Remembering a friend
There are some bittersweet moments for me on this trip.
The friend who introduced me to Frank Lloyd Wright lived a few blocks away from Wright’s home and studio in Oak Park. His enthusiasm for Wright was infectious. We took the walking tour of the Wright homes in Oak Park as he carried a jelly jar of what may have been sour mash, four of us passing that glass chalice around on a sunlit Saturday afternoon.
I’m drawn to Wright’s work because of my friend Larry’s decision that Saturday so long ago to take us there. Even though he’d been there before, it was obvious that he was enjoying all over again the wonder of the evolution in Wright’s work – which is more evident in Oak Park than any single other place on the globe. I’ve since been to the Dana-Thomas House, Fallingwater, and to Taliesin more times than I can count, trips I wouldn’t have made if not for Larry.
He had some appreciation for news and newspapers, too. He had a clipping from the Chicago Tribune that featured a photo of him on the front page in a protest march during the 1960s. The caption identified him only as “a man dressed as a clergyman.” Since he actually was a clergyman, that always made him chuckle.
We both were fans of Royko, too, who was still in his heyday in Chicago back then. One Christmas, I opened a package to find a collection of Royko's columns. I opened the book to find a signature.
Larry and I lost touch a long time ago. I saw him a year or so before he died. He’d been sick, but his joy for life was still evident.
I should remember that more often.