Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today I Lost a Friend!

It was not unexpected. The Dutchess & I are in the medical field (she as a clinically trained person, and I as a reporter of facts on patients and results), and the prognosis was not good. But, how does the old saw go...."not unexpected, but surprising"?

Today Larry E. Quire, a fellow member of my Elks Lodge....a friend for more than 12 years....a confidant in Lodge politics....a drinking buddy from those early years (we both slowed our Lodge drinking in recent years...OK, so he did!!!!)....A past Exalted Ruler of the Lodge....head of probably the largest family involved in the Lodge....and owner of a sometimes sharp and quite wonderful sense of humor, passed away.

Larry had been on a pacemaker for several years. His problems were inoperable. His mind was bright as a shiny new ten-penny nail....and his verbal sword cuts on those who spoke from lack-of-knowledge, or interpretive skills, was precise and excellent to watch. Oft times the victim didn't even know Larry had cut them off...


We drank together. We were, at one time, part of the "outlaws" of the Lodge who pestered the leaders for accountability. Later we mellowed. He ran for and was elected leader of the Lodge. I dropped out for a while due burn-out from publication of our "nationally-recognized" newsletter. Then I returned and Larry was weaker, but still sharp of mind.

Today his heart failed him.

Today Tampa Elks Lodge #708 lost one of its most supportive members.

I lost a dear friend, and felt my own end-of-life concerns. Prior to our Lodge meeting tonight I went into the meeting room, empty except for me, sat at my station (as a Trustee of the Lodge), and thought of our many times together.

Thanks Larry for a good time; for your help to our Lodge; for your family which is still an active and growing part of the Lodge. Thanks for your part in our memories, and be assured you shall not be forgotten by this generation at least! For your friendship!

Salute, my friend.....I raised a glass to you this evening at our Lodge bar!

In my mind I shall raise a glass each day!

Duke of DeLand