Re: AIS: Larry Harder's obit & passing =^..^=
- Subject: Re: AIS: Larry Harder's obit & passing =^..^=
- From: Pooreplace@aol.com
- Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 23:15:37 EDT
Dear Iris World, and all flower friends...
What a horrible infernally tearjerking week. To lose Larry Harder on Monday
was bad enough.... But then to live through a repeat of sorts (only 100 or
more times worse) than OKC on April 19, 1995... The Manhattan West Street
Verizon telephone communications system is down from fire, water & structure
damage up the street from where the WTC's once stood and that is where our
Daylily e-mail robin out of St. Johns University in Jamaica NY runs through.
So we have had no daylily e-mail since early Tuesday morning.
Thanks to Arnold Koekkoek from Nebraska and his e-mail of Larry's obituary
and Mary Ferguson sending it to our listowner Ted White in Maine, all the
daylily world has now received Larry's obituary. I printed it off this
afternoon before the OKC daylily sale at Will Rogers ended and all our
non-computer daylily and iris folks also got to read it in it's entireity.
Thanks so much Arnold for sitting down and keying that obituary so
meticulously. Knowing Larry, I thought it was actually pretty short. It
sure left a lot out...
I met Larry back in '90 or '91, about 10 years or so ago immediately upon
joining the AIS & AHS. He never misses an Oklahoma daylily regional or
national. He seldom misses a Region 11 daylily meeting be it in Missouri or
Kansas either. I think we were friends in a past life or something for it
was as if we'd known each other forever... I first really remember Larry in
Columbia MO on our 1991 daylily regional convention during a David Kirchhoff
garden judging school... There was hardly ever a daylily or an iris that
Larry didn't already know...
As for Oklahoma, Larry was a member of both our Oklahoma Iris Society and
Sooner State Iris Society for many years and also Central Oklahoma
Hemerocallis Society. He was always very supportive of me in my efforts as
newsletter editor of the COHS Hem-Lines as well as the Sooner State News.
Every year he would mention in his Christmas card to me that he enjoyed it
and to keep up the informative publishing,. It allowed him to keep up with
his many many longtime friends here in Oklahoma. Our Peggy Estes thought
someone had made a grave mistake on Tuesday when I called her with the news.
She hoped it was just another exaggerated rumor in the onslaught of news
coming out of NY & DC over the internet. She made me call to confirm. I
finally reached Gail Korn in Wayne Nebraska who confirmed the worst, that
Larry had passed on...
The joy I received from Larry every year came in December with his annual
Christmas letter. It rivaled the missing chapted of War and Peace... It
was the only one in existence that was consistently longer than mine! Larry
was such a delight... This past year's concoction was no exception. 8
(eight) long full pages. He didn't miss a trick. He always detailed every
iris trip, every daylily trip and every hosta trip along with who he went
with and how they traveled. Cal Reuter was a frequent traveling companion
along with many many others. In his holiday letters he kept us up with the
events of Ponca and everywhere he visited along with the antics of all his
friends and family, especially all his sisters and his aunts and cousins. I
do not know how his aging mother Mildred will go on without him. His wit and
charm and eloquence in writing is not capable of being duplicated...
Decembers for my mailbox will never again be the same.
Larry was a lover of antiques. Every year he would begin in early November
to decorate the family Christmas tree. He had enough decorations in the
attic to decorate it in about 17 different formats never duplicating a ball
or an angel... I would have loved to have seen just one of his creations...
I remember seeing Larry shopping at the OKC '99 National and the 2000 Dallas
National. As usual he was making several expensive iris motif purchases.
The iris and daylily worlds have lost a true friend and leader of the pack
when it comes to bringing spirit to his favorite flowers.
Funny thing. Tuesday morning I got a message that Larry was still being fed
IV & due for more long hospital days. I had just called for the phone # to
the Sioux City hospital to give him a call when I came upon the latest
message that Larry had passed away. I had sent Larry a card and a short
note when he first landed in the hospital, but was due to write him a long
letter and/or call him. Darn it! He never got e-mail!
Unfortunately, late in March on an Oklahoma City University basketball
championship trip to Jackson Tennessee, I fell ill to a bad bout of allergies
& asthma/bronchitis and coughed so hard for so many weeks that I broke a
bunch of ribs, ripped a blood vessel in two and shreaded an intercostal
muscle. I've been moving pretty slow ever since I got out of the hospital 15
days later around Easter. I was doing better (we thought) and another
allergy stint Labor Day has sent me grimacing in pain once again as coughing
has done more right side rib & muscle damage. They have been trying to put
me back in the hospital every since Tuesday. I am clinging to the walls of
the Poore House here trying to get well and bypass the trip. For now the Doc
has sent out some more high dose meds tonight and plans to call me here at
home tomorrow. I guess I'm just afraid like Larry (and another daylily
friend who passed away far too young in June --- John Fulkerson from Kansas)
that one more trip to the hospital and I might not live either.
Somehow, now in hindsight, I'm not surprised by Larry's Monday morning
passing through the pearlie gates. I now understand why he was called
upstairs a bit prematurely. I am sure that the Heavens were probably already
decorated to the hilt for all the souls to see that began flooding heaven's
florious pearlie gates come Tuesday morning. Don't you know there is not an
empty space in sight anywhere in the heavens above with the brilliance of
Larry Harder's heart and soul full of creativity and dedication in their
midst. God Bless Larry Harder, his family and friends. God bless our iris
world as we could be in for a long winter...
Thinking of you all tonight and hoping you get through this with the least
amount of bad baggage.. The whole NY & DC thing is almost too much to fathom
at one time.