Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Remembering Little Things

Left to right (1957 to 2011):
Larry, Stuart and Ronald.

Memories, like ghosts, float about to haunt our senior nights. Sometimes they come unbidden; sometimes through incantations uttered wispily we call them forth. There are bad recollections, of course. The ones we conjure up and embrace are the good reminisces, which we occasionally wish we could relive.

"Let's form a band." I don't recall who had the idea. It seemed a good one at the time. Rock 'n' Roll was blossoming with people like The Mike Pedicin Quartet, Freddie Bell and the Bellboys, Bill Haley and the Comets and some wiggle worm named Elvis. We all played instruments, why not get in on the action.

There were four of us and we got together a few times and gave it a shot. Or was it someone tried to shoot us? There was Stuart on his baritone, a kind of undernourished tuba, Teddy on slide trombone and me on trumpet, all trying to produce some kind of harmony to the rhythmic beats of Bill on his snare drum.

We were a long way from the aforementioned pioneers of Rock. We were more a pathetic echo of a very bad Salvation Army Band. All we lacked was Ron on the Sousaphone, but this was a few years before he took up that instrument.

We were making our caterwauling in a room at Stuarts.This shows the graciousness of his lovely mother that she didn't attack us with a broom and sweep us out the door.

There were three of us who stuck fast through those days, Stuart and Ronald and I. Other friends flitted in and out of our world, but it was always we three who danced to the same drummer, although we were  different in many ways. I remember evenings of gathering before early TV to watch frontier Playhouse, old westerns cut down to fit the screen, which seemed new to us. Or the more scary or imaginative stuff we shared an appetite for. Stuart and I sharing some horror on "Shock Theater", laughing along with the cadaverous host, Roland (pictured on left). Or Ronald and I at his place taking in the latest episode of "Twilight Zone".

We were fans of horror. Stuart introduced me to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and the three of would sit in the sticky-floor dark of Roosevelt Theater watching those Universal Monsters terrorize the foggy British countryside. One winter we took in the afternoon matinee of "Wolfman". At one of the transformation scenes, I turned my fur-lined gloves inside out and grabbed Stuart's neck. He slid off his seat with a scream.

(The former Roosevelt Theater, formerly Downingtown Opera House, as it appears now is on the right.)

But time and the river flow on and life took us away from each other. If the highways of life parted us, the web of the internet brought us back. After I lost my bank job ten years ago, Ronald contacted me and we picked up by email our old friendship. Not long after he found Stuart in Florida and I began to co-author plays with Stu, just as we use to create songs together fifty-plus years ago.

Still, it was a long distance relationship. Oh, Ron moved down to Southern Delaware and I did get to visit with him a handful of times, it was forty or more years since either of us breathed the same air as Stuart. Then just before Stuart and I approached our 70 birthdays at the end of June, along came Leslie.
Leslie is the charming and talented daughter of Stuart (and how could she not be talented with a father such as he?) She began arranging a reunion between us, a get together in the vicinity of Philadelphia and so, on July 10, we came together once again in Mrs. Marty's Deli in Broomall.

It was as if time had never been. The comfort was there, the ease, the banner and the talk.

I hope we can meet again this way before another forty years or so rolls down the highway. My knees aren't so good now. I fear they may give out altogether when I am over 110.

Below is a video record of the day, pieced together by your's truly from film taken by Ronald and myself. Leslie took her own and hopefully we'll see us from her lens viewer one of these fine days.

Now, if I could only reunite with my hair!

 Three Desperadoes Ride Again

 Desperadoes at Lunch

 Desperadoes for Dessert

 Desperadoes in the Afternoon


Ron said...

Excellent Larry, excellent! By the way, my word verification for this post was "catime"!

Thanks again for all your work putting these videos together. You do nice work!

Vương Tử Trực said...

Awesome now and then pics!