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|
|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|