Sunday, June 18, 2006

Laymond Hardy At Home And In The Woods




Last month, May 21st I think it was, I ran some photos in this blog of Laymond Hardy "robbing" his beehives, getting the honey out of them. Laymond was in his early 50's back then about 1973, so now he'd be well into his 80's, and I hadn't seen or heard from him in probably 25 years. Last night I got an Email from his sister Jo Ann in Lake City, FL. I never even knew that he had a sister.

She didn't tell me how she'd run across the photos of her brother, and we were too busy talking about how he was doing to worry about it. He's 84 now and living in an assisted living facility. Jo Ann moved him up there to be near her. She said his health is pretty good other than being a bit forgetful, a typical short term memory problem. I now have his phone number and plan on giving him a call this week.

I decided to look for some more photos of Laymond. I thought Jo Ann would like them. He was a science teacher, naturalist and writer. He and I spent a week camping and photographing on an island in Charlotte Harbor near Placida, FL back in the early 70's. The first picture shows him in his living room in Miami, in the second shot he's playing his harmonica, and in the third shot he's doing the sensible thing when you're on an island in the Florida summertime without air conditioning and there's no breeze ~ siesta time! He was pretty dang good with that harmonica.

4 Comments:

Anonymous LN said...

I told my Uncle Laymond about seeing pictures of him on your site and he was pleased to be remembered.I have always enjoyed hearing him play the harmonica - I enjoy your photos too.Thanks.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous DON STEWART said...

LAYMOND WAS MY MENTOR FOR MANY YEARS, FROM ABOUT 15 YEARS OLD (ME, NOT LAYMOND) (CIRCA 1955), WE SLOGGED THROUGH MANY MILES OF MUD, SWAMPS, JUNGLES, ETC, IN SEARCH OF ORCHIDS, SNAILS, FERNS, ANY EXCUSE TO GET INTO THE WILD WAS ENOUGH TO GET US EXCITED. AT ABOUT 30 YEARS OLD(ME) WE DRIFTED APART, I HAD A FAMILY TO TEND TO. WE VISITED OFF AND ON FOR ANOTHER 30 OR SO YEARS. LAST TIME I WENT TO SAEE HIM HE LIVED IN A TRAILER IN IMMOKALEE. I WILL NEVER FORGET HIM AND THE ADVENTURES WE HADTELL HIM I MISS HIM! DON STEWART, RASMUTN@COMCAST.NET

6:03 PM  
Anonymous ross said...

My name is ross. I am looking for Laymond, I haven't heard from him in a few years. Is he still alive?
I haven't seen him since he moved to Lake City. If you have info please reply. My number is 239-334-4161. e-mail koresh1896@yahoo.com

9:16 AM  
Anonymous John P. Crowder said...

I met Laymond in the early 1970s when I was working with the Fish & Wildlife Service on a thing called the "South Florida Environmental Study," a multiple-agency effort that resulted in this report:
http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/papers/pp1011/

The study was the brainchild of Nat Reed, a well-known Florida environmentalist then serving as an Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish & Wildlife and Parks. Laymond was a very useful source of information for our part of the work, which involved the characterization of fish and wildlife resources and identification of threats to their
continued viability.

In 1974, Laymond and I and 8 or 10 somewhat unconventional biologists and others participated in the "North American Yeti Expedition," a search for the mythical Bigfoot in the area around Mount St. Helens. A film of that activity was made which has some of Laymond's original harmonica music for much of its musical background. I believe there is some footage in the film of Laymond playing his harmonica.The music is one of those catchy tunes that is difficult to get out of one's mind, an observation shared by others.

Guess what? We did not find Bigfoot!

Link to film information: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195825/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195825/combined

The second link includes a puff piece on the expedition leader, Robert Morgan, which should be read with a large grain of salt.

The last time I saw Laymond was about 7 or 8 years ago in Felda, Florida, where he was living in a trailer and working for an entrepreneur who had all kinds of things going--prickly pear cactus farming, orchid research, saw palmetto fruit gathering, and commercialization of Brazilian pepper, that pestiferous exotic tree that has invaded so much of the south Florida landscape. While briefly in the Felda area, I took a tour of the Fakahatchee Strand with Laymond, who had not been there in some time and had no personal transportation. He had been there many times before, but still seemed to greatly enjoy the experience. While standing on the road through the Strand, we observed an approximately 9-foot long alligator swimming toward us, which crossed under the road via a culvert, the upstream end of which was just a couple of feet from where we stood. We both were pleased that it chose to go under the road instead of across it.

Laymond survived as basically a one-man biological consultant for over 50 years. I hope he is still alive and reasonably well. He is a unique individual.

John P. Crowder

3:39 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home