|Friends Larry and Ron have breakfast at The Filling Station, Lewes, DE |
January 27, 2011
One such old friend of mine is Larry M. of Claymont, Delaware. Claymont is at the northern top of the state in Newcastle, County while I am at the lower end of the state in Sussex County. Kent County separates us. Delaware only has three counties, we are a small state.
I've known my good friend Larry since third grade. Now that would be since 1951 which is exactly SIXTY YEARS AGO! NO! We can't be THAT OLD. Hard to believe.
|Dressed as scarecrows for a sixth grade Operetta 1953|
I am in the plaid shirt in the back on the left
Larry is on the back on the right
We both lived on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Larry's family (he is an only child - both of his parents are in their 90's now and still on their own) lived in a rented house at 417 Washington Avenue near the East Ward Elementary School. My family lived in a second floor rented apartment on 120 Washington Avenue, near Wagner's Grocery store. Both of our fathers were truck drivers and our mothers were stay at home moms. Larry and I clicked right away and we were best friends until his parents moved to Pughtown (what a name for a town)PA right before we were to enter tenth grade in high school. Larry and I stayed friends but we had the geographical distance took away the "best friend" classification. Bill B. became my new BF. A boy has to have a BFF.
|BF'S Larry, Stuart and Ron October 1957|
After we graduated from high school we gradually drifted away from one another. I tried to get Larry to join the Army with me under the Buddy System but fate intervened again and his Mom wasn't having any of that. So I joined the Army alone, which coincidentally was exactly 51 years ago to this day - I shipped out January 27th, 1960. A day I will never forget for as long as I live because I was scared to death when I boarded that for basic training to Ft. Dix, New Jersey.
|Larry, Ginny (my blind date Larry set up up with) and me 1959|
Ginny was nice but the blind date was an exercise in futility
I still hand't come to terms with my sexual identity
We kept in contact by mail while I was in the service but over time our friendship gradually faded into the background as our other life events demanded more of our time.
|Larry and me when I was home on leave from the Army in the summer of 1962|
Over the years we kept in touch by Christmas cards, as I have done with many old friends, relatives and former co-workers. However, except for one chance encounter on Spruce Street in Philadelphia, I didn't see Larry face to face for many years.
Then on Thanksgiving 2001 (I remember it well because it was the year of 9/11), I received a Thanksgiving card from his mother suggesting that I call Larry. She told me that Larry had recently lost his longtime job at the bank where he worked in Wilmington and was depressed. She thought maybe if I talked to him I could lift him out of his depression. Larry's mother knew that if anyone could distract Larry from his doldrums, it was me. I gladly accepted her challenge
Coincidentally, I had also had a longtime job at a bank (in Philadelphia) which I had recently lost. I called Larry and that was the beginning of the renewal of our friendship.
|Larry and me at 10 Downing Street Restaurant 2003|
Resuming our friendship after a 40 year intermission
|Larry, his wife Lois and me on the Spirit of Philadelphia Cruise 2004|
(Note: I'm still traveling solo, no date)
Last night I worked at the Inn while Larry and his wife were still guests at the Inn. It was raining when I went in at 2:45 pm. By 8:30 pm the rain had turned to a mixture of snow, sleet and ice so I decided not to risk life and limb by driving home after my shift ended at 11 pm. I decided to stay overnight at the Inn, two doors down from my friends Larry and Lois.
My involuntary incarceration at the Inn was not really a bad thing considering that I work at the premier boutique hotel in Lewes. That's one of the good things about working at a hotel, when you can't go home you have a place to stay. I picked one of those plush rooms on the top floor with the king size bed after my shift ended last night at 11 PM. Once my head hit that feather pillow, I was off in Dreamland for the next seven hours. I didn't even get up to pee, that's how comfortable I was. Man oh man, I DID NOT want to get up this morning.
So I get up, see that my car all iced over, and decide "What the hey?" I'll have breakfast with my friend of sixty years, Lar.
|It looks innocent but that is ice on my car this morning|
So here is my photo essay of my Breakfast in Lewes, Delaware with my good friend Lar this morning, January 27th, 2011 while we were awing the restaurant to open:
|Larry M, January 27, 2011 - Lewes, Delaware|
|Ron, January 27, 2011 Lewes, Delaware|
|Larry doing his best Samson imitation in the Lewes Park|