Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Recent Death a Painful Reminder

The tragic, untimely and violent death of Christopher Laurie, 33 year-old son of pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie, in an automobile accident last week dredged up some very sad memories for me. Laurie, apparently a young man with a history of driving with excessive speed and violating car pool lane rules, drove into the rear of a Cal Trans sweeper train moving at a reported 15 mph while cleaning debris from the car pool lane. We'll probably never know what caused Laurie to crash into the sweeper train at such a speed that, despite the high technology impact barrier attached to the rear vehicle, destroyed Laurie's Dodge Magnum so completely that it was all but unrecognizable. It's a sad loss of a young man with much potential.

Laurie's accident - which may have been a result of inattentiveness, reminded me of the passing of my best friend, Larry Moore, at the end of 2003. Some will recall that Larry, my best pal for 57 years, crashed on his motorcycle on a lonely desert road as he drove home from Las Vegas. We'll never know why he missed seeing the three signs that preceded his accident - a "25 mph" sign, a "RR Xing" sign and a "Left Turn" sign - but he did. Those of us who knew Larry as a safe - almost to the point of being boring - motorcycle rider all his life, including his fifteen years as an LAPD motor officer, this accident was simply inexplicable. The only explanation we can come up with is that he just wasn't paying attention. Maybe he was reaching for a drink of water or tuning his radio.. we'll never know.

Larry lingered for six weeks in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit in a hospital in Las Vegas before finally succumbing. During that time I stayed at his side, helping doctors decide the course of action that, we hoped, would bring him back to us. Finally, when a blood clot in his heart caused cardiac arrest and the doctors couldn't bring him back again, I had to make the decision to have them stop trying. It was the worst moment of the worst six weeks of my life.


As is the case of the death of Christopher Laurie, my friend's passing left a huge hole in the lives of his friends and family. He loved his daughters and grandson and will never know his brand new granddaughter. Larry's legacy included the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, the premiere relay of it's kind in the world where public safety officers from around the world run from Baker to Las Vegas overnight in a test of fitness, tenacity and teamwork. He and his partner, Chuck Foote, created the event while Larry was the Athletic Director at the Los Angeles Police Academy more than a quarter century ago. Through that event, and others he administered, he formed fast friendships with thousands of people around the world.


So today, on the day he would have turned 67 years old, I remind you once again that life is fleeting. Don't waste a second of any day and, above all, tell those you love just how you feel. Don't wait - do it now.

The photo at the top of this entry is the last photo taken of us together - snapped just a few weeks before he died. Happy Birthday, Larry...

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Blogger CMTRUTH said...


7/30/2008 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...


7/30/2008 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you. I cannot imagine how tough your loss was, if any of my "best friends" - men who would do literally anything for me, and who I would do the same, were to vanish from my life, I hope that I would be able to have the same perspective as you do.

Happy Birthday and RIP to Larry, a man I wish that I had been fortunate enough to call a friend. You honor him by preserving his legacy - he was fortunate to have you as his "best friend."


7/30/2008 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

rob, thanks. He was, indeed, a man worth remembering. After a few days in Vegas it was clear that he was going to be there awhile so I got a laptop and began sending emails each night to a few mutual friends and relatives to tell them how Larry was doing. As the weeks passed those emails ended up being passed around to over 1,000 readers each evening - including one fella who read them while in Antarctica!

As I said, my friend had lots of friends, all of whom were looking for any glimmer of good news. I tried to provide that for them.

He and I met for the first time when we were 5 years old and were best friends for the next 57 years. We were closer than most brothers. My wife and I are godparents to his youngest daughter - the mother of his grandchildren.

A big part of his legacy was the friends he left behind. I did for him exactly what he would have done for me.

7/30/2008 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

I know that Larry is still holding on to you, just as he was in the photo you posted.

One of my favorite songs, "Friends" by Michael W. Smith, says:

...But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever..."

I'm sure that, come the 14th, Larry will be wishing you Happy Birthday back. All you'll need to do is sit somewhere quiet for a while and just listen.

7/31/2008 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Flo, you're very kind.... thank you very much. Two weeks from today I'll take your advice and find a quiet place to listen to my friend.

7/31/2008 10:37:00 AM  

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