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Larry Newman and his Ruby Mod HeislerOur colleague Lawrence (Larry) H. Newman passed away in the early hours of 30 January 2017. I first met Larry in 1982 at the Panhandle Gem and Mineral Society in Pensacola, while taking gem polishing and metal working workshops. Soon after his employment with an iconic soft-drink company soured, Larry decided to become independent and make jewelry full time. He and Michelle (Chellie) Davis acquired a business license in 1987 and they created and produced jewelry which they sold at specialized art shows through the next few years. With Jerry Reshew's emphasis on “Arts” being added to the steamup, Chellie told Larry that he should bring their custom jewelry to the steamup. And so, after being lured to Diamondhead in 2003, Larry became hooked on live steam. The international Small Scale Steamup soon became his favorite show.

Responding to the challenge of transforming the Ruby into other types of engines, Larry designed and built a Mason-Bogie, a steam truck (Steam in the Garden July/August 2009, No. 106) and his trademark Heisler, made from an Accucraft Ruby and his own custom parts. He enjoyed posting his building progress on live steam forums, where he provided detailed illustrated reports of each of these projects. He chose the nom de plume 'Redbeard” to fit with his railroad theme of 'Pirate Mines.'

One easily remembers Larry’s famous smile which was the introduction to his warm and friendly personality, He was always interested in talking, trading, and searching for new ideas. You might also learn of his many and varied experiences ranging from racing and restoring cars to gemstones and metal casting. The list of Larry’s interests went on and on.

He was very dedicated to the care and assistance of his aging mother and responded as well to several health crises among family members. With his concern for the well-being of others in his extended family, he did not equally attend his own health care symptoms. At Diamondhead he complained of memory lapse and leg cramping. He especially enjoyed this gathering but was deeply stressed by the passing of Tom Myers. Larry was also an elder in his church and active in the choir, always with a sympathetic ear ready to console folks enduring hardships.

Larry steamed whenever he could with the Tallahassee Live Steamers; especially at the annual train show. He was contemplating new projects and designing more 7/8ths-inch rolling stock. He was even toying with the idea of a steam creation in HO scale. But these will just be the stuff of his creative dreams.

Redbeard, you will be missed!!