Tribute to Larry Watson

I was staring at a picture of a ’61 Cad that he had painted in the 60s

At the end of 2009, we decided that we wanted to repair and paint our 1961 Cadillac. This day was coming soon enough and didn’t at all surprise me, but what did surprise me was Sandi’s response when I asked her what color she wanted to paint it. She grabbed a book off the shelf, flipped through the pages and pointed at Larry’s purple bird. Not the picture of when he first painted it silver and purple, but the one after he painted panels within the panels… “Really?!” I asked and she said “hell yeah, I love this paint job. I just want greens and golds instead.” A few days later Sandi called Larry on the Watson World Headquarters phone line and asked him if we could go to his house so that he could show us how to paint our Cad the way that he would have done it back in the 60s (check out pics from the visit here) and as always Larry was eager to have us over and help out, even if we did have a small entourage joining us.

It was times like this that made us proud to say that Larry was our friend. He was never to busy to say “hi” and hug Sandi no matter who he was with or what he was doing, and because of that, we can honestly say that our lives were made better by having Larry play a part in them… I will always remember the time he brought his photo albums by the shop and spent hours telling us about the different paint jobs he did and how he accomplished them, it was amazing how many things he had remembered; he was never short on non-paint stories either. He would go on about how he had his driver’s license permanently revoked “FOR LIFE,” as he would put it, or how he would mess with the cops by having hydraulics on his Cad – when they stopped him they would say that the car looked much lower when he passed by and he would just tell them that the paint job made the car look lower, “stupid Commies.” When you first met him his stories frequently seemed to be about fictional characters because he always had nicknames for everyone, it wasn’t until you saved up enough points to get your Larry Watson decoder ring before he started making sense. It was a rare day to catch Larry in a bad mood, he always had a smile and would command the room when he spoke, that is unless you were foolish enough to mention anything about the “communist urethane paints” that we have today. Honestly, I don’t have one bad memory of Larry, he could always make me smile and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Larry, you will be sorely missed by all of us…

The car still isn’t finished, but at least he got to see how much of an inspiration he is to us.

See pictures from his Funeral here