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lost my Father friday...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 333 Half Evil, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. 333 Half Evil
    Joined: Oct 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,440

    333 Half Evil

    It's nice to be back on the HAMB to shaer the gospel of traditional automotive enthusiasm...but this post is bittersweet. I've been away from the HAMB and most of the internet world outside of work for a little over 2 years. I'm finally getting things back together in my life and able to get back online with the HAMB family/community. Over the years I've given out many condolences, well wishes and prayers to those who come on the HAMB and post about something that has happened in thier life and felt comfort in sharing it with others, some friends some total strangers and but caring people. I've never know for sure how they felt or exactly what they are going through until now.

    As I sit here trying to type this, I'm struggling to hold it together as I lost my Father friday morning. Yep friday the 13th no less!! Not only was he my Father he was my friend, my hero, my dad. He has taught me most everything I know from turning wrenches to telling stories, to just being a man of my word and trying to do the right thing.

    I am today what I am because of him. He was a car guy growing up and always built differant things. He had doodle bugs, hot rods, off road trucks....a true car guy. In the late 60's through early 70's he built and raced a D/Gas 1955 chevy 2 door post(My Avatar pic). After drag racing he got into stock car racing, racing on the local dirt tracks. After a few years of that, costs got to be too much and he gave up racing and got into four wheeling.

    When I was 16, I took my first trip down the drag strip driving a 1955 chevy pick-up he and I built together. At first she was just a noisy truck running mid 14's at 91 mph, but after the first year we pulled it apart and built a serious 350 for it, swapped out the hard to shift truck 3 speed for a manual shift turbo 400 and 3500 rpm stall. By the time we got the bugs worked out that truck ran a best of 11.75 at 117 mph. I had a lot of fun runnin that truck, but it was more fun on the street. Over the next few years I had dabbled with drag racing. building a few different cars, but really had got interested in stock car racing.

    We always would go to Thunderbird Raceway, a 3/8 mile dirt track and watch....but I wanted more. When I was 18 dad and I built my first street stock...a 1973 nova. I will never forget how nervous I was those first few times, waiting on the entrance lane to go out on the trac, trying to hold down the clutch with my knees knocking!! That car took quite a beating that first year!! The next season we had built another nova, this time a little stronger a little faster and that was it. I was hooked.

    Over the next 6 years we built several more race cars from the street stocks, through pro-stocks ending up running late models. We had taken two years out to run ashpalt, the first year I was a "hired gun" to run a limited-late model at Kalamzoo Speedway then I bought a rolling Howe late model and built a car to run at Berlin. Dad and I spent tons of hours building that car. We never had a lot of money, but time was a friend of ours then! After Berlin I build my last dirt late model, this one was totally built from scratch, and it was by far my favorite.

    We never was the best, but we did quite well given our limited funds and team and dad was always there no matter win or wreck. I did it as much for him as me, and I think he did the same. After I got out of racing we started building toys. The first one was a 1929 model a 3 door town delivery that was my dads...built 60's style high boy with a 400 small block. That thing was suicidal!!! Something that square, light, high had no need for that much motor!! We built a few more rides and dad retired from working.

    Dad always liked different things, that where I get it from, so we started to put together odd-ball stuff. We put a 1951 ford flat head V* in a Farmall tractor, stepped the frame around the starter, lengthened it, stretched the hood, modified the radiator to allow both inlets and outlets for the flathead and still have the steering shaft pass through it. I built an adapter from the ford bell housing/clutch to the farmall driveline input, buttoned it up and we had ourselves a hot rod tractor!! He got really upset one day, following me as I drove it for him over to his buddies house to plow up a garden. That damned ol farmall would run 37 mph!!! HE WAS HOT BOY!!! I sure got a serious butt-chewing over that I tell ya.

    After the farmall he put together an early 1900's horse drawn manure spreader. I'm serious. He had wanted to make it a hot rod and street drive it, but we convinced him to go more for a tractor show/parade rig. So he did, and with an old wheel horse, an 18hp briggs, and a lot of work he had himself his "Honey Wagon"! He showed that at several tractor and antique farm shows taking several first places.

