Springfield Archives - StoryCorps

After An Accident, Father And Daughter Reflect On What It Takes To Live Again

In 1990, Les Harris was just beginning his career in construction. A father of two young children, he looked forward to working to buy a house and take care of his family. Everything changed on October 5th of that year when a work site accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. 

Les Harris with his son Troy and daughter Angie Presley in Republic, MO in 1987. Courtesy of Les Harris.

As Les learned to live without the use of his legs, he also learned the importance of having a never quit attitude. For the past 32 years, Angie and Les have even celebrated October 5th as his “life day.” 

“Everybody that meets you walks away feeling better, smiling, laughing. You have a positive perspective. And I know that I got that from you. I see the difference you’ve made in people’s lives,” Angie told her father. They came to StoryCorps to reflect on how that perspective has carried them both through over the decades since the accident. 

Top Photo: Les Harris and Angie Presly at their StoryCorps interview in Springfield, MO on April 22, 2022. By Sarah Padgett for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired March 31, 2023 on NPR’s Morning Edition.