“Good Food, Good Drink; Good Guy, I Think!”
It has taken us a week to be able to write this story with no real funny punchline. One of our original Woody Boaters last week passed away. Many of you knew of him as ARRRRG! We knew him behind the scenes as Larry Nichols. First and foremost, Larry had a wicked sense of humor and the thought of us all being sad about his passing would piss him off. He says so below in his own words…Honestly, I found no humor in his passing. We had no idea that he had been battling cancer, so you can imagine the shock when we found out last week. The delay was because family and clients had to be notified. Larry was born in Southwest City, Missouri and grew up in Midland Texas. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and served in Vietnam. Larry and his wife Jean had three daughters and six grandchildren. Larry will be missed here at Woody Boater big time. Larry was one of the original yellow shirts and an avid Woody Boater in both Pumpkin and ARRRG! (Neither of them a Woody I might add!). His close cousin Woody Gal is also one of the yellow shirts and is arranging a special send off Viking Style in Oklahoma. DANG! Go Larry, Go out in style……….. I want to laugh about this, because he wants us to. But I have to be honest, right now writing this, I do not have tears of joy in my eyes. Larry was one of the good ones. A class act, a great father and devoted husband. These words can be rather cliche, as I was typing them I was pissed to say such ordinary things about such an extraordinary man. But in Larry’s case, 100% true. So, lets all say so long and see you later to a fellow Woody Boater today! Any good morbid jokes out there? Woody Gal was going to send me a personal note from Larry’s phone. HA.. Below is Larry’s Farewell “Crash & Burn ” letter to the world in his own words. Thanks Larry
“Sorry I didn’t hang around longer, but I wasn’t in total control. I love you all … have I ever told you that you are my favorite???? (A “Reba” joke) It’s been a fun ride; I love you all; I expect a fair amount of joking and laughter at my funeral, and beer, wine and Mexican food at the “wake” for those of us who enjoy it. And, of course, there is the Viking Funeral plans I have been working on – they are on a separate piece of paper – involves separating my ashes into two (or more) batches, with one being put on the Viking-like vessel, set on fire and launched into the waters of Courthouse Hollow on the grand Lake of the Cherokees in Oklahoma (My most favorite cousin, Susan Miller, knows the arrangements.) The toast: “Good Food, Good Drink; Good Guy, I Think!” (Yea, I wrote it.) And if you put up the customary picture on an easel at the funeral, be sure to use one of the embarrassing ones … like the recent Halloween shot, or another of your choice!”
James Larry Nichols, Esquire
Larry is now at the helm of that perfect cruise we all dream of. It’s tough to loose the really great ones. My condolences and best wishes to all of his family.
AWWWWW I’m going to miss ARRRRRG! Such a wonderful eccentric bunch of people hanging out in this blog world of cool boats. You all seem so familiar and yet I’ve never met you. ARRRRG! you stood out in a daily stream of chatter and its a bugger you won’t be ARRRRRGing anymore.
Farvell you old pirate Woody Boater. In Maori we would say Harera. Kia Kaha Woody Gal. Stay strong.
Larry we sure are going to miss you. We had a lot of fun times boating and partying and boating some more. We can’t help being sad and shocked at this post but we will celebrated as instructed by you. Here’s to you ARG!!! From 2 of your fellow original yellow shirt members. John and Kim
Calm seas and fair wind ARRRR, you will be missed.
cheer up…he has “gone boatin”, as shall we all…
John in Va.
Gonna miss ya Larry.
Susan send him out in a wood boat fiberglass makes a mess when burned.
ARRGH!, I first met you via e-mail, when I was looking into XK’s (Chris-Crafts, not Jags). Your encouragement pushed me over the hump. The 3 XKs I subsequently bought have brought much joy (and financial pain) to my family, and will undoubtedly continue to bring more (of both).
Soon after, we were sharing in and exchanging fun comments on WB, where I came to appreciate your always quick, always dry wit.
The best came when I got to meet you and hang with you and Susan at Dora. I liked you the second I saw that twinkle in your eyes. It wasn’t a mischievous twinkle. (Or was it?) I saw it as a combination of authenticity, deep kindness, gentleness, and ever-boyish fun-loving. Character in a real character.
I hope you’re not “pissed off” at me for being saddened by your passing. It’s impossible not to feel a real sense of loss, and to sense the loss for Susan and others who will dearly miss you.
Maybe I can redeem myself by starting the WB banter about what type of boat would be best for your Viking send-off. Though you were a plastic WoodyBoater, plastic is out because of the environmental impact. Of course aluminum and steel are also out. That leaves wood. Hey, how ’bout a Century? Some of them have Viking-like styling. No wait. That won’t work. Wood needs to be dry to burn. Also, the boat needs to be able to make it far enough out from shore before sinking…
Hey, I can see you laughing. Cheers Larry!
Well in the spirit of things I vote for it to be a cruiser. Nobody is restoring them anyway and it’s kinder than having an excavator ripping it up at the dump. And it would make a grand fire at sunset.
It’s taken a bit of time for this news to sink in…and i’m sorry Larry, but yes i’ve been crying a bit…
You & Susan had become faces i’d search out, hoping to find…friends, I couldn’t wait to see again!
