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Lawrence Bersano

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07/18/10 04:11 PM #1    

Antone Sousa


July 9, 2010

Just to let you know.  Last night I made copies of all those photos I had of Larry Bersano- 7th grade group and individual, 8th grade group and individual, Senior photo and card, Frosh photo of Homecoming.  I also included an Emcee Echoes with senior wills and prophecies as well as a graduation program.  I packed all this and sent it to his home in care of his signicant other Cameron.  I wrote a letter telling about all the things that Larry and I did as kids. This was real closure for me.  Here is a copy of the letter:

July 9, 2010 

My dear Lawrence, Cameron, family and friends:
Words could not adequately express my sadness when I learned of your condition.  It is extremely difficult to write to you but I want to express to you how much our friendship meant when we were young and growing up in San Anselmo.  We went to St. Anselms Grammar School for eight years and Marin Catholic High School for four years.  During our time at St. Anselms we were very close friends and this friendship continued thru high school.  It seems like only yesterday that we played in the vacant lot below your house on Park Drive.  Remember hiding in the grass and tossing dirt clods at unsuspecting cars as they passed by.   Remember going down in the creek and catching pollywogs, frogs, and buckets of crayfish.  Remember climbing to the top of Red Hill and sitting there like kings on their throne while we viewed our tiny kingdom of San Anselmo.  Such fond memories!!
            I also recall your family.  Your mom, who I always called Mrs. Bersano, and who demanded respect and courtesy from us.  She was a wonderful lady but could strike fear into you just by looking at you.  And your dad, Joe, the cab driver in San Francisco.  The stories he could tell us about his adventures when driving his cab!  And your sisters Carol and Georgine – I remember how we used to spy on Georgine and her boy friend, Bill Sinclair.  And how could I ever forget Carol!  She never took guff from anyone, and could “kick the crap” out of almost anyone at St. Anselms, boys included. 
            Lawrence, your were a dear friend as we grew up.  We did so much together. What I especially remember about you, Lawrence is that you had the gift of gab.  All the mothers loved you because you were so polite and debonair. You could sell ice to an Eskimo. I remember a game we used to play.  I would open the phone book to a random page, close my eyes and point to a name on a page.  You would call that number and start with: "Hi, Guess Who?"  You were so suave that you could keep most people on the phone for ten to fifteen minutes and often have them believing that you were a close friend or relative who was in town and would be coming over after the phone call. You were so amazing with this!!  I was always in awe and you kept me laughing for hours with these antics.

I also remember the time when we were Frosh or Soph and the two of us stole some bottles of champange from your mom.  We drank it in your back yard and we had a contest.  Each of one of us would hang upside down by our legs from the branch of a tree in the backyard.  While upside down, we would try to chug as much champange from a bottle as possible.  The one who drank the most while upside down was the winner.  You won!!  But in reality no one really won because not only did we receive the wrath of Mrs. Bersano, but we both were so sick that I don’t think we really cared what your mom and my mom said or the punishment we received.

            I also remember the times we went out to China Camp and hiked the hills and valleys.  In those days it was a place that we could escape – no houses, no people – just Nature and us.  We would take our 22 rifles, cans and bottles, plenty of ammo and target practice.  Sometimes, as young boys, we would get bored with the bottles and cans, and start shooting at birds.  I still remember the shot you made when you knocked that robin right out of the tree!  We were so excited until we ran up and saw it was dead.  We both had tears in our eyes and gave it a proper burial.
            Lawrence, my dear friend, I could go on and on with all those wonderful memories of our youth.  My heart is heavy when I think that I will not see you again.  I was so looking forward to seeing you again and hearing that friendly, vocal, and caring voice at our 50th Reunion.  I wanted so to relive those memories!  It was not to be!  Just remember, Lawrence, even though we went our separate ways after high school, I always will consider you a dear friend.  You were and are a “beautiful person”; kind, caring and totally unselfish.  I shall cherish our friendship always.  May God bless you and my prayers and thoughts are with you.
Your friend,  Antone
Dear Antone,
My name is Barry. I am a close friend of Lawrence and one of his caregivers at the moment. Your reflections on what a "beautiful person," kind, caring and totally unselfish are exactly how I know Lawrence--even to this day. Some things never change. Your letter with photos/high school yearbook memos arrived on Monday. Lawrence was fully able to appreciate the love you put into that letter and all of the childhood memories that you recanted. The funny thing is that I used to throw dirt clods at passing cars and shot at birds in trees (the things boys will do!). I don't know if I will hang upside-down when I drink it, but I've put a bottle of champagne in the fridge to make a toast when Lawrence passes. He is getting quite close--it could be any time now. Just know that we are keeping him as comfortable as we possibly can with the help of Hospice. I will be sure to let you know when he does die.
Lawrence wanted me to thank you for sending the letter and keeping him in your prayers.
I too was quite touched by your letter.
Thank you,
Barry Antler 

07/18/10 08:28 PM #2    

Carole Curtin (Lang)

Sadly, Larry you are gone but certainly will not be forgotten by your 1961 Classmates.  I, for one, remember your face but never had the pleasure of meeting with you personally.  I know now that you are at peace and free of any suffering.  God be with you.  Carole Curtin Lang

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