Brother

“The only thing dumber than a horse is a cow,” Larry once told me. Based on my limited experience with both animals, I had to agree. My horse that day had wandered into some barbed wire while I was being inattentive. Fortunately, no real damage was done.

On an early date, Sharon wanted to go horseback riding. She rode her father’s steady cow pony. I was given a horse ridden regularly in quadrille team shows by one of her cousins. All afternoon, my horse would hang back by the other horse’s flank. When I tried to catch up to talk with my date, the horse would zoom ahead.

“Your horse does a nice slow gallop,” Sharon said. “I’ll bring my horse up to that gait and your horse will follow.” She clicked her tongue. Her horse trotted. Mine thought it was in the Kentucky Derby. I actually knew Larry long before I met and married his sister. I remember being in school with Larry from the Sixth Grade. He was a good kid. We were friendly without really being friends, if that makes any sense to you. I recall pitching quarters with him behind the high school. He usually won.

We also shared what I think of now as the best times of our lives. We both built homes in a rural area of Titus County called Argo. The houses were not far apart, only a mile or so away. We were in our 30s and our families were young. The two families would pop in on each other. Larry and his wife Becky along with their children, Shelli and Jason would drop by for iced tea and to let the kids play. Sharon, Amber and later Blake and I would swing by their place to wet a fishing line or cook something on the smoker. Christmas and other holidays were full of fun and packed, joyous houses.

We helped each other lay water lines to our houses. When a fence needed mending, we would both pitch in, although Larry gave more help than he got from me. Memories of children chasing each other and yelling in the bright sunshine while adults sipped tea and visited under a shade tree fill my mind this day. I never asked Larry when life was best for him, but I like to think it was the Argo years.

Of course, the happy days could not last forever. Children age and people move. Larry and Becky moved to Duncanville after Larry rejoined the US Navy. Sharon and I found a house in town. We have both known ups and downs since that point. Larry’s health has not been good. He was a diabetic. He had open heart surgery.

His short-term memory was fading. Of course, it was easy to have a conversation with him. He’d ask how the children were doing. I’d tell him. About 10 minutes later, Larry would ask, “So, what’s Blake doing now.” I’d just tell him again.

Larry retired from the Navy. Becky and he have a nice home outside San Antonio. They came for a visit with us in Mount Pleasant, Sept. 29.  The next day, Larry died.

I was proud to call Sebe Larry Terrell a friend and my brother.
Officially, he was my brother-in-law, but I think you know what I mean.


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