(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go." For reasons why - go here.
A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site and the following Web sites:
Larry Blakeley (Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Lori Ann Blakeley (June 20, 1985 - May 4, 2005) - my granddaughter
Evan Blakeley- my grandson
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
"He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate." - Henry David Thoreau.
Why did I create this Web site? I wanted to create something nice for remembrance of an honorable and admireable American, a loved son, husband, and father; and share photographs, letters and memories with his family, friends of many years gone by, and anyone else that is curious of what this man represented to many of us and what America's open and free society requires of many Americans.
Am I a workaholic? My life has always been lead by the passion that I felt in my heart and that passion - no matter what the project has been, no matter what has been required of me in terms of devotion, time, commitment, and energy was never compromised. When my heart tells me this is "right" for me - I stay the course and enjoy whatever it may be, because it is something I want to do. So, the term "work" seemed foreign to me in terms of what I felt inside my soul. And, my soul seems to be hard for others to understand. I guess I'm different that way. Others referred to it as "work" and that word just never register with me. I referred to it in my mind, as "my life." This misconception has been a source of interpersonal communication for me for as long as I can remember. And, when my heart tells me what road to follow I "stay the course" through completion - and this has been a source of conflict with wives and girlfriends. Why? Because when I know in my heart I am following the road that has been layed out by someone that seems to be leading me - I go about it - no changing of my direction. And, efforts by others to send me on their course only creates friction and disagreement because I don't budge. I don't want to be ordinary in anything I do - no matter how small, no matter how insignificant, no matter whether the path has been taken by others - I "stay the course" and always will - I "miles to go before I sleep" - "Road Not Taken," Robert Frost. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/poetry/road_not_taken.htm
So, I guess the answer is "No" from me, and, possibly, "Yes" from some others. But, the question is about me, isn't it.
I view my life in segments. Fatherhood is coming to a close and now I am preparing for what my heart tells me is next for me. Whatever, that may be, fatherhood has taken a chunk of years, so, I feel like I have some catching up to do ..... and "miles to go before I sleep," unless a truck runs over me today, or tomorrow. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/poetry/stopping_by_woods.htm
Are you real intelligent? Well, I learned how to read, write http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/directory_letter_lblakeley19651102.djvu, and do arithmetic http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/george_436th_fighter_squadron/arithmetic_lblakeley19630918.djvu very well from my school teachers. And, many of them (not just a few)- at Rotan, Texas - taught my mother and both of her sisters.
And, when I recognize my limitations my relentless personality kicks in - I just spend more time, until I know that I understand - then go forward from there. And, then continued on with The University of Texas at Austin, Texas. It's a good thing I did it then - might not get in today.
Are you a perfectionist? No, just work towards it.
Does this create some problems at home? Yes, home and everywhere else - sometimes. The therapist asked me, "Have you read the book, 'Men are from Mars, Women from Venus?'" - as my wife is sitting there with me one day. As is more the norm, than the exception with me, I thought about this question over the course of a day, or so. And, quite frankly, I came to the conclusion (for me, that is) that I come from a planet further away from Venus than Mars, but will never know which one it is in order to calculate the distance. And, sometimes I just can't help from hypothesizing that this tragic and lonely loss in my life somehow was like a collision of 2 planets - sending me further out into space, somewhere unknown. as well. But, I never gave up on my life's survival skills regardless of which planet, or how far out I ended up. And, most importantly - the values and principles handed down to me by my parents went with me.
What does it take to be a "man" (and father) today? You have to work for the money, not the love of it, cook, clean, coach the children's baseball, softball, basketball, and soccer teams, cry like a baby, attend therapy to learn how to feel like a woman, and when the day's done, maybe you'll get lucky, if you act right. And, then you die.
"But I tried though ... Goddammit, I sure as hell did that much, now didn't I? ..." - Randall Patrick McMurphy, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Ken Kesey, Viking Press, 1962. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm
Why are you so emotional? Don't know for sure - it just happened that I ended up this way. Ask my therapist. It's too late to turn back, now. I don't consider it a problem, as long as others leave me alone about it.
Does this create some problems at home? Yes, home and everywhere else - more times than sometimes.
