December 4, 2004

Happy Birthday Jim Harmon!

Jim and Linda HarmonHappy Birthday to my old St. Augustine High School and San Diego State buddy, Jim Harmon! This picture of Jim and his wife Linda was taken at our Saints Class of '67 35th reunion by my friend Marisa Cullen.

Jim and I probably met on our first day as Saints freshmen way back in 1963. We both landed in the same homeroom section, and since our last names were near each other in the alphabet, we ended up sitting pretty close together in many of our classes. Jim and I both loved sports, especially baseball, so that was what we often talked about in those early years. I eventually became head manager and scorekeeper for the school's varsity baseball team, and Jim served as my assistant during our junior year.

Jim himself was a fine athlete, but not on any of our school teams. When he was 16, he had started racing motorcycles. He finished fourth in South Bay Speedway's Sporting Expert Class in 1968, then took second the next year. In 1970, Jim won 14 of 20 main events and the Sporting Expert championship!

After we graduated from Saints, I had headed for Mesa College, while Jim went to Southwestern. We both transferred to San Diego State in the spring of 1970, though, and started hanging out again. I made him famous at SDSU by writing articles for both the Daily Aztec and Projection magazine about him and his racing career. I also played lots of intramural sports at SDSU, always for my own team known as Himan's Delicatessen, which I organized and served as captain. I had teams for flag football, basketball, slo-pitch softball and co-ed softball, and Jim was a power-hitting, slick-fielding shortstop/3rd baseman for my softball teams! During our final semester at SDSU, Jim and I even became roommates, sharing a 2-bedroom apartment near 58th and El Cajon.

In 1974 Jim and I both bought Pentax 35mm cameras and started learning about photography. Always mighty interested in attractive women, Jim quickly became an excellent portrait photographer. Since I was working for newspapers back then, I went more in the direction of photojournalism. Jim's talent is for making people look great when they are sitting still, while I specialize in capturing people in motion -- action and candid photography!

Posted at 8:33 AM in Birthdays, DMG's Friends