Tales from the Beat: A long-winded answer from the beloved Harry Devault

By Tom Hardesty | Assistant Sports Editor Published:

By Tom Hardesty | Assistant Sports Editor

Like I have said before, nobody could tell a story quite like former R-C assistant sports editor Harry DeVault.

His delivery and mannerisms while weaving a tale were nothing short of hilarious -- and the funniest part was, he wasn't trying to be funny. It was just Harry's way. He talked loudly and with conviction, an oratory combination perfect for captivating an audience.

Ask Harry a question, and be prepared to be thoroughly entertained. Which is exactly what happened to me nearly 20 years ago when I asked Harry -- who served as the R-C's Kent State athletics beat writer for decades -- whether he was driving or flying to the Golden Flashes' football game at Central Michigan that coming Saturday. I had driven to Mount Pleasant, Mich., one time myself and it had taken the better part of six hours behind the wheel, so I figured Harry would fly it to cut down the travel time.

After I asked the question, Harry stood there for a moment, looking at me, then raised an index finger into the air and said authoritatively, "Let me tell you about the first time I went to Central Michigan ... "

And we were off!

Harry proceeded to relate the details of that trip, which began the day before the game when he had watched the KSU football team buses pull out of campus as they left for Mount Pleasant. Harry had booked a room at the same hotel as the Golden Flashes and their travel contingent, and since he was flying to Michigan figured he would have some time to kill before the Flashes arrived.

Shortly after watching the KSU team buses leave campus, Harry went to the airport, waited at his terminal, boarded the plane, the plane flew to Michigan, landed, taxied to the terminal, Harry deplaned, got his baggage, went to the rental car agency, got his car, drove to the hotel ... "And when I pulled into the parking lot, there were the Kent State team buses. They had beaten me there," proclaimed Harry, still frustrated after all those years.

"By the time I got through with all the rigmarole of flying, I could have driven to Mount Pleasant faster. That was the last time I ever flew to a game."

There, I had my answer.

Harry would be driving to Central Michigan.

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