Topic: "Harry" (2)
He was just a little guy, not much bigger than a Hobbit. He was dark-complexioned, and his slicked-down dark hair was thinning as Frodo now remembers; it was not a distraction at the time. He was, as he indicated, Armenian by birth, and Frodo is ashamed to admit, even today, that actually pointing to Armenia on a map would be a formidable task. For a teenager, it was safe to assume that Armenia was not far from either Greece or Turkey, and Frodo knew where both of those were located. Conclusions such as that were close enough for Frodo, regardless of the subject matter.
Mr. Maranian taught History, doing so in a global context, and often interspersed with an emphasis on particular periods of civilizing peoples in the western world. Looking back, Frodo is disappointed that Mr. Maranian did not spend greater energy explaining the evolution of Middle Earth. It certainly would've made Frodo's writings considerably more intelligible today. His enthusiasm however made Reformations, Renaissances, and Revolutions cast an appearance of relevance which is difficult to even explain to the foundling MBA's currently searching for early wealth and hasty leisure.
He had sacrificed much in order to teach. His convictions were heartfelt, supported sometimes more by the heart than by logic, but Frodo felt the same way, so he came to revere the little man with the flashing eyes and the quick pace across the classroom stage. Harry Maranian was a mighty man and he was not afraid to speak his mind.
Frodo ran for class office one time. His opponent was daunting; intelligent, popular, involved in lots of activities, and he was dating little Janet Perry. Campaigning basically consisted of a limited number of posters and a speech, given in front of all the more than 350 members of the Junior Class. Frodo was given little chance to win, even by Frodo.
Frodo spoke forthrightly, perhaps with a word-by-word emphasis that might have been considered Kennedyesque, for those were the days of Camelot. Frodo drew rounds of applause, and smiles all around as he returned to his seat. Even little Janet Perry smiled at Frodo.
When they returned to the classroom, Frodo and his opponent happened to have the same period class in American History, Mr. Maranian walked in, looked at Frodo and yelled "Vote for Frodo." Frodo flushed, and felt badly for his opponent, but Mr. Maranian was not to be denied. "You stood up, you gave it your best shot, you had good and realistic goals, and it was a darn good speech. Vote for Frodo."
That evening Frodo's good friend, the current Class President, and the guy who had encouraged Frodo to run in the first place, Strider, came by Frodo's home to tell him that he had lost the election. Strider assured Frodo that the count had been very close.
Frodo congratulated his opponent, and waived away the hurt when little Janet Perry made a point of telling Frodo that she had cast her ballot for him. That battle fell to Frodo, and provided him with much greater satisfaction than a term of service and another photo in the yearbook. Harry Maranian would use that challenge many times to Frodo however, telling him that he could always accomplish something if he simply tried as hard as he had in that election.
A few years ago, Frodo learned before his class assembled one more time, that Harry Maranian was dead. It grieved him greatly that he knew nothing about when or how, or that he had never found the opportunity to say "Thank you, Harry." As the group sat in the bar and discoursed over the recalled events of those days, it was Strider who spoke and softly asked, "Do you think he was gay?" Frodo sucked air, for he had never had such a thought, and quite frankly did not, and does not, care.
Frodo only hopes that Mr. Maranian is still proud of Frodo.