    A few years back dads health had turned bad. Had had a stroke, then some cancer, diabetes, etc. It made me want to try harder and find his old drag car. I posted on the HAMB that I was looking for my dads old 55 chevy drag car. I had a lot of guys responding and pming about that and what I was doing etc. I had a lot of hope...but not much luck. Dad found out I was looking, and couldn't figure out why I wanted to waste my time on his old car and all that. I told him that it meant a lot to me and I wanted to do it out of respect for him.....he still didn' get it but I knew what I wanted to do.

    After a lot of searching and not much luck, I started looking for parts to build a clone. I had talked to my dad a lot over the years about that car, how he built it, what he used etc. so I know pretty much what it was. Well in 2009 I decided I'd build a model car clone and see what he thought. A friend of mine, Jerry Mazaros, has quite a collection of die cast cars, and he had several 55 chevy ones, but only two were sedans, one had a tild front end. I asked him about if, where he got it, and he wanted to know why I was asking. I told him about dads drag car, my search, my dream, and the model clone idea. Jerry grabbed the one with the tilt front, handed it to me, and said to take it.

    He didn't want anything for it, but if I ever found dads car or built a clone he wants a ride! I took that die cast 55 home and proceeded to build the clone of my dads car. It took close to 3 months to find all the same size scale parts needed to make it as close to possible as my dads. (I had posted pics of the finished model here on the HAMB) I gave it to my dad for Christmas that year, and he said it was the best gift ever. I was honored and felt good that he liked it and finally realised how much I'd like to have his old one or at least build a real one like it.

    After opening up all the gifts that morning, dad told me to come with him outside, he wanted to give me something. We went out to an old dirt floor coupe he has and went inside, and there is where he had the majority of the trophies he had won with his car. I knew he had some, from seeing them in the house and garage, but these were ones I didn't know about. He picked up the first one he saw, and told me I could have them all. That was huge! I told him that know when I get his car or build one like it, I could display it with all of his trophies too!

    When we got them all rounded up and loaded into my car we went back inside the house, I went and sat down and dad went off into his bedroom. When he came back out he had a bunch of little pieces of paper in his hand, he held it out for me to see, and it was a bunch of his old time slips!! This was awesome. I could not belive he still had these as he quit drag racing in 1972! Now I have his trophies and his time slips all I needed was the car.

    In 2010 I took a lay-off from Cruisin Customs where I was working and about two weeks later I got sick. For about 7 months, between no work and my health I had gotten way behind. We cancelled our internet, sattelite tv, phone, etc. it was some hard times. We went thorugh all of my savings, retirement, collections, etc. to keep our bills current. I sold things I never drempt I'd ever sell, but thankfully I had them to sell and we did not let one bill go unpaid not late. It was tough, but we got through it.

    I got doing better and finally got back to work driving wrecker part time, then landed back in the tool and die trade. My health had been shakey yet, but but now seems to be headed in the right direction. My dad has been doing great and with his health as good as it was I wasn't as concerened about getting his car found or done as I was when he was sick. We have been talking about that again and I am getting enough parts to start a build.

    Two weeks ago, my cousin passed away and at his funeral we met up with a lot of my dads old buddies and we had gotten onto the subject of his car. We found a few guys who remembered the car and think they know guys who owned it or at least knew who owned it after my dad. I was excited to get back to the hunt. Everything seemed to be going great....then I got the phone call from my mom friday morning at 5:30am.

    I was just backing out of the driveway on my way to work. My mom was crying and telling me she couldn't wake up dad. I told her i was on my way but had to go so I could call 911. I only live a couple miles from them so i headed that way and called 911. When I got to thier house mom met me at the door and said dad was in the living room on the floor. He was face down and both hands clenching his chest. I rolled him over and started cpr. i worked on dad for close to twenty minues until the first person arrived. it was a county sherrifs officer, he hooked up a monitor and helped me with cpr. when the paramedics arrived they took over. 7 men tried to save my dad, they did everything they could, but he was gone.

    I know he is in a better place, he didn't suffer, it was quick....but it still hurts. I'm going to miss him forever. My mom soo far is doing great. Thats what is important now, taking care of mom. She lost her husband of 54 years.

