I will deliver this eulogy in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, in Akron, Ohio Wednesday the 18th. The first paragraph will be necessary.
Hello folks. I’m Chuck Larlham. Please excuse the state of my attire. I had to drive four hours to get here. I couldn’t come down last night, it’s ninety-sumthin’ degrees out there… and my car has no AC.
When he died, Tim Early had been a best friend to me for years.
I think I first met Tim in 1965... may have been the next year. He was a junior at Hiram College, and I had just re-enrolled as a junior at Hiram that fall, a year after my original Class of ’64 graduated. But we didn’t move in the same circles. I was Biology labs and hard science. Tim was logic classes and Social Science. Tim was a “peacenik.” Me? I was an Army veteran in late 1965. Remember how that went? Nonetheless, we DID have one thing in common… we both liked girls. And in the end, the girls we liked were friends with each other.
My girl, th’ Luvly Laura, was a good friend of Tim’s girl, Kincaid. The four of us spent a fair amount of time together at Hiram. Tim and I liked each other well enough, and we shared a love of Bridge, but we didn’t become fast friends then. After graduation, Tim went to KSU for his Masters, and I went to Utah State for mine. My Masters took me two years… his took only one (Well, he was a quick study… what can I say? Besides, he didn’t have to climb any mountains.). He went to work for the City of Akron’s Planning Department, and I went to work at Seiberling Tire… until they told me to pack for Liberia. I went looking for a job and wound up at the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission… which included Summit County… which included Akron.
It wasn’t long until I ran into Tim at a planning meeting. Pretty soon Kincaid and Laura were doing planning of their own. We became very close, and for the next several years we spent a lot of time together. Kincaid knew about a State Park on the Clarion River in Pennsylvania called Cook’s Forest… a childhood favorite of mine. The WPA had built log cabins in the park back in the ‘30s that we could rent before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. We took 4-day weekends pretty much every year, and as the kids grew it was an annual highlight, as were the mid-summer trips to Cedar Point.
In the early ‘90s, th’ Luvly Laura and I moved to Michigan, and we didn’t see the Earleys so often. A trip to Chicago to hear the swing band Ian was in one year… a couple of days at our house another year… but not like it used to be. We got together in August of 2007 at Geauga Lake Amusement Park. It was the last time we saw each other. Th’ Luvly Laura died last December, and now Tim is gone.
Tim, I’m gonna miss you Bud… I’m gonna miss you a LOT.