My Childhood Friend Is Gone
We lived next door to one another while very young and played together often. His parents, Maxine and Carl (everybody called him Tony) were always great to be around and both of them treated Larry's friends like royalty. Larry was handicapped but you would never know it. Larry never let that hold him back. He played touch football with all of us on Town Street. Larry was one of the toughest guys I ever knew. My friend never allowed adversity or his handicaps interfere with his positive mental attitude. I can also remember he had genuine love for music and cars. In fact in high school he had a band. I am sorry to say I can't remember the name of it but I do remember he could play the drums and he and his band would take me on a gig or two. So much fun back then! Thank you Larry! Larry's parents and he many tmes took me along with them to their vacation home on Lake White Larry's thoughtfulness and his of course his humor was derived from his fun loving parents. It was sad that both of them died in a tragic accident so many years ago.
Larry graduated in 1968 and I graduated in 1966. After I graduated I spent more time with my girlfriends and other buddies and Larry and I saw less and less of each other. Why? I don't know but that happens sometimes. Other relationships starts to overtake the other and then the other becomes a faded photograph.
I eventually entered the United States Army and made it a career while Larry attended Northwestern Medical University in Chicago and then graduated from Cerritos College in California with a degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Larry worked with some of the best Orthotic and Prosthetic facilities in the country before starting the family firm of South Central Orthotic and Prosthetics Center in Chillicothe, Ohio. Larry was instrumental in bringing State Licensure in Orthotics and Prosthetics in the State of Ohio. Larry was very successful and loved by all his patients.
I found Larry's sister on Classmates.com and wrote to her several years ago. Kris was about two years older than me. She wrote back and gave me his email address but also his phone number and told me to call not to email because he very seldom checked his email or responded. Well I kept putting off that phone call until it was never made.
In the late 1970s I ran into Larry and his new wife, Denise at the Pumpkin Show. I spent a few minutes talking to him and then went my way with my family. I never saw Larry again.
While home for a funeral in 2002, my cousin, who was a member of the Elks as was Larry, My cousin told Larry I was home and Larry agreed to meet us at the Elks. I don't know what came up but Larry didn't show. Back then I didn't know that I probably had lost my last opportunity to see Larry for the last time. I will say this once again. As we grow older, the friends we make in life later do not compare to the friends we had as children.
Larry, thank you for all the great memories while growing up. I wish all of us could be as tough, fun loving, positive, and generous as you have been to all those you came in contact with, especially me. I pray that you forgive me for not taking that extra time to pick up the phone and say 'hey friend, remember me?"
You can read more about Larry by clicking here.