    John "Bogus" Larsen Sr. 01/29/1939 - 07/13/2012

    I'm sorry for such a long story, but it really does feel a little better as I think about what to type....remember what we've done....Thank you HAMB family and a special thank you to Ryan for not banning nor deleting 333 Half Evil during my 2+ year absence. THANK YOU.

    R.I.P Dad....

    GODSPEED my friend.

    Al "Cabbage" Larsen
    a.k.a. 333 Half Evil
  2. Al

    So sorry for your loss. I know about losing a parent, and it's definitely the toughest thing I've ever been through.

    Praying for you! If you need to talk at all, PM me for my #.

  3. Real sorry to hear that. Glad you are back but I hate to see that your dad passed. its rough but you will get better.

    Lean on us for a while we no doubt will lean on you sometime when you can hold us up.

    I am never more than a PM away.
  4. stovebolt55
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 129


    So sorry for yor loss.
    Sounds like you had a heck of a good Dad and you will have great memories to cherish forever.
    Thank you for sharing the story.

  5. King Karl
    Joined: Sep 27, 2007
    Posts: 384

    King Karl
    from N.C.

    My wholehearted condolences to you and your family.
  6. Metal Ghost
    Joined: Jun 21, 2010
    Posts: 134

    Metal Ghost

    You and your family will be in our prayers. I am so sorry for your loss.

    My Dad had a stroke last year and it hit us hard. I know that I'll be leaning on people when the day comes.
  7. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,625



    I lost my dad on my birthday in 2009 so I know what you are going through brother. Like Brett said above if you need to talk to somebody give me a shout. I'll be praying for you, your mom and the rest of your family.

    Hang in there. It won't feel like it any time soon, but it DOES get better.

  8. birdman42
    Joined: Jan 18, 2012
    Posts: 400


    Sorry for your loss.We will keep you in our prays as well
  9. 333 Half Evil
    Joined: Oct 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,440

    333 Half Evil

  10. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,485

    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    I'm so sorry for your loss. You have some wonderful memories.....those are some great stories. Hang in there.....
  11. 1950heavymetal
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 323


    Al- sorry for your loss and my condolences to your family. Thanks for sharing your story and hang in there. Eventually all of your current tears will turn into smiles when remembering him. I also lost my father (and the center of my world) just over ten years ago. Keep your head up! I'll be praying for your health and your family.
  12. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    So very sorry to hear of your Dad passing away. :( There aren't any words right now that will help, but the fact that you feel the way you do about him speaks volumes. He was evidently a really good man and Dad.

    This is something we all will face in our lifetime, and it sucks, but it is inevitable. Every day we live is one day closer to that day, so it is so important to make the most of what we are given.

    My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family duing this terrible time.

  13. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 799


    Sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad. Believe me when I say you will always remember him.

    Even though I lost my Dad 29 years ago, there is not a day goes by that I find myself doing something that brings him to mind. He could fix anything and he taught me many of those traits. But the main thing he taught me was to be confident in myself.
  14. Al my deepest condolences to you and your family, you are right that Mom really needs all your support now after 54 years its hard. Sounds like you and your Dad had a relationship that will be one for the ages, and that is a great thing. He tought you a lot over the years which you can pass on and the legacy will continue. I lost my dad 44 years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I do not remenber something from him. Keep the memory alive and I hiope that you can find the ol 55, if not go ahead and do a clone, it will help!!.................
  15. Tripple G
    Joined: Oct 21, 2010
    Posts: 367

    Tripple G

    Thanks for sharing your stories about your Dad. Trust me when I say "It does get better". You'll never forget your Dad, but the hurt will get a little weaker with time. I lost my Dad in January of 2009 and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him. Hang in there, trust in the Lord and move forward ... that's what your Dad would have wanted. God Bless!
  16. the other me
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Posts: 387

    the other me

    Al, I'm soo sorry to hear this. The last time we spoke you was soo excited about being back to work, healthy, and finally having happy times.... I don't know what to say. I'm very honored to have met your dad and your family and I know what a man he was. If you need anything no matter what please know you can count on me. You and your dad have been so influencial and helpfull to me it is the least I can offer. God just got another winner in my book. Please hang in there for your mom and family. We will be thinking and praying for you all. Could you please drop me a line on when there will be services for your dad, if I have not missed them I will not. You have my numbers, my email, reply or pm me here...whatever is easiest for you let me know. Your dad will be missed by many....Brad.

