|Larry and his wife Lois (on the left) and me (in the center in front of the pirate) at Trivia Night at the Brickside Grille, Eagleview, Pennsylvania 2005|
|Miss Ezrah's 3rd Grade Class - 1953|
|That's me in the back with the big head of hair!|
|Larry is in front of Miss Ezrah|
We met under unusual circumstances. I gave a book report in my third grade class, of which Miss Elizabeth Ezrah was the teacher. See below for the picture of me and Larry with Miss Ezrah many years later when we visited her at the Simpson Meadows nursing home in 2004.
|Me, Miss Ezrah (she never married) and Larry at the Simpson Meadows Nursing Home in 2004 - she remembered us! Off course, we are unforgettable!|
I took my book report from a story I read in a Scrooge McDuck comic book. At the time I didn't realize I plagiarized the the plot from the Scrooge McDuck comic book. Hey, I was in third grade. So what did Larry do? He shouts out in class "I read that story in a comic book!" Gee, thanks Larry.
|Larry (on the left), Ginny and me - 1960 - this was when Larry thought I was straight and he was trying to fix me up with Ginny - didn't work - look at the body language - tells the whole story|
After class, when the class was milling about outside for recess, I approached Larry. Larry told me much later when he was writing his autobiography that he thought I was going to punch him. But instead I walked up to him and said "You have comic books? Do you want to trade?" Thus began a friendship from 1953 until this date, fifty-nine years later!
|Larry, Stuart and me - 1957 - still friends after all these years|
We were very close friends until 1963, at which time we parted ways for about thirty years because of a misunderstanding about my gayness. I came out to family and friends at that time and lost most of them, including Larry. However, much later that we just had a misunderstanding. Not that Larry was homophobic, he wasn't but he felt that something was "wrong" with me. I didn't take kindly to that attitude and thus ended the friendship.
|Me (far left in back), Larry (far right in back) and Stuart (far right in front) dressed as scarecrows for a class operetta - 1953|
Fast forward to 2001. Larry's Mother sent me a Thanksgiving card asking me to get in touch with Larry. Larry had recently lost his longtime job at a major bank in Wilmington. His Mother knew I worked for a major bank in Philadelphia and had also lost my job. She thought I could help him get over his depression and funk and perhaps help him cope with a new set or realities.
|Larry (left) and me (right) - 1962 - I wanted Larry to join the Army with me but he Mother wouldn't hear of it - Larry guarded the home front while I manned the fort at Ft. Meade, MD|
I called Larry and thus we renewed our friendship. Our friendship renewal has probably been the best thing to happen to me in the past ten years. In a time when I've had to deal with shallow gay friends who are easily offended and drop my friendship, losing friends and relatives to death; I am so appreciative that I have a friend like Larry who can see past my many imperfections and stay friends with me.
|Larry (left), his wife Lois (middle) and me on the right at the Spirit of Philadelphia Cruise (class reunion) 2002|
Larry and I talk several times a week on FaceTime. I always look forward to those times. Once a year on Larry's birthday July 30th Larry makes the trip from his home in Claymont, Delaware, which is at the top of the state to Rehoboth Beach, near where I live. We get one of those old time photos. Just fun stuff. Two old men, enjoying each other's company.
|Me and Larry on my back deck during his visit this June 2012|
I await your comments Lar!