Buy the Book - Silver Tongue - Secrets of Mr. Santa Barbara

 

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Family Reunited

Just back from the war in 1945, the Crandells met in Newark for this photo. From the left – Larry's brother Sam, his mother Jane, Larry, aged 22, and brother Marty, who was only 16 years old at the time of the photo. "Too young to fight overseas," says Larry about Marty, "but not too young to box. I challenged him to go a round – even though he was six years younger, he cleaned my clock."

Nota bene --Larry holds his mother's hand in the portrait.

   



Journey's Beginning

Larry and Marcy were married in Marcy's hometown of Ashley, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1950. At left, Lena Novak, Marcy's mother, prepares to farewell the couple. Five children, nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and more than 55 years of marriage lay in front of the young couple.

 
 


The Potentially Endless Honeymoon

The newlyweds danced so well at their resort, the management offered them free accommodation for as long as they wanted if they only did a 15 minute dance exhibition every night. They extended their stay for a week with the permission of their employer, Arthur Murray. Here, they dance at the outdoor nightclub at the Castle Harbour Hotel in Bermuda.

 


Shooting Offence

A sheriff's deputy gets his man at a banquet at Earl Warren Showgrounds in 1986. But even the strong arm of the law can't take away Larry's sense of fun. It was a Santa Barbara Athletic Roundtable event. Santa Barbara City College basketball coach Frank Carbajal set up the ambush. The deputy interrupted proceedings and announced he was arresting Larry for shooting too much in pick-up basketball games. Larry pleaded guilty. It made the front page of the News-Press sports section.

PHOTO BY BOB PONCE, COURTESY THE SANTA BARBARA NEWS-PRESS

 


Strip-tease for Charity

The scene: a fund-raiser for the United Way at Santa Barbara's Cabrillo Arts Center. Larry offered to strip if enough money was raised. "Sam Battistone, co-owner of the Utah Jazz, had given me a complete authentic Jazz uniform," says Larry. "I didn't sleep in it, but I really loved wearing it." With two hundred people in the audience, the fund-raising target was reached and Larry ripped off his pants to reveal his authentic NBA shorts.

(For the record, Larry strenuously denies that someone offered to double the amount raised if he would only put his clothes back on – and quickly.)

 


Larry, Marcy and the President

Ronald Reagan spoke at the Santa Barbara Biltmore as a benefit for the Cancer Society. It took place after Reagan's second term as president. Larry can't remember the year, but he does remember a unique fund-raising idea. "Everyone who paid $500 got a photo with him. He was affability personified. I emceed the event. The Secret Service said I should introduce him as the 40th President, not the "ex-" or "former president" – which was good advice because otherwise I would have made that mistake. I got goose pimples even though I disliked his actions as governor of California."

Afterwards, Larry was asked if it was his first time introducing a president. "I did Woodrow Wilson," he said without batting an eyelash. "But there was a long gap between presidents." Larry then smiled. "The first time? What do you think?" Oh yeah. It was a thrill.

 



As You've Never Seen Him Before

Larry and Marcy reversed their normal roles for this charity bash. "Beauty and the Beast" was the theme. Larry sports a pert and pretty wig with a dress that reveals plenty of shoulder while remaining modest when it comes to his dècolletage. He swears his nail polish matched his lipstick perfectly.

 


He Ain't Heavy

At the Coral Casino, in 1997, Larry's 74th birthday also became a fund-raiser. Steven was living in New Zealand at the time and flew out to surprise Larry. But Larry was ready with a surprise of his own. He jumped into Steven's arms. Steven’s son Luke, at only four years of age, seemed to be considering what would happen if he had to catch Grandpa Larry. "He'd have been squashed," says Grandpa. "I certainly didn't plan the leap," Larry adds. "Steven came across the room, and I decided to take a risk. I was just trying to keep a light touch to what was an emotional time." Though tempted, Steven did not drop his father.

PHOTO COURTESY THE SANTA BARBARA NEWS-PRESS