Friday, July 20 , 2018, 5:35 pm | Fair 73º


Paul Burri: Larry Crandell, An Instant Old Friend

A chance meeting turns into a lasting — even lively — friendship

There are thousands of people in Santa Barbara who speak very highly of Larry Crandell.

Paul Burri
Paul Burri

Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. Larry has pulled this one on me hundreds of times, and this was my opportunity to finally get him back.

There are a few events that should be noted as once-in-a-lifetime occasions. One of those events was when I accidentally met a man who is locally famous. Or is it infamous? I can never get it straight. It happened about a year ago, and I now wish that I had recorded the exact date, although I’m not sure why.

Anyway, I was looking for the men’s room when I wandered into his cluttered office and we started talking. It was about two hours later that I left — still needing the men’s room — but knowing that I had met a new friend.

Since then, Larry and I have met and talked over breakfast and lunch many times. Well, that’s not exactly correct either. Larry talks; I listen (except, of course, when he is saying hello to his many friends who pass by our table, which happens frequently). No matter, it’s always a pleasure to be with him because he always has an interesting story to tell. And he never lets the truth ruin a good story.

So there we are — two old guys telling each other outrageous and preposterous lies about our past triumphs, successes, conquests and achievements, and trying to convince the other that they’re true. We both know that the other guy is on the verge of senility and can’t really remember what he had for breakfast that day.

I was pleased to hear and will always remember what he said to me that first day as I was leaving his office. He said, “I consider you to be an ‘instant old friend.’”

Right after that he asked to borrow some money.

— Paul Burri is an entrepreneur, inventor, columnist, engineer and iconoclast. He is not in the advertising business, but he is a small-business counselor with the Santa Barbara chapter of Counselors to America’s Small Business-SCORE. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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