SMOKY TALKS  -  Mr.Trusty's Stories and Rants
Larry’s Mother chapter 2 (aka The Origin of "Larry")
 
My nickname is Larry. It’s a common enough name, but in my case completely puzzling. You know, for my first 23 years 90% of everyone I knew, knew me by the name Larry. My family still all call me Larry. They wonder how Larry has anything at all to do with my real name which is Lewis.  Most people on first hearing Larry assume my name is Lawrence, and why not?  Most Lawrences are nicknamed Larry.  I’m a Lewis.
 
 
 
So here comes the same crazy story I have had to repeat at least 100 times in my short 73 year life already. It starts out like this:
 
My mother’s father’s name was Louis. Everyone called him Louis like the French say it, Lewee. Now, I’ve previously mentioned my mother’s flare for the arts and theater and especially English.  She told me it really irked her that people didn’t call her father Lewis which she believed was the ‘true, correct’ way to pronounce Louis.  It is the tradition in her culture to name children after dead ancestors, and parents (morbid custom) and she wanted, felt compelled to name me after him.  But what was she to do about her pet peeve?  Suppose they call baby Lewis ‘Lewee’ !?!
 
 
 
Well of course… isn’t it obvious … nickname little Louis ‘Larry’.  Then no one will call him ‘lewee’ by accident.  To seal the deal she opted to spell my name Lewis, which she believed no one would mispronounce Louis like French.  Oh what a bizarre story to have to tell my kindergarten teacher.  The problem was all my friends called me ‘Larry’. My teachers heard them call me Larry.  They would know that Lewis doesn’t turn out ‘Larry’ as a nickname.  So they always asked.   
 
So here is the reason for this story.  In Hawaii for 35 years everyone called me Klip because there was another Larry to confuse me with.  So ‘Larry the Klip’ (from my days in Berkeley) got shortened to plain ‘Klip’.  Then I move to Thailand.  Thai people have a thing about r’s sounding like l’s and vice versa. They also cannot say an s sound at the end of a word.  So Klip came out Grip and Larry cameout Lally and Lewis, which is the name on my passport, came out sounding like a question Leweee?.
 
 
 
When my mother came to visit us at the beach at Bang Saen in 2008 for a whole month, everyone, and I mean everyone called me ‘Leweee?’
 
I asked her if it bothered her, but she wouldn’t tell me.  I bet it did.  She is after all, Larry’s mother!   I really have no feeling about it one way or another, except that I think it’s amusing how important it was to her.
 
As far as I’m concerned you can call me anything you want,
                                   except late for dinner !!  
 
 
The Origin of “Larry the Klip”

I was not the first person ever to sell (illegally) on the streets of Berkeley, California. In 1971 I was lucky enough to sell along with some of the best craftspeople ever assembled at that time. There was a store. It was a bookstore called Cody’s Books. I think it was Bill Cody but I’m not sure I ever really knew. Cody’s Book Store was set back on the corner one block from UC Berkeley’s main entrance so there was quite a lot of concrete space in front of the store. Maybe Cody thought he could have tables and a little restaurant out there at one time, but instead he allowed craftspeople to sit out there on his private part of the sidewalk to sell, on the street, legally.  
 
 
 
How cool was that... and the best part was the group of craftspeople that set up there on Saturdays squeezed around until there was room for me to sit there among them. I can remember some Saturday morning, with the air cool but the sun shining down on the most magical of crafts fairs, with people tripping through the miraculous crafts presented that day.
 
I was so happy and proud to be there selling my roach clips and smiling and talking to people who wanted to know all about them, what were they, how did they work , how are you, who are you, what’s your name, oh it was a wonderfully comfortable spot that I would still love to be in. It felt like being on stage with the band, it was like having an appreciative audience. Well, in a word, it was great.
 
My second Saturday, that was the big day to sell there, I was set up again with my little mechanical drawing box that was velvet lined, and had been a gift from my dad. I stashed the tools in my truck, and filled it up with roach clips. All my clips were lined up in rows and I was even selling a lot of them.  During a break in the action, I got a chance to talk to some of the craftspeople around me and the ‘girls’ I was surrounded by all started grilling me at once.  Who are you what are doing here where are you from what’s your name.  I said ‘Larry’. I’m not sure why.  I mean, my name is Larry, but it’s a crazy story of how I came to be called Larry. Short form … my mother nicknamed me Larry.  My real name is Lewis. I guess I was still called Larry by my family and friends at that time.
 
