I “met” Larrey Anderson, senior editor of American Thinker, in early November of 2008 just after Barack Obama won his first term as president. I was sick and appalled and sat down and wrote my first American Thinker column. It was a 2600-word rant and I wasn’t sure that it would ever be published but I felt better having released some of my anger and disappointment in the electorate. I sent it in on the Thursday after the election and on Friday afternoon my phone rang. 

“Is this Lauri Regan? This is Larrey Anderson from American Thinker.” My heart stopped. Larrey, along with Thomas Lifson, Richard Baehr, and Ed Lasky were my idols. They taught me more than I likely learned in my four years of undergrad and they helped form my political views.  They also provided me today’s equivalent of a “safe space” to visit daily while surrounded by the insanity of living in one the country’s liberal bastions and among a majority of individuals who lacked common sense and the ability to reason. 

Larrey spent the next three days patiently enduring my phone calls and emails as I tried to figure out how to whittle 2600 words down to the 1200 allotted to published columns. He supported me, educated me, and had faith in me and this latter point in particular made all the difference in leading me to the point where I am today. 

My column, How the Voters Bought into Obama, was published and Larrey became my editor for the many others that quickly followed. Recognizing that “a good life must have friendship and love,” Larrey opened his heart and we quickly became dear friends to the point that he began to refer to me as “Lil Sis” and me to him as “Big Bro.”

Over the years I learned a lot about Larrey.  He was a Harvard graduate who was told in second grade that he tested at a second-year college level and whose IQ rivaled that of Albert Einstein.  He was a musician and composer, state senator, editor and author, husband, son and father. 

Most importantly, I learned what a brilliant, yet troubled philosopher/thinker he was, how he suffered from severe, chronic pain due to a devastating accident that occurred years earlier, and how the combination of the two led to major depression that he constantly struggled to manage. I spoke often to his amazing and supportive wife, sometimes co-author, and constant source of strength, Eileen McDevitt. I listened to the CD he sent me of the music he recorded with his beautiful daughter, enjoyed hearing stories about his adopted son who was a star football player turned father extraordinaire, and read about his cherished dogs that he occasionally wrote about on AT. 

One of my favorite early columns that I published was a review of one of Larrey’s novels, Underground: Life and Survival in the Russian Black Market, which was a memoir about the time that he spent living in Russia helping seven women in their quest for freedom. At the time I wrote: 

In Larrey, they sensed honesty and humanity little found in their world. The reader quickly discovers that that trust was rightfully placed, as Larrey illuminatingly and candidly bares his soul to the reader.

Like those Russian women, I was one of the lucky few who truly got to know Larrey. He was the most intense person I have ever met. He was without a doubt the deepest thinker I imagine most people have ever known. And he was the most generous, kind, honest man who quickly turned from being my editor to a dear, dear friend in the blink of an eye. He mentored me and yet he respected me; he trusted me and he shared with me; he taught me and yet he needed me.

Larrey did not just need me; he needed people.  He recognized that “human consciousness and self-consciousness are shared” and he used that knowledge – and common sense — to “find and share the good in human life.” 

In Larrey’s last year, he began a blog entitled Life and Reason in which he explored “the struggles of surviving chronic pain, the devastation to family members, the despair and struggle with suicide, the fear that one is losing their talents, skills and even mind, and [his] personal pursuit to understand the reasoning of humankind.”  In a series of essays and videos, and with his wife Eileen and daughter Laura nearby filming, Larrey opened his soul in order to help others who may suffer similar pains as he explained that he wanted “to provide a kind of intimacy grounded and embedded in a love of reason and a desire to know the good, to have the good life.”  But he also exposed the depth of his journey of living what he described as a “reasonable life.”

At some point, I sadly lost touch with Larrey. I’m not sure why or how. His life was complicated and his health deteriorated; my life was busy as a young working mother; we needed each other and yet time did not permit what was required in order to maintain our closeness from opposite sides of the country. I have spent years regretting our loss of connection while also thinking about Larrey almost daily knowing that I am the woman, writer, thinker, patriot, and person I am today in great part due to his generosity, kindness, wisdom, support and love. I will always feel blessed and honored to have been a part of Larrey’s life and I will cherish the profound purpose and knowledge that he has added to mine. I will continue to apply his wisdom implementing reason in order to achieve a good life while accepting that I will never attain perfection.

