paying respects to a man who wanted to kill

a sketch-1976 jay herron

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

The following is a complicated tale-a true story,as all of these are…about a man called Larry Joe.
Every body called him ‘LJ’.
LJ was an individual who had this unique desire to get into fist fights-I say unique,not that it is a charm of some kind…but that this guy seemed to have some special twing stuck in his genes that made him want to bare knuckle fight.
He was a drinker and would go into bars and have a few drinks and then go up to an absolute stranger and say something so provoking that the stranger would enter into LJ’s realm and the tables would all get slid back and off they’d go.
There was in the end only one bar in the entire region that would allow him in-he was banned from every where in north central Florida-and from some of the more tougher counties too!
I respected him-most definantly I treated him with respect because the last thing there ever would be in my mind is being a part of a pair in a fist fight-so I always tried to keep a cheerful distance between he and I but I never had one incident to caused me any harm from him.
We knew each other from a mutual connection-we all being a part of that old time hippie group out here in Levy county,he was one of the gypsy types that went around the USA working on huge construction projects and living in the back of a station wagon-I never knew him with out having two huge dogs….always with names like ‘Thor’ and ‘Dragonhead’,crazy wild names which always made this guy look silly when he’d call his dogs. You can imagine how bad that station wagon stunk.
Todays his birthday. So me and his actual friend are driving down to the veterans cemetery in south central Florida to leave him a happpy birthday bottle (???)….I am going only to drive his pal down there-it his wish to leave a quart of whiskey for the ashes of Larry Joe Rice.
I wouldnt waste the time to go down there and pee on the guys grave-but his friend is an old drunk who was removed from the seat of his pick up truck 7 or 8 years ago by a highway patrol officer and after six months in jail and the removal of his driving privledges FOREVER I end up as his driver from time to time-a paid driver.
LJ ended his life….not easily either-at least not for the other person involved,he more less took his life as the easier way out of what he had gotten started that afternoon. His intent-as all who know agree…was to kill his girl friend and then himself-but the plan I guess went astray sometime the moment it began and he had managed to tie this woman to a chair-and he had dowsed her car with old oil and had tried to light it on fire…and I’m not cetain how the swat team got involved-how they were called….but LJ blasted his head off right in front of his former girlfriend.
What a guy. It really took me by surprise after knowing of this mans exploits all of these years as a fist fighter-a fellow every body seemed to fear….and yet he wasnt much of a man in the end.

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