 
 
Well, right away I could see, there was something wrong.  All the girls were buzzing among themselves. I wasn’t really included in the conversation, I was still an unknown and they were a clique. They ran the roost, and I was the Freshman.

Soon they all turned back on me and started up with the questions again. What’s your real name Larry?  “Why? Well what difference does it make anyway?”, I said.  I’ll never forget what they answered to that.  Well you see, it’s this way, one of them said. There is another Larry that sells here a lot.  He’s not here this week, did you see him here last week? He makes leather belts and pouches and stuff.  And … then she turned to the others and said ‘What are we going to call him so we know the difference?’ Someone else said … “We can call him Larry the Clip and the other one Larry the Creep. They all started laughing and explained that the other Larry was a nasty, quick tempered, cut throat, business man and they didn’t really like him very much, and they all had decided that they liked me very much.
 
 
 
So from that time on I was part of the clique. It was great being part of an all craft- women’s clique. They took very good care of me and I rolled the joints, and the
roach clips.  They called me Larry the Clip.  
 
 
 
Later on… in solidarity with my revolutionary comrades… I began to spell my new name with a K like in Amerikkka.  And that’s how I came to be called Larry the Klip. 
 
I’m damn proud of that name, and how I got it. It says something to me about the kind of guy I am.  I like to see people happy.  I like to make people dance.  I am happy to be making Trusty the Perfect Roach Clip (I had to change it back to a C for the SEO which doesn’t understand what a Klip is) because I believe that this roach clip is the real McCoy.
 
The Revolution Part 1
 
In English the word ‘revolution’ is somewhat ambiguous. For instance, The American Revolution  is about a war  where people killed each other to try to impose their will upon the enemy. The “Industrial Revolution” on the other hand has absolutely nothing to do with war.  To revolutionize something is to make an  improvement so profound as to change the paradigm.  
 
 
 
 
In 1969  I left graduate school to ‘join the Revolution’.  It was in the midst of the Vietnam War ( that was never declared a ‘war’) that I concluded that studying to be a Rabbi, to help the world see that peace and cooperation was a better life style for the world than violence and war, would never succeed.  So I left the seminary where they were hassling me every day about protesting against the “War”. I did not see ‘The Revolution’ that I was going off to join as an ‘American Revolution’ type revolution, but as a ‘revolutionize’... change the paradigm... type of revolution. I knew that there were anti-war revolutionaries out there who felt violence was the only message that the US government would understand or react to, but I also felt the need to affect that process with my belief in peaceful protest.  I felt a burning need to protest the evil spirited US violence against our South East Asian cousins in Vietnam.  The US had no legal right to be there.  Killing people is illegal and immoral and I felt I had a responsibility to extricate my country from this horrendous breach of trust.  I knew that it would damage our credibility with the rest of the world and set Democracy back millennia. Who would ever trust us again?
 
 
 
 
It is clear now in hindsight that I was right.  We did damage our position of moral leadership and the US has continued on its Pacman like bad habit of gobbling up smaller countries one after another. We are like a huge dinosaur devouring everything that moves. And like dinosaurs we continue (we all know what happened to the dinosaurs) Which brings me to  Marijuana’s role in ‘the Revolution’  It had not been very much earlier in my life that Marijuana was not illegal.
 
 
 

Marijuana was proclaimed as Illegal at the UN in 1961, insisted on by the US, and the War on Drugs began. I had been raised on the Reefer Madness propaganda that the anti hemp industrialists had blanketed the country with and only smoked my first joint in Rabbinical school.

After prolonged experimentation,I could not see anything that could possibly be wrong with smoking it. I felt that defying this law was an honorable thing to do.

That in itself is a pretty revolutionary thing to do. I knew the consequences of being caught but I felt compelled to resist this evil authority. Besides, I liked pot.