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Larry the lawn chair guy and the spirit of flight


Up, up and away...


By Charles Towne


The dream of man. Would you like to fly? I have dreamed of flying, like in; flap your arms and fly! But darn it, every time I wake up I am still earthbound.

Larry dreamed of flying. You may have heard of him. He was also known as Lawn-chair Larry. Back in July of 1982 Larry took 42 large weather balloons, filled them with helium, and tied them to his lawn chair. Then he tied several plastic gallon milk jugs filled with water on the chair for ballast, and with some peanut butter sandwiches, strapped a parachute on his back and had a friend sever his mooring line.

I don’t know what Larry expected but it wasn’t what he got. He thought he was going to float slowly up to about thirty feet, look around for awhile and descend, but that isn’t what happened. When the line that was keeping Larry earthbound was severed, ZOOM!

He was up, up, and away! Over fifteen thousand feet away!

He came to a stop up there about three miles above the earth! The wind carried him into sight of several jetliners near the L.A. International airport. As it turned out Larry shot several of the balloons with an air rifle that he had carried with him for the purpose and slowly descended. Larry was asked three questions and I thought his answers were interesting.

Question # 1, “Would you do it again?” To which he answered, “No thanks!”

Question # 2, “Are you sorry you did it?” To which he answered with a grin, “No way!”

Querstion #3, "Why did you do it?" He said, “A man can’t just sit around.” Which to my way of thinking is quite a statement when your claim to fame is tied to sitting in a lawn chair.

Larry dreamed of flying, he flew. What is your dream, and what are you doing to see it realized?



Live simply,

Love generously,

Trust God, and make a difference, today.

Charles Towne is a longtime Apopka resident, member of Insp!re Church and a published author.

Charles Towne, Inspiration