To the editor:
I write today about my dear friend, Larry Norfolk.
Laurence John Norfolk was born 75 years ago in a small South Dakota farm community that no longer exists.
He played high school and college football. With his stocky build and 50-inch chest, he would bowl over the largest opponents. He was a salesman for a large U.S. photo chemical company with a sales territory that covered many states and Canadian Provinces in the west and me-west area and was highly regarded. He had children from his first marriage.
When the photo company was bought out by the Japanese and he was out a job, he prospected for gold in the Domes area of Quartzite successfully for years. He made enough to take a break and came to the cool pines of Williams, fell in love with the town and moved here.
I met him around that time and we hit if off right away. A good Catholic, he worked with St. Vincent de Paul Society and helped organizations and helped many who were down on their luck. He also helped the innocent get away from bad home situations. He was a good man and God recognizes such good people.
He was no saint by any measure, but conquered alcoholism after a motor vehicle accident and vowed to change his life. Never to drink again, he dedicated his life to helping his fellow imperfect human beings. The many he helped knew him to his last day as a friend and I am proud to count myself as one of his many friends.
His last words to me as I took off on a motor car excursion in Canada were, "go out and have fun, don't worry about me."
The day before I got the call, on the road in North Dakota, I brought him a 75th anniversary Sturgis Motorcycle rally t-shirt and a hat pin in the shape of a lawman's star, imprinted 'Sheriff, South Dakota.' Little did I know he wouldn't get them.
He was a salvage artist without equal, a dumpster diver. He could find many things of value and sell them. He would scour his 'route' for money others had lost and blown away to the pockets where debris collects. He has found over $90 in a day that way. He would do his dance when he'd find valuable items that he could get casino cash for. How he loved going to the casinos around the U.S.
Some of his favorite finds he would give to children; toys, balls and other items...the recreational center got many of those finds. He greeted folks in town for tourism and handed out Williams badges.
Though some saw him as a homeless bum and shunned him, I am proud to call him friend and miss him terribly now that he's gone from this earth.
I loved him like my own brother that I lost in 2013 and am heartbroken that he's not here.
I will see him again in heaven, when it's my time to go. You'll have to wait for me, Larry, I have a lot of God's work to complete first.
Robert E. Robinson