From our first meeting at HoHoHolidays to getting to meet your family at Silver Springs, Larry, you were truly one in a million!
I think, in a way I’ve pattern myself after you; in that each moment out in the boat is a moment I am enjoying to its absolute fullest…
Goody-bye, you old pirate…
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails in the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, there she goes!”
Gone Where? Gone from my sight… that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There she goes!” there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “There she comes!”
Henry Jackson Van Dyke (1852-1933)
Just an idea….
At Dora next year, perhaps have the youngsters make a real Viking wood boat which would then be donated to give Larry his proper send off.
The kids could learn about what it takes to build a real (old) wooden boat while providing Larry and his family and friends the opportunity to really send him off onto his next journey in style.
And I am certain that someone could find enough pumpkin coloured fabric to make a grand sail for the boat.
If this works out – count us IN. Larry’s grand daughter, Sadie “Comadorable” (my soon to be 8 year old) would LOVE it. I’ll drive her. She wanted to participate last year, but we never got it together…”Capt’n Toots” and “Comadorable” have a special bond…
Dear Woody Boater Friends,
My favorite post is undoubtedly from John Rothert : Cheer up…he has “gone boatin”. I should let you all know that dad was happiest when planning and executing a boating event (some of which were announced to mom…and some, well, were not 🙂 which is a lot to say from a guy who admittedly “lived in the moment” and was generally happy, no matter the circumstances. I remember sitting with him at home in Ft. Myers after a boating adventure and looking at ALL (and I mean all – each…and every one…for dad never (ever) deleted or edited) of the images of you guys (and your boats!).
I always thought it was quite comical that dad somehow weaseled (charmed?) his way into your wooden boating community and even got to bring the dreaded fiberglass boat along.
He truly organized his life (and several other’s close to him) around your camaraderie, your friendships and your boating events. He taught my daughter to drive Arrrgh! and both of my kids have asked (numerous times, actually) “Was Grandpa really a pirate?”. My response was always “Of Course!” in typical Larry style. No need to burst that bubble…
Thanks to you all for making his life silly and for encouraging his natural ability to make odd noises and smells, dress up in costumes, deliver punch lines and set people up for good old fashion fun.
All in all, it wasn’t about the boat.
Jr. Woody Boater in Training
Isn’t there a Viking Century model that would be appropriate, Alex? Great eulogies for a great man I never met but feel I know thru this site. Gonna miss his posts. I love his “wake” (appropriate name for a fallen boater). I guess you now know where the term might come from.
The only thing I might add or submit: A foursome ready to tee off on the first hole when the first golfer held back his swing, took off his hat and dropped his head in respect as a funeral procession passed the clubhouse and tee box. Another in the foursome said, “Jim, that was a very respectful thing to do.” Jim replied, “It was the least I could do, we would have been married 33 years this fall.”
Larry’s plan brought a smile to my face in a somber moment. RIP and hats off to Larry, skull and crossbones at half mast.
I had the pleasure of my first ride in an XK compliments of Larry last spring in Tavares. What a boat….what a guy.
Glad I had the opportunity to meet Larry at last year’s International show. From this day forward, anyone who steps foot in my XK will have to say “ARRRRRRGH” before they board.
Never met you, but you sound like my kind of guy. RIP
I will miss my friend Larry.
He always had a smile and kind word to share with us… When ever I see an orange colored anything – boat, car, bus, pumpkin – I will think of Larry.
Diane and I will always miss that big smile and all the funny things that made us laugh just being with Larry. He was a true visionary into the world of Antique and Classic Boating. His humor made everything more fun whenever we were with him. Larry is not leaving us, he will always remain with us all in our hearts and memories of all the fun we had together. Chuck and Diane Mistele and Miss America IX
The first time I “met” Larry was during fundraising for the first Woodies for Boobies walk. Although I had never spoken to Larry directly, he opted to donate to me specifically because I was the “kid” of the group. When the donation came in under “Larry Nichols” I had to ask my parents who that was. The response? “It’s Arghhhhhh!” (Then I knew.)
Six months later I met Larry “for real” in Mt. Dora. He walked up to me at Woody Boater HQ, introduced himself as Arghhhh!, and that was that. Friends! I really enjoyed the time we spent with Larry and Susan that week, and will always remember him as he was in the pictures from the last day of the trip….riding in his XK (on the trailer) as it was pulled out of the lake, unwilling to admit that it was time to head home.
Arghhhhh!, you will be greatly missed!
“For me, my craft is sailing on,
Through mists to-day, clear seas anon.
Whate’er the final harbor be
‘T is good to sail upon the sea!”
-John Kendrick Bangs
🙁 Super sad news. My gondola ced to the family and may you all have the strength to find the humor and celebrate the good times as Larry wishes.
Gondola ced? Damn autocorrect, CONDOLENCES. Even Matt doesn’t spell that bad!
We will definitely keep the jokes coming and his spirit alive. Maybe we should use a gondola for the flaming, exploding Viking burial at sea (lake). Thanks Matt F!
HA, thats the best comment yet!
I could never have come up with something like that if I tried. I guess the iPhone has a better sense of humor than I do!