Some may wonder why there’s a page named “Cheeseburger”. Well, when Larry was a sophomore in high school, he was given that nickname by one of his football teammates. Because, as the teammate observed, he reminded him of Mayor McCheese from the McDonalds commercials because of Larry’s “shape” at the time. Well, needless to say, Larry grew out of that shape, but not out of the nickname. Ever since then, Larry would be known as “Cheese”, “Cheeseburger”, or “Burger”.
Anyone who knew Larry also knew how special a person he was. No matter the circumstance, there was going to be at least a smile, if not a full blown laugh. He cared deeply for family and friends. A gentle soul that would also fiercely protect those he loved.
There is no doubt that there is an empty spot in each of our lives since we tragically lost him. He has made many memories to sustain us as we mourn and grieve his passing.
In addition to benefiting a worthy cause, this event is meant to continue to add to that impressive archive of wonderful memories and moments he has left with us. We could fill volumes with adventure, misadventure, laughter, caring, silliness, and so on.
Let us continue to add to these volumes by having a wonderful event and tournament remembering how special of a person he was. The mood for this event is carefree and anything goes, just like the Cheeseburger. Whenever Larry played golf, it was to have fun. He did not carry a handicap, never bought a club or bag, and the only reason he bought golf shoes was because none of his brother’s shoes were big enough to fit him. This was not because he did not enjoy playing; it was because he took the camaraderie and the time with family and friends much more seriously than he ever took a round of golf. That is the spirit of this event and of Larry.
We know he bought golf balls because one of the first times he played in Ponte Vedra, Larry showed up with a spanking brand new value pack of 18 golf balls. He was playing the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course with the famed 17th island green. Well, by the time he had reached 17, Larry had hit every one of those balls into water hazards that dominate that course. He proceeded to borrow 3 more balls to put into the lake around 17 before he landed one on the green, did a little dance, and yelled “That’s Right!”. Now every time we play, we throw a brand new ball into the first water hazard we come to, and say whatever we feel like to “Cheese”.
Larry never failed to bring an air of lightness to whatever event he attended. If ever someone walked in the door and you thought to yourself, “Now we are going to have some fun”, he was that person. Here is to you Cheese, we love you, we miss you, we will never forget you, and we look forward to seeing you again.
Although this event will bear the name Larry Bray Memorial, we also honor and remember at this event two special loved ones we lost in the same year as Larry.
- Tommie Scott Bray – “Ah Mama” – 11/15/1936 – 09/22/2006
- Diether John Jaksch, Sr. – “Papa Diether”- 4/21/1941 – 10/12/2007
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you with me that you also may be where I am.
— John 14:2