What has been the most overwhelming feelings I have experienced while working on this Web site of remembrance? Broken. MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/broken.htm
When is the most emotional time of the day for me? Right after waking up, pouring my first cup of coffee, then sitting down in front of my monitor and keyboard, putting my headphones on (the music of inspiration is already going), and then go back and remember for you, again ......
"Woke up this early morning, nothing but black, God's creation hidden from view. My heart is heavy, remembering, again the love lost - and I wept and feel and write as the tears flow down my cheek - forever, wiping away the pain. And, as if God reaches out to wipe my tears, I look up and, see again His great creation .... and give thanks." - Larry Blakeley, July, 2004.
Why do I use "you" here? Because I've already lived it and know this story. This is for those that want to live it and know it, too. And, that is my responsibility to you - to write and convey it, so that you "feel" it in your precious soul.
Does this emotion continue throughout the day? Sometimes, but seeing this helps me most times - as it has for over 39 years now. MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/morning_has_broken.htm
So, I came to hope that one will follow the other http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/hope_lblakeley200407.htm in that order - just like to go anywhere in your life you must put one foot in front of the other.
Have you always enjoyed poetry? No, not one bit - just like classical music. It never made sense to me and did not have anything for me. I was wrong on both accounts.
What music have I been listening to that has reached down to the bottom of my soul to help me feel the pain, again? The CD's are - in order of listening, "The Notebook," Original Motion Picture Soundtrack,New Line Records, 2004 (not that impressed with the movie, though) and "Unchained" MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/johnny_cash/johnny_cash_notes_unchained.htm, Johnny Cash, American Recordings, 1996.
Concerto in G - II: Adagio assai, Maurice Ravel
Adagio for Strings, Samuel Barber MP3 audio file (12.2 MB) http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/adagio_for_strings_barber.mp3
Concerto for Bassoon, K. 191, in B-Flat (transcribed for clarinet), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Intermezzo from Vavalleria rusticana, Pietro Mascagni
The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43: Adagio, Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26 - II: Adadio, Max Bruch
Enigma Variations, Op. 36 - Variation IX (Nimrod): Adagio, Edward Elgar
Adagio in G Minor, Tomaso Albinoni
Lucy E. Cross' notes on these classics. MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/lucy_cross_notes_on_classics.htm
Have I heard other versions of the songs on each of these CD's? Yes, some - but, none better, in my opinion.
Why? Because of this - "When I only had one or two records out, I sang whatever was popular, or whatever else I liked. If I wasn't on tour with Elvis, I'd sing a couple of his songs. Jerry Lee, Carl, Roy and I sang each other's songs when we weren't together. One of the songs I loved was Dean Martin's 'Memories Are Made Of This.' It seems everyone shared each other's music, even more so then than now. I can remember that Carl went on a tour with Gogi Grant and thereafter sang 'The Wayward Wind' every night we worked together. Jerry Lee made every song, from country to black gospel, sound like a Jerry Lee original. It's in this spirit that I approached the songs on these sessions. 'If I can't make these songs my own, they don't belong.'" - Johnny Cash, Unchained, 1996.
Why do I use song lyrics for expression? Music has always been an important part of my life, as it was to my father. Because the lyrics, when combined with the human voice just elevated the process of soothing my pain and organizing in my mind and heart what was important to me in this world that became very lonely overnight. I remember staying up late at night, alone in my bed at night listening to whatever radio station I could pick up on my simple AM radio. Most of the time, what I wanted to hear was from a station in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Then I could rest and rejuvenate my soul for another day, again - without tears at school in front of everybody.
At this stage of my life, I don't worry about that, anymore.
Did my mother, my sisters, and me receive counseling? Not when growing up. Sometimes, as an adult, but only when insurance pays for it.
So, how did you continue on? Day by day. It's a "sink or swim" world. You either live or die.
Have you ever thought about "suicide?" No, not really. I've been curious how someone could do that to others that are "left behind" and what thought processes took them to that cliff - and then to jump MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/last_resort.htm. I suppose they lost all hope and did not know how to turn around and walk away from the edge MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/cant_find_my_way_home.htm. For arguments sake, if there was ever a time in my life that I would have considered it (even as remote that would be) it would have been before fatherhood.
