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.