The early 1960s in Springdale, Arkansas, were colorful to young Larry Daniel in spite of the all-white upbringing the town had provided him. He’d thought he was rich growing up. His dad flew him around in his personal airplane to resort locations. A ski boat, tickets on the fifty-yard line at Razorback Stadium, and a membership at the country club were some of the other benefits of his childhood.
His father, Lemus Daniel, was a successful businessman, and famous musicians among others were a part of his inner circle. He was fun-loving, popular, and generous, but deeply lacking in impulse control and far too trusting for his own good. Turning 11 for the son brought an introduction to women that weren’t his mother and his father’s coming-of-age ritual, alcohol. The fast lane had his father blinded to what was important, which helped get him set up for a big fall from someone that he’d considered a friend.
When everything went down it was without a soft landing. After word had been passed down from the top, Lemus had suddenly drawn the ire of a rogue cop with a grudge. He was effectively smeared and eventually run out of town. Set adrift, the boy was doomed to fail.
At 15, Larry was kicked out of school, roughed up by his dad who’d returned to set him straight, and ran away from home. Walking the streets of a neighboring town among other runaways and returning war veterans, he experimented with substances and panhandled for spare change. Many months later, he was retrieved by his notorious father and brought home after he’d returned from his own exile. After father and son reunite, a perilous walk on the dark edges of society, follows. It would be another decade before Larry Daniel took an honest breath and began the road to redemption.
Ugly truths reveal a young man who struggles mightily, but survives and contributes to society in a big way. Meanwhile, the father writes a tell-all about his downfall and the Feds get involved. Parts of his manuscript are included in the story of this wild ride.