As I remember it today, we met in Phil Nardella's Pizza Shop in 1958. My father, who was a police officer at Station 9 in the Grove Hall section of Roxbury, was getting us a snack. Since my father died a year later, my memory is a little clouded. So in he walks, "The" Larry Glick. I was only 11. This was the first high-profile person I ever met, and little did I know how much I would grow to appreciate this man. We would eventually become business partners, fellow pilots and dear friends.
We stayed in touch during the WMEX and WBZ years as he became the biggest thing in radio, at least on the East Coast. I was privileged to be in the studio many times as I met the colorful people whom he called friends. We had a love of aviation in common and a deep appreciation for a good story, which I could expect often in his calls. I still remember the three he shared with me during his call to tell me he was going to get a "Zipper." We laughed as I reminded him that I had one in my chest and they were so common we would be getting them at Kmart soon.
I talked to his best friend, Craig Najjar, days before the procedure and found out that we both got a call. In fact, Larry had contacted quite a few people, which now makes me feel he was worried about his fate. He had never said this to me before, but just before he hung up, the last thing he said was, "I really love you. You've never disappointed me." I am glad I responded, "I love you too, Larry."
I was moved to tears when Craig told me Larry had died on the operating table and then he said, "He always loved you. He told me many times what you meant to him." We both knew that this outward expression was not extraordinary, but very telling about his need to say something he held deep inside as he faced the knife.
I plan to savor the memory of the days at WMEX when I co-hosted a show with Larry after his retirement. It was just once a week on a low-power station, and most of the time he was remote from Boca Raton, but I was in my glory. This was even better than the days when Larry, Barbara Brilliant from WBZ and I were partners in Speechworks, a small company that taught public speaking. It was such fun to travel with this kind and gentle man who was so gracious to everyone who recognized him. We could never have a meal without people interrupting us the whole time, but he was always polite, as he would say, "Arthur, they are my people, and a fan is a fan." I can hear him now, and it makes me miss him more and more.
My favorite memory is his unbelievable acceptance at his induction into the Massachusetts Broadcaster's Hall of Fame. He was in good company with Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsberg and other greats, but his 20-minute bit was classic Larry. He was never better or funnier in his life and I was so honored when he said, "I want you to be at my table when they give me this thing." In my life, there is my father-in-law, retired Army Lt. Col. Frederic Gordon Davis and then there is another distinguished veteran, Larry Glick. I agree with those who call them the "Greatest Generation."
A few years ago, Larry gave me the last Glick University T-shirt he had. I felt it needed to be displayed, so I framed it with an inscribed brass plaque telling its story. When we went to hang it at WBZ, we ran into David Robichaud, who shared a touching story about his grandmother's last request. He told us that she asked to be buried with two things she loved. Her request was honored as she now rests holding her rosary beads on a folded Glick University T-shirt. This story says it all, and it was something Larry told me I would never forget. "Glicknicks Forever." We all love you, Larry.
Arthur G. Allen of Byfield is chairman of the Mass. Aeronautics Commission and president of Security Team.