March 14, 2006

Dan Buck article from Ninth Grade

I found this in a random folder on my computer and thought it'd be fun to republish here.

It first appeared in The Shen Pen (newspaper of Shenendehowa High School, Clifton Park, NY) in 1993.

Doug the Giant

by Daniel A. Buck

At the beginning of this school year I entered my Phys Ed. class with the same reluctance and apprehension I had in the years before. I didn't want to smell those locker rooms. I didn't want to freeze while running the mile. But most of all I didn't want to receive a concussion from the boys 2 and 3 times my size and weight.

It was the same problem as every year. I was willing to expend some energy in a game of soccer, basketball, or floor hockey. But unfortunately I was not willing to sacrifice life and limb with these "GIANTS OF THE GYM." On that first day, I saw a guy who looked much like I did. Willing to extend an effort but trying to avoid a collision. He, like me, was one of the little guys.

The next week I walked into the computer lab and ran into the same person. However, he did not look to be the same "little guy" he was in the gym. Maybe it was the lighting of the computer lab or maybe it was the worn baseball hat that's not allowed in the gym. As I watched him he was flying around from computer to computer rescuing lost files and lost students. This was no little guy, here he was a giant. His name was Doug Harple. Doug has helped me with numerous projects and rescued me from grave danger when I was trying to meet a deadline and the computers weren't helping. Here is a kid who goes out of his way to help others, with no benefit for himself. The best part, is that Doug does not pass judgment on those he helps. You will not here laughter or see rolling of eyes if you know absolutely nothing about computers and Doug is more than willing to humor those who think they know absolutely everything about computers. He has even helped me try to fix my personal computer at home. Doug Harple knows more about computers than anyone I know. And yet it is not his knowledge that makes him a giant in his field, but rather his huge heart. Something most "Giants" are lacking.

I wonder where Doug Harple is now.


Edison in a moth-eaten ghillie suit said...

It's always nice to uncover old memories, especially stuff you've written. Although, you have a lot more "old memories" than I do. I also think that your computer must be pretty old too. The End.

Jakob said...

Hey Mr. Buck. Nice blog. I'll let you know when mine is up.

Anonymous said...

doug he got married, still lives in clifton park in an apartment complex, and still works with computers. he also apparently became a black belt.

DanBuck said...

Who said that? (above?) Do you know Doug or did you just google him?

Robyn said...

Ya know, out of everything my mother could have found on my husband while Google-ing him, this is certainly the sweetest.

He's still the same "giant" of the computer lab, but definitely a gentle one. He still doesn't roll eyes or pass judgment. And I'm going to leave this browser open so when he gets home from teaching at Tae Kwon Do, he'll see it. He's pretty shy, so I can't guarantee he'll write in, but I can tell you... we have the best computer network in town- right in our own little house. :)

Doug said...

I'm not really sure what to say, aside from "Thank you". I was stunned when I first read this article, and I'm still stunned now.

Thank you.

We're a long way from that computer lab next to the library, but your kindness still rings true. Thank you :).

julie said...

Hi Dan--You have a beautiful family! Is it possible we're old enough for these things? Hooray for going into teaching and writing--best professions ever. So what is Jason up to these days? I remember him as such a nice guy with a great sense of humor. We were in the same class and survived a very warm confirmation together. Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...'s amazin who you'll find on the internet. Hi Dan! I'm sure you don't remember me, but it's Stephanie Karoly, now Wallin. Great blog!

DanBuck said...


Not sure you'll come back to see this. But I'm pretty sure I remember you. Weren't you an assistant director for You're a Good Man Charlie Brown in Middle School?

Great to hear from you.