He died 3 days ago, 9/11/2016, and I cried. Why cry?
Men don’t cry! No not for a physical hurt, but they do when it’s a special loss!
First of all, he called me yesterday three times, but I didn’t get the call properly. There was one call after another from that same number and I didn’t recognize the number. Besides, our cell phones don’t work very well at our home, as we’re on the island 3 miles off the east coast of Florida on Highway A1A, that must rely on cells from the mainland.
Later that same night, when I went to check my messages to see just who all thar were calling, thinking to myself, probably somebody selling something. I found it was Larry Perkey calling, a man I trusted and had become close to as a friend. It must have been important call, cause he doesn’t often call. So, first thing next morning, after 9 am, I called him on our line phone. A women picked up and I said “Oh I’m sorry, I must have the wrong number, I’m looking for Larry Perkey this is Sal Bianco,”. The women said no I had the correct number, and this is Larry’s wife. I said, oh good, Larry called me yesterday and I missed his call, as he tried 3 times. No, she said, it was me who called. She then shocked me as she said “Larry died yesterday”. I said “My God, No! What happened to him? She said that he had a major stroke to his brain and passed. I actually started to cry, and said to her that he was my friend and I loved him and the way we treated each other, being so different in many ways. She said that he loved me the same way and always said so to her. It was a great friendship that didn’t need always being together. Whenever Claire and I would be passing his town of Grottoes, Virginia, on our way south to get away from the cold months, I would stop to say hello and enjoy a few minutes talking to him. Now with this sad news, and I would like to make him part of my blog and my life’s adventure, so he goes:
A note I wrote to his wife
Few people in my life have made a strong impression on me. Naturally, both my parents have, so much so I am who I am because of them. Accidentally, at mile marker 232 on I 81, I met Larry Perkey, he was there to tow me to a place to have the engine on my Motorhome rebuilt as it blew out at that spot. He was a man that was so very different than me, that we became, instant friends. He and his family, opened my mind to a very different way of life, in the two weeks it took for him to rebuild my engine. One evening after his workday was done, I got to go with him to a little old barn. When we entered the sounds blew my mind as I listened to simple farmers playing Banjo’s , so much so, that I went out and bought one, and to this day, I look at it hanging on my wall and think of Larry. When I met Larry’s father, who was just like his son, he took me out into his field, and then introduced me to some cows with love, yes I saw the love he had for them and they for him! “COWS” One day I went to an local auction with Larry and watched how all his neighbors treated him with a respect I could not believe. All the while I thought I was a man who had conquered his world, but seeing this I realized he accomplished more. Here we were two men so very different, but becoming so close in a warmth of just being together. When I heard He died, I cried like a baby, and now as I write this my eyes are wet from a loss of a true friend. I’ll think of him more now than I did when he was among us, and keep him alive in my mind.
If I feel this way, I can only imagine how you, his wife must feel. Just remember every time you think of him, all the warm feelings you had, and will continue to have of him, just as I now feel in writing this. I know that if God is there, so is Larry.
Now-a-days when two men live together, they’re gay, but was Sherlock Homes and Doctor Watson Gay? So many men in the past had wonderful lives doing things together without it being sexual. My relationship with Larry was completely one of respect, each for one another.. He hearing of my exploits, yes, I’m a bragger, and me, by my seeing what others thought of him. For sure he is one I’ll be looking for when I jump to the other side, he’ll have already looked up my family there.