Morning name: Harry

My morning name a while back was just Harry. Some possibiities:

Dirty Harry. The Trouble With Harry. Harry Truman. Harry Hamblin. Prince Harry. Harry Houdini. Harry Potter. Harry Reems. Harry Connick Jr. Harry the Horse. Harry Frankfurt. Harry Belafonte.

But none of these. I instantly connected to Harry B. Miller, Jr., my first cousin-in-law. And then discovered that he’d died back in 2013.

From the Lexington [KY] Herald-Leader on 11/13/13:


MILLER Harry B., Jr., a Lexington attorney who represented movie stars, business leaders and some of the biggest names in the horse industry, died Monday at home after a short illness. He was 89. Miller was born on Jan 4, 1924, in Lexington and was reared by his mother Ann [Walcutt] and step-father Circuit Judge Jack Winn in Mt. Sterling where Miller was a star athlete in football and basketball for Mt. Sterling High School. While attending the University of Kentucky he enlisted in the Army in 1942. He served in the 701st Military Police Battalion stateside for the duration of the war. He was discharged as a captain nearly four years later. He then served in the reserves for 11 years, obtaining the rank of major. After he was discharged from the Army, Miller skipped the rest of college and entered UK College of Law, where he was an Order of the Coif graduate of UK in 1948.

… Following law school, he joined the law firm of firm of Brown & Miller with his father Harry Sr. and John Y. Brown Sr., father of former Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. He later formed the law firm of Miller, Griffin & Marks where some of Kentucky’s top lawyers got their start, including former Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens. His grandson, Elliott Miller, recently because a partner in the firm – the fourth generation to do so. Among his clients were thoroughbred owners Mary Lou and C.V. “Sonny” Whitney [my daughter Elizabeth has a nice story about an encounter with Sonny], and Leslie Combs of Spendthrift Farm, and standardbred owner Fred Van Lennep. Because of his expertise in horse law, he also represented actor William Shatner. He also served as president of The Red Mile [harness racing track in Lexington] for seven years. Miller and his wife Pat, who died in 1997 after 50 years of marriage, were well known for their hospitality and generosity. Their home on South Ashland Ave. became a refuge for many of their children’s friends. [Many happy visits to this house.]

Miller was also very active in Democratic politics and served as treasurer of the state Democratic Party for eight years. He was a top adviser to Govs. Bert Combs and Edward T. “Ned” Breathitt and was hired by Gov. Julian Carroll to handle all the legal appeals over eliminating bail bondsmen in Kentucky. In 1960 he escorted then Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy during his campaign visit to Kentucky. Kennedy later offered Miller the position as head of the Justice Department’s criminal division. Miller declined. Miller was also a close confidante and recruiter for legendary University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp, who used to joke that Miller was his best recruiter because every player he courted ended up going to another team and turned out to be terrible. But he did have one great success for UK basketball. When assistant basketball coach Joe B. Hall left to coach at St. Louis University, then changed his mind, Miller negotiated Hall’s release from the contract so he could return to Kentucky.

After he retired, Miller enjoyed hours of playing bridge, poker and gin rummy with his friends and following his grandchildren’s athletic exploits. He is survived by a daughter, Robin Downing (Robert) of Lexington; and three sons, Tom Miller (Cathy) and John Winn Miller (Margo) of Lexington, and Harry B. Miller III (Nancy) of Los Angeles; six grandchildren, Blake Miller, Elliott Miller (Alison), Griffin Miller, Winn Miller, Cole Furfaro-Strode (Dawn) and Allison Miller-Nee (Adam); and one great-granddaughter Amaya Furfaro-Strode.

So, first cousin of Ann (Walcutt) Daingerfield (Zwicky), through her aunt Ann (Walcutt) Winn.

Your relatives and kin connections go their own way and don’t necessarily share a great deal with you. I expected that when Ann and I married, I would become connected to all sorts of people in the world of thoroughbred racing (completely new to me, but it was Ann’s father Keene Daingerfield’s world). I hadn’t reckoned on spending time with a large number of governors of Kentucky and UK sports coaches, but they came along with Harry.

(All this when Ann and I were in Columbus OH and frequently drove the ca. 190 miles south to Lexington. This then became the standard distance for visiting family: later, Jacques and I (and sometimes Elizabeth) would drive the ca. 200 miles from Palo Alto to Arroyo Grande, where my father and stemother lived.)

One picture of Keene, Ann, Elizabeth, and Harry together, from my 1/1/12 posting “Ann in 1984”, about:


a celebration for Keene (Ann’s father), for some reason held at the Red Mile in Lexington (the harness racing track — trotters and pacers) rather than Keeneland (the thoroughbred racing track, with which Keene was associated). The central family figures are Keene, Elizabeth (Ann’s and my daughter), and Ann. Plus, off to the right, Velma Daingerfield (Keene’s second wife — mislabeled here as Zelma) and Harry B. Miller Jr. (Ann’s first cousin, on her mother’s side). Also in the photo is Fred van Lennep, owner of Castleton Farm at the time, a place that figures in many of my stories about Ann and her family,

… [As for] Harry B. Miller (Jr.) and his family, [I note] here only that he’s been a lawyer in Lexington for over 60 years (in Miller, Griffin and Marks — with a number of specialties, including, of course, “equine matters”, as their website puts it) and that his mother Ann was my Ann’s aunt Ann: Ann Walcutt, sister of Ann’s mother Libby (another Elizabeth), married first to Harry B. Miller (a founding partner of Miller, Griffin and Marks), then to John J. (“Jack”) Winn, a judge from Mount Sterling, Kentucky, east of Lexington.

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