    p.s. in case you didn't
    notice check out my avatar!!!
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,191


    Sorry to hear about your dad. It does seem to get easier after a while but it never goes clear away and don't worry about that.
    I lost my dad almost nine years when cancer came back and got him after he beat it five years before. It took a long time before I figured I couldn't get on the phone and call him or at times I had to stop and think why he hadn't called. I lost my oldest son when he was 19 in 1989 and it took a lot of hard years to get over that. Dad was my rock that propped me up then as hard as it was on him.
  18. 333 Half Evil
    Joined: Oct 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,440

    333 Half Evil

    Hi Brad,
    This sucks big time. I'm glad you dropped me a line. Thanks for keeping the memory of my crazy bike alive as well. You are a great friend and I appreciate that. I miss that bike but was thankfull to have something to sell to make ends meet. Soo many people I know who got into financial problems didn't have anything like that to sell so they would end up loosing thier homes, cars, etc. I still have my home and that is worth soo much more than that bike. I couldn't imagine me, my wife, and my daughter sleeping on that thing!!! Thanks for the memories was a little break I needed. I love you brother.....
  19. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,803


    I'm glad you had such a good relationship with your dad. You have trophies of another kind, as well as his racing ones. I know your loss is significant, but only because you had so much life with your dad. God bless you and your family.
  20. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,188

    from Kansas

    Sorry for your loss. Really brings back memories. I lost mine 4 years ago, and I still remember all the stuff he taught me, whether electronics, automotive, machine shop tools, etc.

    Advice, keep up what you and he did and he will be proud. Take care!
  21. Cyberdyne
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 39

    from Olathe, KS

    I am so sorry to hear that your dad passed away. My eyes watered reading your thread. How lucky and fortunate you were to have been so close with your father, how I so wish I could say the same about my father.

    Building that scale model for your dad and your drive to locate his ol' 55 is endearing and speaks in volume the amount of love, respect and dedication you felt for your father. The best thing of all is he knew that too, you can count on that!

  22. So sorry for the loss of your dad,he sounds like a great guy who was luckly to have a son to share his interest with. I lost my dad in 09 and my stepdad the year before, and yes it does get a little easier as time goes by, but you will never forget the great memories you shared with each other.
  23. willymakeit
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,326


    Good Dads and Sons are treasures.I am fortuenate to have had both.
    My Dad passed early, but I still have my Son and Daughter.
    It will get better with time. The good thing is you have fantastic memories and that always keeps them with you in a special place.
  24. southern thunder
    Joined: Mar 14, 2012
    Posts: 226

    southern thunder

    sorry for your loss, your in our prayers. My dad and mom both are in a better place, I don't say I lost them, I know where they are, in heaven, and we all will be together again. GODSPEED.
  25. Al, I'm coming up on the 4 year anniversary of my Dad passing away and know how you feel. What a gift our dads gave us in starting on mechanical stuff. God bless you and your family.
  26. Xdrag48
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 471


    Prayers and my deepest condolences to you and your family....

  27. shadams
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,491


    Wow man, what a post.....I was all over tha map with that one. I have 2 dads, ha. Not like that, but a dad and a step dad and both of them mean a lot to me. My dad was only 49 when he had his first heart attack and I remember getting the call at work. I had no emotion, just give me the facts and let me blaze out. I got to the hospital and realized he was good and thats when it hit me.

    Sorry for your loss, but glad you posted about it, great story....
  28. wetatt4u
    Joined: Nov 4, 2006
    Posts: 2,146


    I'm very sorry for you and your Moms pain..

    God Speed to your Father

    May he R.I.P.

    Prayers to ya Brother.............
  29. Skrap metal
    Joined: Jan 22, 2003
    Posts: 362

    Skrap metal

    my prayers for you're strength... i know how you feel i lost my father in january.
  30. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,502


    Well-written homage to your dad. I am very sorry for your loss. Continue to honor him the way you had and your life will be a great one. Again, my condolences.

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