I cannot articulate in 1200 words how much Larrey taught me but one of my favorite lessons he imparted occurred when I once said to him, “Great minds think alike.” He responded, “No, great minds think.”

In Underground Larrey shared:

I had made a deal with God, one night when I was twelve or thirteen, that I would someday write great stories for Him to read.

I hope readers take the time to visit Larrey’s blog and absorb his insights and experiences in a way that helps them live a good and reasonable life.  May you all take Larrey’s words of wisdom[1] with you on your life’s journeys. And my dear friend and Big Bro, Larrey Dee, may you finally rest in peace while joyfully spending eternity sharing your great stories with Him. 

[1] Examples of some of Larrey’s insights:

On Common Sense and Intuition Larrey recognizes that “Americans no longer have the ability to communicate with each other on the issues that matter most to our nation” and addresses the notion that a “Faustian bargain for easy answers to life’s difficult questions is satisfied by the surrender of common sense.”

On Life and Reason:  “America is the land of talking points and recycled rhetoric. Debate and discussion feed upon recursive sound bites like a spinning snake attempting to swallow its own tail. Consensus on political, moral, and spiritual issues cannot be advanced with re-recited sound bites. We must be able to think sensibly before we can thoughtfully communicate. This requires a reasonable account of reason.”

On his love of writing:  “I’ve gone through a dozen dictionaries. Worn them out. Language is an obsession. I think it has to be for a great writer.”

On perfecting the art of writing:  “A writer should always be working to perfect his craft – and, at the same time, understand that perfection is unattainable. This characteristic (seeking perfection) mirrors the most important trait of the philosopher – who seeks the truth – knowing that the truth, as a whole, is unattainable. Writers and philosophers are dream chasers.”

On writer’s block: BUT do not stop reading. Do not stop thinking, dreaming, writing the book in your head as you go to sleep – things like that.

 

I “met” Larrey Anderson, senior editor of American Thinker, in early November of 2008 just after Barack Obama won his first term as president. I was sick and appalled and sat down and wrote my first American Thinker column. It was a 2600-word rant and I wasn’t sure that it would ever be published but I felt better having released some of my anger and disappointment in the electorate. I sent it in on the Thursday after the election and on Friday afternoon my phone rang. 

“Is this Lauri Regan? This is Larrey Anderson from American Thinker.” My heart stopped. Larrey, along with Thomas Lifson, Richard Baehr, and Ed Lasky were my idols. They taught me more than I likely learned in my four years of undergrad and they helped form my political views.  They also provided me today’s equivalent of a “safe space” to visit daily while surrounded by the insanity of living in one the country’s liberal bastions and among a majority of individuals who lacked common sense and the ability to reason. 

Larrey spent the next three days patiently enduring my phone calls and emails as I tried to figure out how to whittle 2600 words down to the 1200 allotted to published columns. He supported me, educated me, and had faith in me and this latter point in particular made all the difference in leading me to the point where I am today. 

My column, How the Voters Bought into Obama, was published and Larrey became my editor for the many others that quickly followed. Recognizing that “a good life must have friendship and love,” Larrey opened his heart and we quickly became dear friends to the point that he began to refer to me as “Lil Sis” and me to him as “Big Bro.”

Over the years I learned a lot about Larrey.  He was a Harvard graduate who was told in second grade that he tested at a second-year college level and whose IQ rivaled that of Albert Einstein.  He was a musician and composer, state senator, editor and author, husband, son and father. 

Most importantly, I learned what a brilliant, yet troubled philosopher/thinker he was, how he suffered from severe, chronic pain due to a devastating accident that occurred years earlier, and how the combination of the two led to major depression that he constantly struggled to manage. I spoke often to his amazing and supportive wife, sometimes co-author, and constant source of strength, Eileen McDevitt. I listened to the CD he sent me of the music he recorded with his beautiful daughter, enjoyed hearing stories about his adopted son who was a star football player turned father extraordinaire, and read about his cherished dogs that he occasionally wrote about on AT. 