But, I do believe there are way too many (even 1 is too many) teenagers commiting suicide today - which leads me to believe "Houston, we've had a problem here." http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations/houston_problem_here.htm
Audio Wav File ("Houston, we have a problem." Tom Hanks in the movie, "Apollo 13" http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations/apollo13_houston_problem.wav)
Why, before fatherhood and not after? After you experience this Web site you will know that answer yourself.
Does death scare you? Not one bit - just don't want it to hurt.
The hardest negative feelings for me to subdue? Anger, bitterness, sadness, pain and periods of paranoia and pessimism about too many American males of today - The Enemy Within: The Extinction of Fatherhood In America. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/enemy_within.htm
Why? Because they've haunted me for so long.
Do I still cry over this? Yes, sometimes.
Why? Because I loved him and have missed him ever since - and I Still Can't Say Goodbye. MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
Am I still bitter and angry today? Sometimes - on certain issues such as having to see and hear John Kerry using his Vietnam experience as a major credential for why he should lead America for 4 years as its next president - statement at the 2004 Democratic convention on national television where he "reported for duty" even after his 1971 senate proceedings - "poor bastard." Some intellectual in his camp that doesn't understand the history and pain of Vietnam may have a lot of smarts, but not much on "horse-sense." This happened to Lyndon Johnson, too by the likes of McNamara, et al - intellectual infatuation and intimidation leads a person to be lead around by the nose, just like the "nose chain for a bull that doesn't act right."
A problem for the John Kerry's in this nation - people like me may very well outlive them.
Are you a Republican? No.
Are you a Democrat? No.
Are you an American? Yes - always have been.
Do you believe in one god? After the summer of 1965 - this was not how I got by.
Does that mean that you do not believe in the "God?" No, it does not.
Then, why don't you just answer this question straight up? My answer is a question back to you: Have I not answered enough personal questions here? What gives me or you the authority to proclaim to the rest of the world that they are going to hell? Let us just move on here for now. OK?
What was the hardest for me growing up as an Air Force pilot's son? When my father was gone on TDY (temporary duty) somewhere - I never handled it well when he was gone - still don't. And, another difficult emotional stressor was having to move often MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/johnny_cash/johnny_cash/i_been_everywhere.htm - no roots to anchor myself with. That is what the people of Rotan, Texas compassionately gave to me. I like to think and believe that many of them knew what I needed in that regard, so this is my belief that I have never questioned. They have always filled my heart with warmth and love. It's never left from there.
What were the symptoms of this? I acted up in school and did not get too close to friends that I would be leaving anyway.
Did this carry over into adulthood relationships? Yes, sometimes - but, I have tried to control it.
What was the most noticeable change to me and my personality after July 22, 1965? Became somewhat more introverted, but more introspective, never stopped thinking - even today, questioned life, and felt alone with my thoughts - knowing what General Chuck Horner expressed below.
For what? Well, General Chuck Horner, Ret., a pilot that my father flew with at the 492nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England in the early 1960's has already covered that from his perspective, somewhat limited, removed, and very superficial in terms of the pain felt by the widows, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, and so on down the line of pained souls, so I include it here http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/chuck_horner1999.htm
What has been my worst enemy until the internet appeared on the scene for communication? Well, I have been looking out longer than General Horner and most certainly from a much different skew on emotions and, just thought to myself - Why Bother? http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/why_bother_lblakeley200407.htm
What it takes our of you to create a Web site this personal? Pain and Despair - the arch enemy of the light, but always followed by Hope - the light in shining armor here. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/hope_lblakeley200407.htm
Has my pain affected my children? Absolutely, not. I had learned how to hide pain very well. My pain never became theirs. In fact, they may be a little too naive. But, they're sweet children and my father would have been proud of them. However, they have seen the pain after I started this project, but it is my pain - not theirs to deal with. They are old enough today to understand better.
What am I searching for? Something to fill the void of fatherhood after the youngest, Evan leaves home. I want to make a difference to others.
Is money my reward after I'm finished with fatherhood? Not a bit - but, I need to satisfy the basic needs of Maslow's heirarchy.
If I had one wish, what would it be? That my father was with us today and July 22, 1965 never happened.
What happened and who was he? That's the reason for the Web site, so please enter and experience something that may possibly give a new meaning to your life.