I met Harvey J. Myers in my kitchen as a 16-year old kid in Dundalk who loved sports and needed a satellite dish to become the sports journalist I aspired to be as a grown up. It was the summer of 1985 and my Pop wanted more college basketball, out of town baseball games and we needed Houston Oilers games (pre-season and regular season) since we had just lost the Colts. So, my recently retired Pop got a Baltimore County zoning variance and the roof of our house looked like the Caltech Cable headquarters in Colgate – and we were also the only house with Much Music and MTV.
Myers, a man of many hats and street wisdom, was cashing in on the nascent satellite installation dish business in the 1980s and was glad to get us connected to the floating spaceships hovering over the earth that could bring in more television than any lousy cable box.
In 1992, Harvey Myers reappeared in my life as the guy who owned Ye Olde Emerald Tavern on Harford Road and offered to be a very early sponsor of my WITH-AM 1230 radio show as “Nasty Nestor” and host NFL viewing parties for my beloved Houston Oilers – and later the rival Cleveland Browns Backers group in the upstairs party area above the bar. (And all the same players who would soon become Ravens!) I was the house DJ at The Emerald on Sunday and Thursday nights before the Ravens were even a concept. Former Steelers and Colts linebacker Bill Saul worked at the bar and was a fixture.
Harvey always requested “YMCA” by Village People and would lead a beer parade conga line around the bar, sometimes out the front door into the parking lot and back in the side door. Harford Road would never again see such raucous celebration. Every Sunday night, once everyone was pretty lubricated and either way ahead or behind from the heavy use of the pay phone outside the front door (yeah, they made a little “book” around there on football games back in the day), Harvey would signal that I quiet the music as the bouncers locked the front and back doors and Harvey proceeded to scream: “POTTY PARTY!”
This fun and unique feature of the all-new Sunday Night Football party and free (and delicious) revolving buffet meant that everybody in the bar drank free beer – but only as long as the bathroom doors stayed locked. Sometimes I played Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks” or similar water-related melodies and the party raged for more than an hour until someone had to pee. Usually, guys blocked the ladies’ room doors for at least a few minutes and the crowd howled with mock disappointment and eventually the beer in the Mason jars went back to regular price and we all went home happy.
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t legal; but it was a helluva lotta fun!
Like any blue-blooded Baltimore kid of his age, Harvey Myers loved football and like the rest of us both revered the Colts and then reviled the Irsay departure and felt the wounds of that 12-year gap without the NFL. In November 1994, Harvey and I went to Vancouver together for four days of Canadian Football League championship madness at the Grey Cup with the Baltimore Stallions and Jim Speros. Just the two of us. We ate. We drank. We entertained. We danced. We met girls. We met fans. We collected CFL pins. We ripped it up in British Columbia right until the B.C. Lions cheated their way past the men of Don Mathews!
And when the Modell family brought the Browns to Baltimore the following year, Harvey J. Myers was amongst the first to slap down his coin on a Personal Seat License. Harvey became one of the biggest Baltimore Ravens fans I ever knew. When the Ravens landed, he soon became a regular on our early roadtrips. He loved John Steadman and the last great time I ever spent with Steady, I was accompanied by Harvey in Tennessee at the airport getting BBQ. He was with us at Whiskey Joe’s in Tampa before Super Bowl XXXV.
Harvey was a gem of a guy, a giant human teddy bear. The women loved Harv and the men wanted to buy him a drink – or perhaps have one of his. Harvey was always Diet Coke man! He had a lot of friends and knew at least half of Parkville at one point.
Harvey entered my life as a satellite dish installer, then became a very early radio sponsor, a crazy Uncle and a lifelong friend. And his daughter married my pal Gregg Landry, who has been a repeat offender on my modern radio show and Baltimore Positive and owns Towson Transfers where he takes old pictures and videos and makes them digital and modern. Gregg fixed my Paul Stanley 1990 interview five days ago and he and Harvey’s daughter Susan were with me on Saturday night at Tommy Conwell concert in Towson. We’re sorta like family all of these years later and I didn’t even know Harvey’s daughter 30 years ago when he was my sponsor and I was the house DJ at The Emerald.
We lost Harvey on Sunday morning after a long struggle. It was a bye week for the Ravens. It’ll always be hard to say goodbye to Harvey and I’ll never forget his hearty chuckle, his simultaneous glare and demure smile and his lifelong good cheer toward me.
Harv was there in my kitchen when I was a kid in Dundalk. He was among the first to truly believe in me and listen to my radio show and invest in me. And no one was prouder when I bought WNST back in 1998 and he saw the impact of my little sports media business. The entrepreneur and Baltimore sports fan in Harv always loved watching my life unfold.
Harvey Myers loved me.
He called me “Kid.”
I loved that. And I loved him, too!
RIP Harvey. I hope they’re playing the YMCA for you up there and you’re dancing around the bar in a purple jersey with Johnny U. and every sports hero you ever loved. You were one of the good ones!
And, man that night in Vancouver, Harv…
Didn’t we have some good times?