Teacher, coach, photographer and historian. Somehow, Kenny Harriston manages to find time during the busy days to fit all of these jobs in.
Earning a teaching degree (at D.C. Teachers College) and coaching in the District's public schools came naturally for Harriston, a Washington native. He had always wanted to do both.
"Ten years ago, all I wanted to do was coach," said Harriston, in his second year as the girls basketball coach at Spingarn. "Right now, it just isn't one of my priorities in life. We were 0-20 last year but we've done much better this season (9-8). Last year, I had to teach dribbling, how to catch the ball, everything. This year, I have some athletes and I can teach the fine points and some strategy.
"Last year, I put the girls in a zone and hoped the other team didn't press. On offense, I just hoped they got a shot off (they averaged 19 points a game)."
Harriston still has nightmares about last season. He said some teams would be so far ahead by halftime that the opposing coach would leave and go scout another team or watch junior high girls play. One coach was so confident of a victory he simply dropped off his team at the beginning of the game and left.
Although Harriston still enjoys coaching, he has become addicted to photography.
"When the teachers went on strike (1979), I just started taking pictures to make a couple of extra bucks," he said. "I didn't know much about it then but I stayed with it and it turned into a legitimate part-time job. It makes for long days but it's been good financially for me."
Harriston takes pictures of many of the sports teams, graduations, proms and other affairs at many area schools.
"People always need pictures. And there's always a sporting event somewhere in this city," Harriston said. "I can't do as much during the basketball season, but in the spring there are a lot of opportunities to work."
As if he wasn't busy enough, Harriston, who has always loved history, began looking into the background of area high school athletics.
"I have always been interested in dates and important sporting events, and since I like to read, I decided to look up the history of D.C. high school athletics," he said. "I spent hours and hours in the library and interviewing people in the city. I've read about guys in this city who were either real good athletes or knew a lot about this city's high school athletics. When you meet some of the people you've read about, you feel a little strange. I was surprised at the accomplishments of some of them."
Three years ago, Harriston began putting together a high school record book. He also has started compiling information that he hopes will serve as a creditable ledger for the history of high school athletics in the Washington area.
"I've accumulated a lot of info -- such things as finding out the first high school event held in the area was in 1890," he said. "I've looked up all the city championship games and have all the statistics. Someone might want this info one day. If they do, I have it put together."
The highly regarded Green Wave boys team gets most of the attention but Harriston has done a fine job rebuilding the girls team. He has only seven or eight players on the team but they have been competitive much of the season.
"We worked hard this summer, exposing the kids to more basketball," he said. "They played in a summer league and you can see the difference."
Harriston doesn't go many places without his photography bag and stenopad. At the conclusion of his games, he is usually scurrying somehere to work on his other priorities.
"I have some long days sometimes," he said. "But I get it all in. I enjoy doing what I do."