Larry and Me

Larry Steur I met Larry Steur on July 17th 2006, at WoodSongs. Coincidentally, I also stopped drinking that day. Larry said I complained that I wanted a drink for another two years. Luckily, Larry was the most tolerant fellow in the world. We both got over it.

Larry knew as much about me as anyone. I knew almost as much about him. This happens when you spend several hours a week walking around Lexington together for a few years.

I wanted to get to know Larry after our first WoodSongs show. He was carrying a large amplifier, struggling a little, but moving. I followed, carrying a lighter piece. When I caught up to him at our backstage destination, I asked, “You’re the photographer. Why are you doing this?” Larry replied, “It keeps me young,” before returning for another object.

The following week, this old man claimed that he often rode a bicycle. So we took a ride. I had trouble keeping up with him. Larry’s bicycle was better than mine, but he was also in much better shape than me. Larry said, “Don’t worry. I will train you.” His training worked. I was riding a hilly eight mile course in 48 minutes last Summer. Nevertheless, we always found time to walk for an hour. Larry said that we needed to walk for an hour every other day, and eight miles on Saturdays.

Larry also helped me with my diet. We kept the same weird foods in our refrigerators. He complained that I was too thin yesterday, I am eating ice cream for him while I write.

A couple of weeks after our first bicycle ride, I found a new apartment, 4/10 mile from Larry’s house. Larry and I moved everything in his van.

Then we started walking.

Larry ran marathons until he hurt his foot. He could walk, but he was in pain after running for a few steps. Pain was another reason we got along. I walk with a knee brace, and my knee swells while I walk. I have other injuries too. Larry was the same way. A couple of weeks ago, we counted all our pinched nerves while we waited for a traffic light to change. But we rarely complained. You can’t expect to feel great all the time, you have to keep going.

I missed a few months walking in 2008, when I had a stomach problem followed by a back injury. Larry encouraged me to get out of bed and return to walking. We have walked outdoors in sub-freezing temperatures, in malls when the weather was worse. During the Summer we walk earlier, later in Winter. We always walk.

For the past year, our favorite place has been the UK practice track. This track is padded, great for injuries. We walk a mile to the track, four laps, and home. We also enjoyed watching the UK athletes practice.

If Larry had one flaw, it was installing free software he found on the Web that messed up his computer. After he installed something, he would call me, sounding quite perplexed, hoping to mislead me so I would not torment him for repeating past mistakes on the phone. These calls always began:

I don’t know what happened. Can you please come over now and look at my computer?

I miss those calls.

Goodbye Larry

Larry Steur died March 1, 2011, while we were walking on Euclid Avenue.

I have had two pains in my chest. This never happened before. Should I worry?

Let’s walk to your house. I will drive you to the ER if you don’t feel well.

Larry died a half a block later.

Comments

Karen Nelson

Thanks for sharing. I know you will miss him so much, I will miss him too.
Karen

Jodi Briganti

Thank you posting this about my uncle. I enjoyed reading it and see, although they were SO different in most ways, there are still such similarities in he and my Dad, Frank. The computer thing about loading free things made me crack up out loud (I’m in a training class right now so I got a dirty look from the instructor)! My Dad does this and also seems perplexed when things go wrong.

It’s good you were with him although I wish he didn’t keep walking and instead went RIGHT to the ER. Hindsight and all that……….but glad he had a good friend in you.

Jodi Briganti

Mitch

Hello Jody,
Frank seems more like Larry than Dave. Cannot recall if I ever met Ted.

It was rare for Larry to complain about pain, but he never asked to stop or sit.

Nevertheless I wish we had stopped.

Mitchell

aimee

I’ve met you several times. Always with Larry. He always introduced you as though we’d never met and he’d say you were his “friend from New York” and he really glowed when speaking about you, which was so sweet, because you were always standing right there, and we’d met before. You are a good friend, and I know Larry will see to it that you find another walking partner who will not replace him–who ever could?–but as your mentee as you step into his role in our community as the one who inspires through action. Thank you for sharing your story, and this last bit of his. He will be missed.

Mitch

Come to “Remembering Larry Steur” – 7:30 at John’s Run/Walk Shop. 317 S. Ashland Avenue.

blake eames

beautiful…I expected to see you both out walking today…in the rain of course…talking away. Its how I knew all was well and right when I would see you both out with your brace ever present on your knee. Before I knew you both I thought if those guys are always out why can’t I exercise even a little? So my family and I started after dinner walks!
thank you Mitchell! and thank you Larry! RIP

Mitch

Thank you Blake.

