Where is Clyde Edgerton’s Larry Lime

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 18, 2011

Clyde Edgerton is still looking for Larry Lime Holman.
Maybe Larry Lime, or somebody who knows him, will see and hear Edgerton talk about Larry Lime on UNC-TVís North Carolina Bookwatch this afternoon at 5 p.m.
Larry Lime Holman and Edgerton were friends back in the 1960s when they were growing up in Bethesda, a small town near Durham. But their friendship could not go too far, not back then in the small segregated southern town when Edgerton was white and Holman was black.
Edgerton tells a great story about how the two boys once played basketball against each other. Ordinarily, Holmanís black school and Edgertonís white school were not allowed to compete against each other in athletics. But the two boys and their friends broke into the small Old Bethesda School gym and play a game of basketball, whites against blacks.
Edgerton and Holman got away with their secret basketball game. But a few days later, when the two boys were shooting baskets at a goal in Edgertonís backyard, Edgertonís dad told the boys that Holman would have to leave. The neighbors might complain.
The two men lost track of each other. But Edgerton remembers Larry Lime. He says Holman inspired one of the important characters in Edgertonís latest book, ěThe Night Train.î
The fictional character inspired by Larry Lime Holman is named Larry Lime Nolan. Do you wonder why Edgerton did not change the name just a little more? There is a reason. Edgerton hopes Larry Lime will hear about the book and or that someone else will make the connection and help put the two old friends back in touch.
The fictional Larry Lime, like the real one, lived in a segregated southern town in the early 1960s and has a white friend who is about the same age. As with Holman and Edgerton, the fictional friendship is complicated and restricted by ěthe way things were.î
Both boys are talented musicians. Larry Lime has been trained in church music, but wants to play jazz like Thelonious Monk. His white friend, however, wants to be another James Brown. The musical ambitions of both boys make Edgertonís story sing.
Edgertonís crafty use of music and humor do not cover up his deep uneasiness about the indefensible racial caste system that relegated blacks to second-class status in those times.
One of his black characters speaks the angry words Edgerton knows many other blacks who lived back then might also say, ěYou-all afraid if we take over we might treat yíall like you treated us. And you might be right.î
One reviewer concludes that ěThe Night Trainî is Edgertonís ěmost compelling novel in years.î
But an even more compelling story would be a reunion of Larry Lime and Clyde.
So keep on the lookout for Larry Lime. If you find him, you will be a hero ó at least in Clyde Edgertonís book.
D.G. Martin hosts UNC-TVís “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which usually airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. But next Sundayís (November27) program will be preempted by special UNC-TV fundraising programming.
For more information or to view prior programs visit the webpage at www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch/
Next weekís (Friday, November 25) guest is Jeffrey Deaver, author of ěCarte Blanche.î
Chapel Hillís Jeffrey Deaver has written an up-to-date 007 mystery featuring a James Bond revised for modern times. Deaver is a very popular and bestselling author of a host of thriller novels. The estate of Ian Fleming, the original author of the James Bond series, commissioned Deaver to write the new book, ěCarte Blanche.î It is set in current times. The original Bond would be about 90 years old if he were still living today, but Deaverís newer version of Bond was born in 1979 and recently served in Afghanistan. Although he reminds us of the original Bond, he is a brand new model.