Friday, August 12, 2016

A Friend is Always a Friend! ((For Larry J. Yankovec) (a Tribute))

A Friend is Always a Friend!
 ((For Larry J. Yankovec) (a Tribute))  

I guess looking at it, now being an old man of sixty-eight, I remember Lorimar, we called him Lorimar, a nickname, his real name being Larry, and I remember how he made me laugh. We had taken a trip once, slept in the State Fairgrounds the police chased us out and we had to walk home, three o’clock in the morning, and we walked by a farm, and we stole two carrots, we were so very hungry.
       We grew up together; he lived next door to us. We’d play pool in his basement, playing Elvis Presley records, one song always reminds me of Lorimar, that being, “Because of Love,” there was this album of Elvis’ that just came out called “Girls! Girls! Girls!” and that song was on that album he had just purchased, and the album was sitting to the left of me, on a table, the record player playing that very album (33-speed) on that very table, and that song was playing, and it seemed like over and over.
       Oh, I suppose I could talk on and on about Lorimar, “Come on, Chick,” he’d say, stepping up and down on his toes, he had one web-toe, jogging around the pool table, “let’s get drunk?” And we’d hit the road and look for someone to buy us a case of beer—we were of course underage.
       Once achieving our mission in getting that case of beer, we’d come back and sit down in his patio, which was attached to his garage, and get drunk. Aye, I’m sure his younger sister Nadine thought we were nuts, and I guess she’d be right, we were. He sure was fun to hang around with.
       Anyhow, last night more like this morning, November, 8, 2012, I had a dream of Lorimar, —I had only seen him once in the last fifty-years which was some twenty-five years ago, he would now be sixty-six years old, anyhow, in the dream, we had taken his car and went up into Northern Minnesota, and we parked his car at a hotel, and went down to a bar, and on our way back, in a taxi, we stopped at a gas station, I wanted to get something, and I lost my shoe in the gas station, and was looking for it, and the taxi driver came in to ask what was the delay, and Lorimar took off in the taxi, of all things. Well, we had a car, and I told the taxi driver just that, that we had a car and that I just didn’t understand, but if we went back to the hotel, he’d most likely find his taxicab.
       Fine, I woke up, that was the end of the dream. In the morning the sun was up and the day was cool, I asked my wife to see if she could find his telephone number and address on the internet, I sensed a needed to. We’re in Lima, Peru, and he’s in Glenwood, Minnesota, remember, and again it’s been twenty-five years since we talked, I was a little nervous. I called the number about 11:30 a.m. there was no response, I figured he was out to lunch with his wife. Therefore, I waited, having lunch with my wife, and after lunch I tried again, his sister answered, I explained who I was, and asked if she remembered me, and she said, “Oh yaw,” I think she remembered the worse part of me, back fifty-years ago, I was a wild one. Anyhow, I said, “Is Lorimar home, I’d like to talk to him.” There was a near flaw to her voice, as if she was holding back tears. At this, as I was standing outside in my garden, my knees started to bend, legs dropping a few inches, and my ankles weakened—I discerned something was wrong, very wrong. She hesitated, it was hard for her to speak I had noticed, nearly tongue-tied, hard for her to get the words out, I asked a second time, and she said agonizingly labored the words:
       “He passed away!”
       “When did that take place?” I asked.
       She again hesitated, I had to ask twice. From her came:
        “August 25, 2012, he had cancer, and other complications.”
        Then she went on to explain, his wife had left him for a dear friend of his some eight years prior, and she explained ever since, she was living with him: that is, for the past six years she had been living with her brother, and he had many physical complications during this time. I myself understood quite well, it was twenty-five years since I had seen him last and he was at that time way overweight and still drinking and smoking a lot, I had stopped drinking and smoking, myself a few years earlier. Anyhow, at that moment I had gotten a tear in my eye, and the noisy neighbors drowned out some of what Nadine was trying to tell me, but she was feeling more capable to talk now about this and that, but I had to bid her farewell, I wish I hadn’t, there so much more to talk about. I liked him a lot, because, well, just because he was himself, so easy going and yes: he was a lot of fun.

No: 974/Written: 11-8-2012; 1st reediting 8-2013; 2nd reediting January, 20 2014, third reediting 8-2016: with notes)
Note 1: For Larry J. Yankovec. The original story was called: 2012:  “Because of Love”; changed to: 2014: “Fairground Escaped”; name changed, 8/2016 “A Friend, is Always a Friend!”
Note 2: Larry on my trip to visit him, in the late mid to late ‘80s,  he gave me the booklet he had been given when he received his presidential citation, and I kept it for years, and when I moved to Peru, 11-years ago it got lost.   I was very proud of for him, and he was proud of his Chef’s citation.  As both of us coming from a rough neighborhood, it was quite the achievement. He also asked me once, when I visited him in Gilmore, Minnesota in the late ’80s that I should wrote my life’s story, I kind of did in a number of books, and an overview of it in “Days”; so I took his advice. I write this for posterity.  

Note 3: To be in the book called:  “In My Time,” 2017 or 2018 (depending)