While checking up on old friends, I learned of the recent passing of Leonard Abrams. Leonard’s many contributions of his time and talent to the advancement of Indiana have been appropriately remembered elsewhere.
But my eyes immediately turned to the picture hanging on my home office wall, a sketch by Frank Shaffer of Leonard and myself in angelic garb, marching down the street strumming on our harps, while floating over our heads flies the banner, “IUP SOCIETY OF MARCHING HARPS.”
In this inspired drawing, Frank memorialized one of the many original creations of Leonard’s fertile mind.
While we were having lunch at the Hadley Union Building one day, I was telling Leonard about one of the more interesting finds in the course of my annual inventory of the items owned by the Student Cooperative Association.
Amid the balls and bats for the baseball team, the rakes and shovels for the onetime community gardening project at the Co-op Park, and the pool sets for the Student Union, was a harp.
What can we do with that? Leonard knew what to do with it, as he related to me.
In no time at all, we had a sign-up sheet posted on the Student Union bulletin board, inviting all interested in helping to form a Marching Harp Society to sign their names and contact numbers below.
Several people actually did sign up, but sadly, we could not come up with enough harps to get the program going.
In any case, I wonder if that harp is still there, or has it gone above, to help the angels welcome Leonard to their midst.
former executive director,
IUP Student Cooperative Association