Richard Harvey Talks about his Adventures with Mark O. Haroldsen

May 14, 2009 by  
Filed under blog

Ed Beckcom“Race and religion could’ve divided us but we created a bond in one year that has transcended 40 years.”

– Richard

Richard  is another friend of Mark O. Haroldsen who played on the championship basketball team in high school. Ed came to  Mark’s 65th birthday party. Mark asked me (Janet, the editor of this blog) to interview Richard.

Richard and Mark got separated and Richard always looked for Mark. Then he saw him on TV in a Mercedes. Mark had come up with the idea of buying a home with no money down. He had written a book. Richard looked him up and called him. When Mark discovered who it was, his response was “I’ve been looking for you for 20 years!”

Richard and Mark met in the 60s and there was prejudice. Even though Mark and Ed were inseparable – and saw one another every day – Richard was never allowed inside Mark’s house. Mark’s dad was Mormon.

Years later, Mark and Richard were reunited again at Mark’s wedding reception. It this was a difficult time for Richard. His youngest son Kyle had cancer and he was in the hospital every day with him. He almost didn’t go to the reception. Then he decided to go. When he got to the reception, he could see Mark’s dad from a distance. He started walking towards Richard and he worried that Mark’s dad was coming over to ask him to leave. Instead he thanked Richard for coming.

Mark’s dad then told Richard that he’s going to put his son’s name in the Mormon temple where Mormons all over the world will pray for him. A whole group of people praying for his son.

Later when Richard was back at the hospital with his son and there was a huge commotion in the playroom. Someone was there passing out teddy bears to the kids. This man who was there locked eyes with Richard’s son Kyle, then walked up to him and hugged him and just held him. Richard learned that the man’s name was Donnie Osmond.

“Within 3 days of learning that Mormons were praying for his son the most famous Mormon embraces my son,” Richard recounts. This was a confirmation that Kyle would beat cancer, and he did. A year later Donnie came back and his picture was in the newspaper. He called Kyle to check on him. Richard doesn’t even know how he got their number. Richard told him the story about the temple and how the Mormons were helping him and his son. Donnie was very moved.

Mark jokingly calls Richard his twin brother, despite that they have different colors of skin. They have a lot in common. Both had ended up with successful careers in real estate. Each came from large religious families (7 kids), and both eventually left the religions they were raised in. They became friends in another country and after reuniting, they remain good friends today.


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