My Best Friend

Stevie was my first friend, long before either of us even went to school.  We often dressed up like cowboys and rode tobacco stick horses across the freshly plowed fields; desperados on the run.  We were wanted men like Jesse James and Billy the Kid with Pinkerton’s men hot on our trail.  We both swore to be friends forever and always be there for each other.  We were in truth first cousins, but it felt more like brothers.  He would spend several weeks on the farm with me and I would stay with him in Myrtle Beach.

There was an Indian graveyard in the woods near his house and another gated cemetery across the street with graves there from the 1700s.  We loved playing there until the night came and ghosts took a walk within our imaginations.  It was not so much about fear as we would ride our bikes down suicide hill.  You only had four feet to turn right or left before riding into the salt marsh, yet our fear of what might be taking over when it came to graveyards at night.

Stevie and I shared so much adventure we thought our friendship would last a lifetime, and we would grow old and have children that would have a whole new set of adventures, but Stevie’s story would be short and the story filled with what if’s and wondering about who he would have become.  A life lived in a few short years then my friend would become a cowboy riding into the sunset waving farewell.  I talked to my friend the night before he crossed over.  He was to have an operation.  He was so afraid, and his voice trembled with emotion.  The next day Stevie was gone like a dream you have and then you awaken to hope it was just a bad dream that would vanish; yet, as sleep drifted away the new day awakening you to the hard reality that he was gone.

Stevie was my first friend and I still wonder who he would have become; a question that can never be answered.  I can only imagine the things we could have done together, but when I turn to that chapter in our story it is an empty page.  I tried to live my life in honor of you with your kindness, laughter, and loyalty.  Even for that short time, I am a better person for having been your friend.

Point Of View

Your friends fill your life with many great joys and when they leave you behind you have a dark empty space that can never be filled.  Yet, the time you had with them touches your life forever.  You always long for the unwritten chapters, like a book left on a table never to be finished.  I still wonder who you might have been, and I cherish that I knew who you were.  You were my best friend and you always will be.

Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
I have 40 years of Retail Management experience. I am the person they send in to fix things. Call it a Store Focus Specialist, a Smoke Jumper, an Outlaw. I can work within the system or go outside the box when needed. I love walking into chaos and bringing order. I am not a key word person and my education came from mentors not schools. I believe that everything that we do starts with hiring the right people. Driving sales, merchandising, customer service and metrics are just keywords until you hire the right people. My top talents are Recruiting, hiring, training, associate development, and going into a focus store and turning it around. Most importantly I believe in people and that if you teach them, develop them and believe in them they will do far more than they thought possible.

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Len Bernat
Len Bernat

Larry – Such a touching tribute to your best friend. Thank you for reminding us that each person who crossed our paths impacts our life. Strong ink, my friend.

Martin D. Hirsch
Martin D. Hirsch

Very touching story. Thank you.

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