I discovered today that my long-time friend Larry Kramer — no, not the writer Larry Kramer, but one Charles L. Kramer who lived in Los Angeles for decades, until his move to suburban Austin TX back in 2006 — has died, at age 70. This was a situation I’ve feared and which finally came to pass. We were friends for decades in LA (we met in a gay bicycle club). He moved to Austin in 2006, where I did visit him a couple times, though lastly in 2012. Over the past decade, we usually called or emailed every couple weeks.
He had been a successful business exec, for record companies in Hollywood, for decades, until he decided he could afford to retire. He moved away from LA to suburban Austin TX, primarily (he told me) because as an obsessive bicycle rider, there were lots of roads in that area he could ride on. Despite the fact he knew no one in Austin.
And he did ride his bicycle, obsessively, for many years. Until injuries to his legs and ankles — originating from an injury by an accident with a city bus in Griffith Park, in LA — led to a series to operations and hospital stays over the past decade.
Recently, after not hearing from him for a month (since my birthday on Aug. 30th), a couple days ago another friend of his, one Marcelo, contacted me, that he had not heard from Larry in a couple weeks. I called Larry and called and emailed. No response.
So I did the duty. What do you do when someone far away is out of contact, maybe has died? Alone? I phoned the hospital he was last in; they told me to contact the police; the police referred me to the sheriff; and the sheriff sent someone to his address to do a “well check.” And found him, in his house, deceased, “for a while.”
I’ve contacted the couple of his friends that I know of. I don’t know what happens next.
As we get older, we are more and more alone.