Hello all. My name is Renee Chernus. I was Larry’s younger sister. Carolyn and Will asked me to kick off this website as (aside from our 94-year-old Mom) I have the oldest memories about Larry. While it would take a book to go through Larry’s life, and others have their own stories from Larry’s adult life, here are some of the fondest memories of growing up with Larry with the hope of giving you a fuller picture of my most wonderful and adored brother.
Larry and I grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. Our parents, Sarah and Al Rasky, were true believers in the American Dream, and raised Larry and me to be true believers as well. They instilled in both of us a strong sense of self, idealism and that we could grow up to be anything we wanted to be. They were dedicated to providing us all of the educational opportunities available. Our Dad was a WWII vet, but like most in his generation, never talked about it. My parents had a great relationship. Our house was filled with love, fun, music (Mom was a great singer, which unfortunately was a trait that she didn’t pass onto her children), books and lively conversations. Tennis was the family game. We were and remained very close. We were Democrats through and through, and a little bit “Ozzie and Harriet” and “Leave it to Beaver.” Our favorite family album (until Larry discovered the Grateful Dead) was Tom Lehrer’s “That was the Year that Was.” Larry’s favorite game was, of course, Stratego. As the younger sister, I looked up to him and admired Larry and everything he did.
Larry was born with a love for politics. On every election night I can remember Larry would draw a map of the United States and lie on the floor in front of the TV (black and white) with a red and blue pencil, keeping track of all results and all races, always smiling when he colored a state blue and frowning at the reds. When I was young, I just assumed it was something boys did. As I got older, I realized it was not so commonplace but rather something that Larry did. My parents always wanted Larry to go to law school but had to settle for me going instead, and Larry going into Public Relations and working for and with great people.
Larry was a fantastic older brother. When we were young and lived in a garden apartment, he always made sure that I was included in all of the games that were being played. He loved to sneak the football to me as no one thought I would be carrying it so I could run for the touchdown. Sports were always on the TV and Larry and Dad could spend hours watching every sport imaginable, and every week we had to watch that poor skier wipe out at the beginning of “The Wonderful World of Sports.” Larry loved sharing his music with the family, even when my parents would look at him like he was crazy. He took me to concerts with him and introduced me to his favorite music (we all know what that is).
I remember how proud and happy Larry was to introduce Roy and me to Carolyn, the love of his life. He was so excited when Will “the Thrill” was born and continued to be so proud of him and was so happy when Will and Becca got married. I also remember how proud and happy he was to show us the Paradigm office, where he and Allen Stern spearheaded Ray Flynn’s successful campaign for mayor; and his office on Franklin Street, where he built an incredible business working on both his political and corporate strategies.
He was very honored to work on all of the campaigns he did and cherished all of the friendships he made. I am so happy for him that he got to see Vice President Biden’s, a man he truly loved and admired, big turnaround this year. He never lost the faith and told me numerous times, “Just wait for South Carolina.”
I will miss him dearly and love him always.
And so, in remembering my very dear brother, I know that he would be happiest if you just let song fill the air.