One of my favorite early columns that I published was a review of one of Larrey’s novels, Underground: Life and Survival in the Russian Black Market, which was a memoir about the time that he spent living in Russia helping seven women in their quest for freedom. At the time I wrote: 

In Larrey, they sensed honesty and humanity little found in their world. The reader quickly discovers that that trust was rightfully placed, as Larrey illuminatingly and candidly bares his soul to the reader.

Like those Russian women, I was one of the lucky few who truly got to know Larrey. He was the most intense person I have ever met. He was without a doubt the deepest thinker I imagine most people have ever known. And he was the most generous, kind, honest man who quickly turned from being my editor to a dear, dear friend in the blink of an eye. He mentored me and yet he respected me; he trusted me and he shared with me; he taught me and yet he needed me.

Larrey did not just need me; he needed people.  He recognized that “human consciousness and self-consciousness are shared” and he used that knowledge – and common sense — to “find and share the good in human life.” 

In Larrey’s last year, he began a blog entitled Life and Reason in which he explored “the struggles of surviving chronic pain, the devastation to family members, the despair and struggle with suicide, the fear that one is losing their talents, skills and even mind, and [his] personal pursuit to understand the reasoning of humankind.”  In a series of essays and videos, and with his wife Eileen and daughter Laura nearby filming, Larrey opened his soul in order to help others who may suffer similar pains as he explained that he wanted “to provide a kind of intimacy grounded and embedded in a love of reason and a desire to know the good, to have the good life.”  But he also exposed the depth of his journey of living what he described as a “reasonable life.”

At some point, I sadly lost touch with Larrey. I’m not sure why or how. His life was complicated and his health deteriorated; my life was busy as a young working mother; we needed each other and yet time did not permit what was required in order to maintain our closeness from opposite sides of the country. I have spent years regretting our loss of connection while also thinking about Larrey almost daily knowing that I am the woman, writer, thinker, patriot, and person I am today in great part due to his generosity, kindness, wisdom, support and love. I will always feel blessed and honored to have been a part of Larrey’s life and I will cherish the profound purpose and knowledge that he has added to mine. I will continue to apply his wisdom implementing reason in order to achieve a good life while accepting that I will never attain perfection.

I cannot articulate in 1200 words how much Larrey taught me but one of my favorite lessons he imparted occurred when I once said to him, “Great minds think alike.” He responded, “No, great minds think.”

In Underground Larrey shared:

I had made a deal with God, one night when I was twelve or thirteen, that I would someday write great stories for Him to read.

I hope readers take the time to visit Larrey’s blog and absorb his insights and experiences in a way that helps them live a good and reasonable life.  May you all take Larrey’s words of wisdom[1] with you on your life’s journeys. And my dear friend and Big Bro, Larrey Dee, may you finally rest in peace while joyfully spending eternity sharing your great stories with Him. 

[1] Examples of some of Larrey’s insights:

On Common Sense and Intuition Larrey recognizes that “Americans no longer have the ability to communicate with each other on the issues that matter most to our nation” and addresses the notion that a “Faustian bargain for easy answers to life’s difficult questions is satisfied by the surrender of common sense.”

On Life and Reason:  “America is the land of talking points and recycled rhetoric. Debate and discussion feed upon recursive sound bites like a spinning snake attempting to swallow its own tail. Consensus on political, moral, and spiritual issues cannot be advanced with re-recited sound bites. We must be able to think sensibly before we can thoughtfully communicate. This requires a reasonable account of reason.”

On his love of writing:  “I’ve gone through a dozen dictionaries. Worn them out. Language is an obsession. I think it has to be for a great writer.”

On perfecting the art of writing:  “A writer should always be working to perfect his craft – and, at the same time, understand that perfection is unattainable. This characteristic (seeking perfection) mirrors the most important trait of the philosopher – who seeks the truth – knowing that the truth, as a whole, is unattainable. Writers and philosophers are dream chasers.”

On writer’s block: BUT do not stop reading. Do not stop thinking, dreaming, writing the book in your head as you go to sleep – things like that.

 



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