Everyone should be so fortunate to have a neighbor like Larry Kruse. Larry, who had been my neighbor in Waynedale for 30 years, passed away on May 12 after a short illness, and we certainly will miss him.
Larry was well-known in the Waynedale community for his wonderful garden off Ardmore Avenue, where he grew the best corn and tomatoes. He used to say that there is nothing better than Indiana tomatoes fresh from the garden. For those of us who were not as gifted at gardening as Larry, he always was willing to share a few ears of corn or some ripe, juicy tomatoes with his friends and neighbors.
Larry also loved to cook. For years, Larry grew leeks in his garden, which he would harvest throughout the winter. He used those leeks to make the best Leek and Potato soup you ever tasted. Many times in the winter, our doorbell would ring and Larry would be standing at our side door holding a plastic container of soup for our dinner.
Besides vegetable gardening, Larry loved flowers. Summer at Larry's house meant many beautiful flowers in both his front and back yards. He was especially proud of his Dahlias, which he used for cut flowers. Just this spring when Larry's Daffodils had started blooming, my husband and I came home from a weekend out of town to find a bouquet Larry had left for us.
I can't tell you how many times Larry sat on our patio in the summer and discussed gardening or politics with my husband and me. He could really get going at times about his political views. Another topic he had strong opinions about was our neighborhood, and he didn't shy away from telling us what he thought.
Larry loved his pets and always had a dog and cats as part of the household he shared with his mother. I can still see him walking down the road in front of our house with his dog "Dusty;" and after "Dusty" died, with his new dog, "Bud." I can remember him calling me in tears to tell me his dog or cat had died. Many years ago when I had to take my very first cat for his final trip to the Veterinarian's Office, Larry went with me for support and cried right along with me.
Everyone who knew Larry knew he was quite a character. Everyone knew too that Larry had the kindest, most compassionate heart you would ever find.
And, Larry always was willing to help a friend or neighbor who needed him.