Sunday, May 28, 2006


Dad was a lots of things, but foremost he was a storyteller. Most of the story is told you were likely to be complete cow manure, but he would have you believing it. However, some of the story he told were true to a point. When he introduced you to me for the first time, you were likely to hear a story about me hitting a kid in the head with a brick.

The basics of the story is this. We lived in Germany so I was at most 3 years old. Across the street from our housing was a playground. In the playground there was a sandbox. In the sandbox was sand that had little pieces of gravel type rocks. These rocks when they got in my hair were hard to get out and I got in trouble for getting this grit in my hair. This kid throw sand in my hair and I retaliated by hitting him with the first thing I could get... a stone. This is the story as told by Mom. I really have no memory of it (as I said I was 3 at most).

When my sister speaks of it, she says she told me to throw sand back in his hair and then I picked up the rock.

When my father told it, there was no rock. It was a brick and I didn't just hit the kid with it, I threw it at him from the across the sandbox and bloodied up his head. This is when my father (who watched it all transpire from the stoop) calls me over or walks over to get me (it changed). Of course, after that we quickly fled the scene of the crime.

If I heard the story once, I heard it 300-400 times, but to this day I can never tell it as well as my father did. No one told it like him.

Earliest Memory?

One of my attempts here is to force myself to find the earliest memory of my father. My earliest memories at this point go back to Kindergarten. I'm not dure if they are real or just figments of my imagination.

In my kindergarten class there were 3 kids names Larry. There was myself (Larry Walton), Larry Berry, and Larry Skinner. I only went to K for the latter half of the day, so I can't even fathom how many other kids named Larry were running about the school or why they would stick so many of us with one poor teacher.

This memory of my father is really vague. It's just he and I walking the streets of Oakland. Maybe we were on our way to my grandmother's house on 13th Ave from our duplex on the deadend road near my school. I don't really know. All I know is that we are walking and in walking we passed one of the kids named Larry in my class and that's it. It's dated because I know I had to be in kindergarten because of this one kid we passed.

To get to K, from the duplex I had to 2 possible paths. One top the right led past the drugs dealers and down a major street and up to the school. The left was the safer way with a less busy street and no drug dealers. I was 5, so this would have been late 1983. I remember Dad walking me to school showing the way I should go and telling me why. So that was the way I went to and from school most days.

I say most days because my sister (who went to different school) came to get me from school. She had some beef with the Puerto Rican kids that lived along the safe way, so they would get into fights. To avoid fights (with out a doubt started by my sister) we would scurry up the wrong way a couple blocks (to get pass the house of the PR kids) and then swing over to the safe side to get home.

Those were my adventures in getting to and fro K, however according to Mom, Dad was supposed to pick me up from school. You see my mother worked and went to school most of the time that I can remember. My father was supposed to be at home. That, of course, meant he was running the streets. At that time, I believe he was selling marijuana and cocaine as I have memories of the oven being used to dry out marijuana and that baking soda, baking powder and even powdered sugar being used to cut the cocaine.

Now that the thoughts are flowing, the earliest memory now should be getting enrolled into school. I have no memory of my first day of school, however I know when I began school we lived with my grandmother on 13th ave so I attended the school nearest that house. I have no memory of any of that except a boy named Denny who was in my K class and then later in my first grade class. I remember telling my mom his wasn't white or black or Chinese. That was the extent of my knowledge of race and nationalities at that point. Hispanics were white and blacks were blacks. Most everything else was Chinese. Denny however was Filipino. My mind just hadn't been able to grasp that until about a year later when my sister had a Filipino friend, but I digress...back to school.

My first memories of school involve us moving to the dead end road and having to go to new schools. For a while we commuted back to Bell Vista (our old school), but evenutally we needed to be enrolled into closer schools. I ended up at Garfield and my sister at Hawthorne because K was full in her school and her grade (3rd) was full at my school. Thus we went to different schools and I remember my father being there at that time. Thus that is my earliest of Dad.

27 March 2006

I'm starting this blog because my father passed away on 27 March 2006. I hope to use this blog to gather my memories of him before they grow anymore foggy than what they are now.

My father was Larry Ben Walton aka the Diamond aka Larry Diamond aka John Boy aka Big Money JB. Those closest to him knew him as the Diamond because as he put it ....

"I'm a gem of a guy."
My father died at the age of 53. The thoughts about putting this all together came to me during a long ride to Richmond, VA from Durham, NC on May 7th. During this 2.5 hour drive all I had was me and my thoughts. Oddly enough those thoughts turned to my father and now we are here.
Honestly, his death really didn't hit me hard,but it has had a profound effect on my thoughts and my insight with my kids. I go to bed every night thinking that it could be the last time and I awake up every morning thankful for another day with my family. I'm doing this because I have to. Because I am compelled to.