“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
After a fall on December 13th, Larry Fay of Katonah, New York has died of a brain hemorrhage. His funeral was on Saturday. I met him in the 7th grade and we had many adventures together. We were on the Cross Country team for the next six years where he was the captain and wore number one on his running shirt.
Larry had two homes and was a successful and talented architect from a prominent family. His father who died two years ago was a Goldman Sachs partner during its glory years.
The Rev. Peggy Block gave a fine eulogy, but neglected to mention his high school nickname. We called him “Joe Cool” because of his mature style and dignified comportment. He had a personality brimming with verve and a sophisticated wit for a teenager.
The minister spoke of Larry’s wife, daughter, step-children, co-workers, as well as his religious faith. She omitted all of the truly important parts. He was the Westchester County champion, defeated our arch rival Pleasantville, and spent 12 seasons on the cross country, winter track and track teams. He started collecting varsity letters when he was a sophomore.
He was tall and I still vividly remember his spectacular jumpshot. He would rise into the air effortlessly, his back arched and his shooting arm extended high above his head. Similar to every school, football players got all the attention, but Larry Fay was truly an incredible athlete.
The last time I saw him was decades ago at the Bumsteer bar in Banksville. It was a crowded night and I was paying attention to some girl who is long forgotten. When I went to settle the bill the bartender told me Larry had paid it.
I did not realize he was present. We joined him and at closing time he proposed a toast, “May everything stay as perfect as it is right now.”
Larry’s death makes me think of Meredith Willson’s comment in “The Music Man,” “Where is the good in goodbye?” Larry’s final race is over and he has gone to a better place. I will always have fond memories of our championship season, and the wonderful times we had.