It has been almost three years since Larry Fox, veteran, RCL Branch # 80 member and Midland boy died on June 9, 2019 at 83.
Born Sepember 5, 1935, Larry grew up on Norene Street. This was back in the day when Alvin Steers Gas Station, Madame Modova’s and the Parkside stretched along Yonge Street by Little Lake.Everything west of the Hartman and McCullough farms and Ingram's sugar-bush was forest and field in those days.
In 1949, Larry liked to practise shooting his .22 calibre, picking off targets from ever greater distances.
Robert Popple wrote a book on Larry’s later exploits entitled Cold War Warrior and I recommend it as a mixture of rousing spy story and boy’s own adventure.
Major-General Lewis MacKenzie wrote the Introduction. We follow Larry through Eastern Europe engaging with the Russians as apparently an espionage courier for Britain’s S.I.S.
A long way from Ingram’s sugar-bush and his .22 cal.
Midland boys have a penchant for getting into trouble, and Larry was no exception. He got recruited out of the army by a “handler.”
Do we really know if “Mother” was Maurice Oldfield of MI-6, we ask ourselves? This was the Cold War and, after the division of Germany, the borders were redrawn. All this work was clandestine.
“The truth is surrounded by a bodyguard of lies” is the quote. It can be applied at any juncture, whether the propaganda from the Russians, or any operation Larry may or may not have been involved with. We just do not know what the “truth” was, is or will be.
One thing for sure, Larry was a lovely man, imbued with humour and grace.
However, beneath the surface, he suffered. The shattering experiences he had, by their magnitude, marked his character. His oath never to speak of them compounded his suffering. Having multiple traumas and having no one to share them with is a living hell. Think of that when we think of Larry.
Triumph over great adversity and a heroic attitude toward death marked Lawrence Fox in his final months. He died here, in his hometown. We take consolation in having known the man.
René Hackstetter, May 6, 2022.