I am still lost. Larry and I should be walking around the Arboretum now.

I started walking with my maternal grandfather. We took two mile afternoon walks during the Summer to meet the fishing boats at Sheepshead Bay. Grandpa explained that after decades of selling meat, he only wanted to eat fresh fish off the boat.

Chris Olsen

I always feel sad when I hear of a friend or acquaintance that has passed. I suppose this is normal as it generally makes us reflect on our own mortality… and even more if we are making the most of each and every day. One of the great things I always remember about Larry is how considerate he was. It didn’t matter who you were or what you do, he was just a great person and gave you the same respect. I met Larry in 2005 when I purchased the mobile detailing company he was using to clean his “vintage” White Dodge Caravan! (Anyone remember that? LOL) I remember thinking…”Why does this guy even care about this old van?” But it became obvious visit after visit that Larry just “cared and preserved” everything! So I always gave my best effort on the “Old Girl”. I was blown away when he purchased his new Silver Caravan, it almost seemed like part of the “family” had gone away! It had been quite some time since I personally had seen Larry but always felt in contact through social media, and his family just called and shared the news with me about his passing i was sad. Larry was one of my original clients and his family wanted it cleaned one final time! I said I would fit it and to just bring it over. I wanted to thank Larry for giving me a “chuckle” one last time…as his van rolled in the parking lot it more resembled the “Old Girl” with all the stickers on it then the bright shinny van I saw some time ago! Some things never change! I hope they have STICKERS in heaven! Ha, ha! Thanks for being a great client and person! God Bless and I’ll miss you!

Mitch

I remember Caravan well – used it to move small apartment.

Caravan was ruined in collision. Larry was hit at 3 way intersection of High / Maxwell / Kentucky next to Woodland Park. He was not injured.

Ed Flaga

To spend time with Larry was to know Larry because if you spent time with him he would tell you all about his life. There was no detail of his life too intimate to share (or anyone else that he knew for that matter). This is one of the things that drew you into his life and Larry into yours. Larry wore his heart, feeling & politics on his shirt sleeve & wasn’t shy to share any of them with you. A conversation with Larry could both exhilarate & exhaust. It could go from agreement to debate to argument & back to agreement again. I found myself wanting to call him these last few days just to get his opinion on all the events surrounding his passing. I wanted to reminisce about the never ending trip we took back once from Somerset, Ky, or the PDA’s he was always misplacing and losing, or listen again as told me about all the amazing things his “smart phone” could do, or once again renew our debate over the musical relevance of the Avett Brothers. Larry was a friend in the true sense of the word in an era where we “friend” people over the internet that we have never met. I always told him he was my role model for aging, an individual who remained passionate & involve with living.
Larry once told me about a friend he had, a runner, who had passed away unexpectedly. “You know, the thing about this man was that I thought he was my best friend but when I spoke to other people, they all said that was their best friend too!”. I believe Larry Steur had the same quality and it was confirmed at his memorial when so many people told me what a close friend he was to them. I will remember him for the passion he put into his life & will strive to do the same.
Bon Voyage, Larry, until we meet again.

Mitch

I watched Larry meet hundreds of people during our walks, every single one of them was happy to see him!

Re: PDA
Before I taught Larry how to save data regularly.
1) He used to call me for phone numbers before backup and Android.
I had to keep an extra copy of his phone book on a remote system so I could get it from Web.
He entered about 1500 numbers manually when he got Android.

2) He would call, “I can’t find my Palm! Do you know what I am supposed to be doing today?”

Kathy Steur

Mitch I will never forget my Uncle Larry. Miss you already Uncle Larry. Last summer my boyfriend and I went to go visit Uncle Larry and met him at the Arts festival. Uncle Larry never had a bad thing to say about anyone, he was just like his mother, my grandmother a positive man. @——-> Rest in peace Uncle Larry and tell grandma, grandpa, and my daughter Melissa I love them and miss them!!!

Ann Hernandez

Mitch I’m David Steur’s girlfriend, Larry’s nephew, and I remember him speaking fondly of you. I believe you even helped David with a computer issue a while back. I’m sorry you had to see Larry pass but so thankful, as I know David is, that a great friend was with him in his last moments. I truly enjoyed reading your memories and hope you continue your walks. Take care.

Mitch

Thank you for your kind words. I hope I start walking soon too.

B

Real nice ! Many thanks !