HAROLD "GENE" LANGBEHN, JR.
108 Senior Way
Seneca, South Carolina 29678
When I attended our twentieth Reunion my Architectural Career was delayed by a critical Car Accident and State of South Carolina sponsored Handicap Discrimination. Leaving a major South Florida Hospital after being in a deep coma for twenty-two days I suffered a Right Hemi paresis. While recovering from the 1967 accident as an Outpatient at Jackson Memorial / U of M’s Rehabilitation Center, they recommended that I move to South Carolina to continue my career in Architecture.
Even though I set a state record on my Architectural Boards my registration as an Architect was forcefully denied. I uncovered a SC law that denied Architectural Registration to Disabled Persons. My residual hemi paresis classified me as disabled. I also discovered a Federal Law outlawing Handicap Discrimination which was enacted before the Americans with Disabilities Act. Federal Code 93.112 requires that if discrimination occurres by State action any federal funds received by the State must be returned to Washington. Rather than return the $ 1,000,000,000.00 demanded by Senator Strom Thurmond (R. SC) we negotiated a compromise. I was licensed by SC with no further hassles and I didn’t bankrupt SC - I only changed State Law. I received my Architectural Registration on the anniversary of the accident. Shortly after being licensed by SC, Florida licensed me also and the NCARB certified me for unlimited license reciprocity throughout America and Canada.
In 1986 I also met and married a vivacious red head who is also “my other half”. Together we operate Harold Langbehn, Jr. / architect successfully from our Studio.Office.Home “.sa.bi.” in Pendleton, SC. Yearly our project’s construction costs exceed 12 - 15 million dollars. We just returned from Parson Engineering in Charlotte, NC. The 5th largest A/E firm in the Country asked me to be Co-Architect on a 100 million dollar Web Hosting Project for AT&T. We successfully completed the project under a limited time frame. I just received an electric scooter which helps me when I have to walk long distances at building sites or project meetings. Like Shirley McClaine and others, many of Life’s mysteries have been revealed to us since the Car Accident.
While at Gables I worked to understand Trig and other maths. Now, after the accident, my understanding of math and engineering is unparalled. I still have the gold Cups I won in Architectural Drafting. Sometimes I wonder how the Careers of the other Cup winners developed. My Career certainly took many twists and turns. Life can be a Challenge. We wish and want only the best for my friends of Gables High and we expect to see you soon.