Passive Echoes

September 15, 1971 - "Bumblebee"




This was the most memorable and comical date of all. Marcia had now met all of his immediate family members except his father, Dr. L. W. Binns, who was affectionately called “Bumblebee.” Larry and Carlton's close friend "Buster" had given him this name because the large dark sunglasses that he wore whenever he was drinking reminded them of a bumblebee’s large eyes.

Larry picked up his father from the hospital and called for Marcia at the usual time on campus. After escorting her to the car and assisting Marcia to the back seat Larry entered the driver’s side of the car. Once seated he formally introduced Marcia to his father who was still dressed in his full length lab coat. 

Them he proceeded to carry his father home. On their way, his father asked him to stop by the liquor store. Once there he told Larry to purchase a fifth of J&B Scotch and to get whatever Larry desired and gave him the money.

While Larry was in the store Marcia engaged in small talk with Larry’s father, asking him about his work day. On his return, Larry was pleasantly surprised to find that his father was actually engaging Marcia in a conversation and appeared comfortable with her.

Marcia had that special gift of interacting with people and was capable of befriending the most unsociable and reticent individual. Larry’s personality was very similar to his father’s. In reality, he was his father’s image.

It was pleasing to see his father taking off his physician’s persona and behaving like a typical dad meeting his son’s very special girlfriend for the first time. His stepmother had spoken glowingly of Marcia and his father was looking forward to meeting her.

After arriving home, Larry’s father expressed that he enjoyed meeting and conversing with Marcia and proceeded upstairs while they retreated to Larry’s lair. Marcia remarked to Larry that she enjoyed meeting and talking with his father.

They talked for a while at the piano as Larry worked on an arrangement of a classic jazz song with Marcia. Larry had shut the door leading to the den area out of habit. Whenever he was composing or arranging and did not wish to be disturbed by members of the family he would simply shut the door leading to the den.

When he desired absolute privacy he would lock the two doors leading to the downstairs living quarters which could be unlocked with a key that only his father and stepmother had a duplicate. This was to prevent his younger sisters from invading his privacy. This night, absolute privacy was not needed and the doors were unlocked.

All of a sudden the door to the den was opened and there stood “Bumblebee,” arrayed in all of his glory! Larry’s very conservative father, just thirty minutes earlier, was now standing there in his smoking jacket and ascot, shades on, a glass of Scotch in hand, and proclaiming loudly in German, "Grüße und Ehrerbietige Grüsse!" Translated this means, “Greetings and Salutations!”

Marcia looked on in total shock, open-mouthed and astonished. She leaned over and whispered to Larry very timidly, “What is going on here?” Larry continued playing the piano, amused at Marcia’s reaction. Then he said imperturbably, “You met Dr. B., now you are meeting Bumblebee." "Bumblebee?", she responded. Her facial expression reflected complete confusion and utter surprise.

Larry’s father walked over casually and asked what they were working on. Marcia, now bent over in laughter rather than frightened, listened as Larry informed his father that Marcia was an opera major and had an amazing voice. He explained that they were just exploring and playing around with a few jazz arrangements. His father left to sit down and asked them to please continue while he listened and observed.

This would later become a tradition whenever Marcia was around and his father was at home. He was quite taken and impressed with Marcia and admired her talent, intelligence, beauty and personality.

Larry later discovered that his entire family were all in communication with each other about this gorgeous and wonderful young lady and were hoping that they would seriously commit to each other.

As the evening progressed, Marcia and Larry’s father talked extensively while Larry worked on a new composition for class on the other side of the den near the piano. He wanted them to get acquainted without interference from him. After several hours of conversation his father smiled and said goodnight to Marcia.

As Larry walked with him to the stairway leading upstairs he exhorted him, “Don’t mess up things with Marcia, son. She is definitely a keeper.” Larry locked all the doors and returned to the den to spend the remainder of the evening with Marcia.

This was "the first time" ((Marcia also introduced Larry to the music of Roberta Flack) in three dates that they could actually spend some quality time together completely alone without interruption. They enjoyed a good laugh together while talking about Larry’s father. Marcia said to him, “Now I really know where you get your intelligence and craziness from.”

They discussed their relationship for a while and Marcia expressed how much she had enjoyed the past three days and finally meeting his relatives. This was an indication to her that he really valued her and was truly committed.

It was disturbing to her in ’68 when he failed to invite her to his home and “formally” introduce her to his family. The remainder of the evening was more serious in nature and revealing about their mutual love, a love that she manifested but had yet spoken. However, it was as Marcia expressed earlier in a moment of reflection:

"I hoped that he could see in my eyes, in my smile, that I very much desired to be with and get closer to him like never before”.




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