Name: Edward Harper
Family: Married to Ruth Harper. They have two daughters, Chad, 21, and a senior at the College of Charleston, and Hannah, 17 a senior at Maryville High School.
Edward Harper, front man for the local band Pistol Creek Catch of the Day, was a young man when he had his own encounter with a band that would become a rock legend. Harper was a night clerk at the Asheville Hilton.
“This unknown band came in and were playing in Asheville and then going to Knoxville. They came riding up in a station wagon and had blown an amp. Their stage manager was frantically looking for a music store that was open,” Harper remembers. “I remember vividly we had to put them in the basement room because we had a full house. I also had to carry their bags down, and they gave me a $10 tip, which was big. Who knew this little band would grow up to be something.”
The band was KISS. “I had no clue. It was in 1974, and they were not big.”
Harper says band Pistol Creek started about four years ago in response to a fundraiser. They wanted a fun name for the band. “We called it Pistol Creek Catch of the Day. It started out as a joke, and people asked us to come back and play,” he says. “We were formed as a fundraising band, and that’s what we are primarily. Our message is keep it light, and keep it part of the community.”
Harper has worked with Blount Memorial Hospital off and on for 25 years. “I’ve been in field of emotional health and psychiatric care the entire time. The position I’ve been in eight years is one we created there called Senior Services. It’s about caregivers,” he says.
Harper says he enjoys helping people who are caregivers for older adults to develop strategies for dealing with the stress associated with taking care of the elderly. “It gives them an edge on their particular circumstance,” he says. “ What I get out of it is that satisfaction of interacting with others on an adult level while trying to do something positive. It keeps me on my toes in terms of learning.”
Here is Edward Harper:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“The older I become, the more that I see my father’s reflection in my mirror and hear his words in my voice. I have a greater understanding of his commitment to his community.”
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“Oddly enough, the first one that comes to mind is ‘Book’em Dan-o’ from Hawaii 5-0.”
How do you like your steak cooked?
“I prefer that the steak be tuna, and I am partial to Aubrey’s style of preparation. As for beef, I am bacteria-conscious and request it be prepared ‘done.’”
If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“I would saddle up with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and hitch a voyage to the depths of the oceans.”
Who is your hero?
“My heroes have been people who risk to make a difference - right or wrong - and pursue life with a passion.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“A red-handled pocket knife. It was the last gift my dad gave me before Alzheimer’s disease set in on him.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“I think the most influential person is that person who does the right thing when no one is looking. I don’t know a name or their country, but I am certain that person was a teacher.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I had a bit part in a community production of the play ‘1776,’ and I made my entrance on stage way too early. I entered during a scene while the two major characters were engaging in a lively debate. I instantly knew I was in trouble and the entire cast and the audience were focused on me and what I might do, so I just walked across the stage. It seemed to take forever. Fortunately, I did not upstage the actors.”
If you only had a week to live, what would you do and why?
“I have seen too many family and friends in this situation. It is not glamorous. You live and love the best you can until your last breath.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“My wife describes me as manic. I would be the last to know. I tend to attempt to manage a few interests. Ruth knows me well, so she is right.”
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
“Some were dirtier, sweatier and more intense than others, but I have appreciated each one. However, pulling electric wires through crawl spaces with a dim flashlight does come to mind.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“My earliest memories are of ‘Mighty Mouse’ and ‘Felix the Cat’ in black and white. ‘Johnny Quest’ on Sunday night was an animation innovation and was action-based. ‘Beanie and Cecil,’ ‘Road Runner’ and ‘George of the Jungle’ were my favorites in the last of my childhood years. I still enjoy ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’ for their silly tongue-in-cheek satire.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“In a word… patience.”
What bugs you?
“Cigarette butts on the ground. Blount County is not an ashtray.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?
“A movie about my life would need to be fiction to be interesting. Maybe a film with a local actor Bruce McKinnon as an ordinary guy doing ordinary things.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I would like to go back to the 1770s and know the lives of my ancestors in Ireland and Scotland and find out why they migrated to America in the 1780s.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“My best present in a box came at age 12 when I got a lever action single-shot .22 cal. Winchester rifle. A lot of cans bit the dust with that rifle.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.”
In the workplace, would you rather be powerful or popular?
“Respect that is earned is more important than power or popularity.”
Do you use Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“I still use face-to-face and voice-to-voice. Maybe I will catch the next wave of technology in 2010.”
What is the theme song that best describes you?
“Today it would be ‘I Feel Good,’ by James Brown.”