the army knew they still needed him. Soon the corporal that he pitched the shell to testified that he had ordered P.F.C Harmon to toss it. Thus, my grandad’s name was cleared, and to this day he can still say he has never been arrested. 
  Today, my grandad still enjoys spending time learning what he can about the people and places of World War Two. Almost two years after the nightmare had begun my grandad boarded a ship in Marcel, France headed for New York City. Soon after returning home, he married my grandmother Grace Gentry Harmon and together they had five children.
  John Harmon worked many jobs from running a small store, to working for the railroad, then to building roads as a superintendent with Eagle Construction. Throughout his life he has enjoyed hunting and fishing as well as raising his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
  In his later years my grandad and grandmother traveled to many of the countries that he served in during the war. Sadly, my grandmother and John Harmon’s wife of seventy years passed away in April 2019. 
     He now enjoys sitting in his recliner and visiting with family and friends while recollecting one hundred years of his life. When asked what the key is to live one hundred years, he simply stated, “Don’t worry too much. Just don’t worry, because it won’t do no good anyway.”



Saluda Car In
Hot Wheels Finals


  Saluda, SC, resident Chad Martin and his custom 1936 Chevy “One-Off” Truck, Brutally Sexy, will be among the 18 regional Hot Wheels Legends Tour winners flexing their muscle for the grand prize at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on Nov. 5.
  The winner will have his life-size custom vehicle immortalized as an iconic Hot Wheels 1:64 die-cast toy car!
  The 2019 Hot Wheels Legends Tour has crossed the country, searching for a custom vehicle with the authenticity, creativity and garage spirit worthy of being inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends. And, what better stage to crown a champion than at SEMA — the premier annual automotive specialty products trade event in the world?
About Chad and his vehicle
Chad is the definition of designer, fabricator and pure artist. This car started as a concept drawing in 1999 that Chad dreamed up. After a few rounds of renderings and concepts, he found an old 1936 Chevy Sedan and got to work. Everything on this truck is made of metal, no fiberglass. It’s all welded and shaped by Chad. The only original pieces are the glove box and the head light buckets. It took him two years of consistent work to produce this beautiful car. Chad’s artistry shines with the detailed paint job with a paint color that he made himself — he calls it Green Dream. The truck has six 24” semi-truck wheels. Brutally Sexy, as he calls it, wowed all of the judges at the Hot Wheels Legends Tour event in Charlotte, NC earlier this year to earn a spot in the championship showdown at the upcoming SEMA Show.