Harry “Hap” MacDonald

The valley is filled with farmers large and small but everyone knew Harry “Hap” MacDonald, who Died Wednesday at age 90.

Hap MacDonald often complained that people began calling him “Old Hap MacDonald” long before he had a single gray hair or wrinkle. His friends agree but add that Hap was old long before his time and they point to how he took care of everyone, even as a young man.

Despite his conservative nature, say friends, MacDonald married a woman with a contrasting reputation.  Emma MacDonald, who died five years ago, had a reputation all of her life as an outgoing and adventurous woman.  “If it weren’t for Emma,” says friend Vance Randolph, “Hap would have been a simple corn farmer, might have had a dog.”

Many friends confirm that while Old Hap MacDonald might have groused a little whenever Emma brought home a new cow or horse or chicken or sheep or duck or goose or cat, he never really protested either.  “He might shake his head a little, maybe roll his eyes,” says friend Cecil Sharp, “but then he’d always say the same thing, ‘Eventually I’ll expect its offering.’ We didn’t know what this meant, exactly, but Hap’s parents were from the old country, so we thought it was something traditional.”

“He said it so often,” says Randolph, “that whenever we saw a new animal on the farm we’d just say ‘E-I-E-I-O’ as a kind of shorthand.”

Old Hap MacDonald could claim many friends in the valley and not a few of them among the animals from whom he expected an offering he never claimed. If he had enemies, he never named them and none have claimed the designation. He is survived by his twin sons, Thomas and Walker, 55.


Harry MacDonald 1911-2001 (Photo 1996)


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