Saturday, February 04, 2012

Larry and Ron

His name is Larry Eugene Meredith and we have been Best Friends since 1951.  For those of you who can do the math, that is SIXTY YEARS!

Sixth grade operetta - me in the back not he far left and Larry in the back on the far right (our friend Stuart is in the front row far right) - 1953
I met Larry when we are both in third grade at the East Ward Elementary School in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  I don't remember the exact time we met but I do remember very clearly that we were Best Friends immediately.  I think what initiated the friendship was our mutual love of comic books.  Larry and I used to trade our comic books with each other.  I would offer him one of my Crypt Keeper comic books for one of his Scrooge McDuck comic books.  Larry was tough and he would sometimes demand two of my Crypt Keeper comic books for one of his treasured Scrooge McDuck Comic books. This is my earliest memory of Larry.
Lar (far left) and me (far right) with our friend Stuart 1957

We both lived on Washington Avenue in Downingtown.  Larry lived on the 400 block, right next to the East Ward Elementary School.  I lived on the 100 block at the other end of Washington Avenue.

Larry (far left), Ginny Mouldar and me - Larry tried to fix me up with Ginny - 1959 (this was before he know I was gay)

I can write so much about our friendship, enough to fill a book.  But I know you're all busy so I won't make this a "War and Peace" posting about my good friend Larry.

Lar and me (home on leave from the Army) 1962

A few minutes ago I just got off FaceTime with Larry.  Larry lives at the top end of Delaware in Claymont Delaware, right outside of Wilmington in New Castle County.  I live at the bottom end of Delaware in Sussex County.  We have one county separating us, which is Kent County,  Delaware is a small state and only has three counties.

Larry and I are similar in many ways.  Let me list them:

  • Both of our fathers were truck drivers
  • Neither one of our fathers had a close relationship with us
  • Both of our parents told us early on that they couldn't afford to send us to college
  • Larry and I both ended up with banking careers 
  • We both are the family genealogist
  • We both like to write
  • We both like to take photos
  • We both love cats
And there the similarities end.  Here is where we are not similar:

  • Larry is straight, I am not
  • Larry has a family (three children), I do not
  • Larry leans conservative Republican I lean liberal Democrat
  • Larry is Pro-Life, I am Pro-Choice
  • Larry is religious, I am not

Yet for all our dissimilarities Larry and I continue to be best friends.  However, there was a big gap in our friendship.  After I got out of the Army in 1963 and came out to everybody, our friendship drifted.  Not because I came out but because he took different paths in our lives.

Larry and his lovely bride Lois - 1959 (still married!)

About ten years ago Larry's Mother sent me a Thanksgiving card asking me to contact Larry because he lost his banking job and needed some encouragement.  She thought I could offer some because I had also lost my banking job.  I called Larry and thus renewed our friendship right where it left off back in the Sixties.  
Me (far left), Miss Ezrah (our third grade teacher) and Larry 2001

I will be forever thankful to his Mother for sending me that Thanksgiving card asking me to contact Larry because that was the impetus for us to renew our friendship.  

Lar and me at 10 Downing Street Restaurant in Downingtown 2001

I have a few other friends that I have maintained over the years but perhaps none as close as I am to Larry now (except of maybe my Bill but that is a whole different story).  

Me, Larry and his lovely wife Lois at Irish Eyes in Lewes 2010

Larry and I talk almost every day on FaceTime.  We talk about anything and everything.  We both try to be careful when we talk politics.  You know how that can be.  

Me and Larry for our reunion with our friend Stuart - 2011

Perhaps the only thing we're missing in our friendship now are the comic books.  Larry still has his but my mom threw mine all away when I joined the Army back in 1960. I'm still trying to get his Scrooge McDuck comic books but Lar won't give them up.

Larry and I at the Purple Parrot in Rehoboth Beach this past summer 2011 - the friendship continues


Jon said...

What an incredible friendship! Fascinating!
By the way, I still have all my old comic books. No Scrooge McDuck, however.....

Ron said...


What kind of comic books do you have? I didn't have the usual comic books one would expect of a 10 year old boy in the Fifties. No Superman for me.

3rdnlong said...

Thanks for the perfect "story" on a rainy humid saturday in feburary in atlanta. Its a sure sign of a cold and wintry end of the month and march according to the Farmers Almanac. I smiled with the picture of you and your "set up" the year I was born.

Ron said...

Roger (3rdnlong)

I'm glad my "story" lightened your rainy humid Saturday in February in Atlanta. I'm sorry but I don't understand the "set up" the year you were born. Please explain.

Anonymous said...

picture of you in 1959 with you. Larry and Ginny.

Ron said...


1959 was a good year. It was the year I graduated from high school. Last of the Fifties Kids. It was a good year to be born. I like my Year of Birth too, 1941. That was the start of another era instead of the end of an era.

Ur-spo said...

what a fabulous story; what a marvel to have a friend this long throughout life. Few have such; you are a fortunate man.

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,

Yes, I am fortunate that I still have good friends that I made from years ago. I have another friend from my grade school days as well as a good friend that I made from my banking career (my former boss). I am sad that I haven't been able to make any lasting friendships other than my straight neighbors since we've moved to Delaware five years ago. But that's the way it goes.