Dignified Pet Services presents 'People in the Neighborhood'
Antonio Harvey is a classic southern man: he believes in dressing well, that politeness is a high virtue, and he can whip up a tasty etouffee, no problem. But the former Portland Trailblazer and current radio analyst for the team chose to raise his family in Oregon when he retired from the game, which apparently resulted in (figuratively speaking) web-footed children.
"I wish I could send you a picture of my son right now," Antonio laughs. "He's got on an Adidas jacket, some backyard rubber boots. He is 100% Oregonian through and through."
That son would be nearly three-year-old Trevor, who is one of four children in the Harvey household, which also includes 16-year-old Aryana, 14-year-old Kameron, and 11-year-old Keenan. Luckily, there's also a four-pound Yorkie in the family to help keep everyone in line —but more on him later.
Considering our lack of truly great barbeque and sunshine, what made this Mississippi native choose the Rose City as the place to put down roots?
"It reminds me of home," he says. "You take away the humidity and the physical aspects — when you start talking about the way the people act and the laid-back nature of Oregonians, and Portlanders in particular, it reminds me of growing up in Mississippi. We were a real community where you cared about one another, you took care of one another, and I think that's what attracts me the most. I've never met a stranger."
He admits, though, that being 6' 10" and a member of the Trailblazers helps, as does the fact that he's out of town working during a good part of our soggy winters.
That work schedule means he might not be the best of tour guides if you come to visit the state. "To be honest, I don't do much. I'm as big a homebody as you'll meet," he admits. "The season ends, I put my bags in the closet and I don't take 'em back out unless I absolutely have to."
Antonio's proclivity to stay put has reaped numerous benefits for this area, as he has made it his business to give back to the community as a mentor to young athletes and by supporting several local charities, including Trillium Family Services and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Most recently, he participated in his first Strut Your Mutt event to raise funds for local animal welfare organizations, and he plans to be back this year if his schedule allows.
And that's where Sebastian the Yorkie comes in.
"I'd always wanted a dog but we grew up really poor in the South so we couldn't afford a dog," Antonio remembers. "But as soon as I got to a point in my life where I could, which was my third year in the NBA, I bought a big Golden Retriever."
That dog the first Sebastian — ended up going to live with Antonio's mother and brother in Mississippi when Antonio moved to Canada and decided not to put his buddy through six months of quarantine.
Eventually the Harveys got a new puppy, a tiny Terrier Antonio named after his first beloved dog, who passed away at age 12. This Sebastian may be pocket-sized, but Antonio says he plays a big role in their family life. "Oh, he's more than just a part of the pack," he laughs. "He likes to think he controls it."
It's this appreciation for what dogs bring to life that has inspired Antonio to not only help animal welfare groups, but to develop a phone app that he hopes will make it easier for owners to access their pets' vaccination records as well as their location should they become lost.
"The app is basically designed to put all of your [pet's] information in one place," Antonio explains. "We're probably about 90 days from launch."
And that's just one of the many things on Antonio's lifetime to-do list. He also plans to see the pyramids, meet a sitting president, and drive cross-country with his family. All of which he'll likely do wearing wingtips, his shoe of choice for any occasion.
"Wingtips are all I wear," he says. "They fit with everything. Nothing faddy, nothing hip, nothing too cool — just classy."
The perfect shoe for an equally classy guy who's also the radio voice of a team that — just like wingtips — are making a comeback.
About our Sponsor
Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years. In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance, this year Dec. 9th at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare. Proprietors Michael, Randy and Avani live in Sherwood.
Michele Coppola is a Portland-based air personality for 99.5 The Wolf and copywriter for Entercom Radio. When she's not talking, writing, or pursuing quality couch time with husband Bryon and their dogs, Cindy and Lucy, she's also a proud volunteer for Fences for Fido and Family Dogs New Life Shelter.