Last night the Chippewa Valley lost a good friend. You may have never met him but trust me, if you did he would be your friend for life. Larry Feichter from Cornell lost his life last night in an accident. Larry was one of those guys who walked in the room like Hacksaw Jim Duggan walked into a wrestling ring... Larger than life. And, if you knew Larry, that's not a bad thing.
Larry's wife Kayla and their daughter were the two most important things in his life. One of the biggest passions he had was his band Cat's Ass. I got to know Larry working with the band on a few occasions and he was one of those guys who would give the shirt off their back to a complete stranger. We'd bump into each other here and there and it was like you'd just seen each other a few hours prior.
I once did sound for a show with his band and Blackberry Smoke at the Community Center in Cornell. I can't remember if we left a ladder behind or what but about the time I realized it was still there, Larry was on the phone and willing to take off at that moment to bring it to me. I can't say enough good things about the guy. The last time I saw Larry was over at the Ozzy show in Minneapolis. Larry came across rows and rows of seats to come talk to us. Our greeting that night was a bear hug and a little spilled beer.
A lot of folks knew him much better than I and already this morning I've heard countless stories and all of them have been good. Larry was a little like Sammy Hagar in that he tried to find a positive spin in every situation.
I found out Larry passed away in a text message this morning. All it read was "Larry from catsass died last night. Car accident." I instantly went looking at the local news outlets to find out more. I couldn't imagine it being THAT Larry. To be honest with you I didn't even know Larry had a last name. He's always been Chicago Larry to me. Turns out it was.
In talking with one of Larry's band-mates this morning, I learned that Larry had taken a new outlook on life lately and it sounds like it was for the better. I only wish he could've stuck around awhile longer so we could all benefit from it.
Every time the holidays come around, I try to remind people to appreciate those around them who are special because you never know when one of them will be snatched away. Larry's passing is just one more reminder of that sentiment.
While I was getting ready to head in to work, I was flipping channels on the TV and came across the Discovery Channel's "After the Catch" special, where all the ship's captains got together and remembered Captain Phil. It's ironic we lost Larry the same day Deadliest Catch begins it's new season. Larry was our Captain Phil. He was always GO GO GO GO. He lived life to it's fullest and lived it loud and large. And, if you knew Larry, that's not a bad thing. Rest in peace Chicago. And give 'em hell in Heaven. But whatever you do, look before you do your Gene Simmons imitation.