Larry Womack – Curriculum Vitae
Mine was an extraordinary, ordinary life. At its end, my grandson Larry Arace will gift my carcass to Vanderbilt University Medical School and place my self-written obituary in the Nashville Tennessean, Sunday Edition. Obituary: Larry Gordon Womack died.
The last persons to see my complete remains will be a medical student with a scalpel and his professor. The student will say, “So that was his penis.” The professor will chime in, “He evidently ate well.”
When I made my anatomical donation department, Vanderbilt asked if I’d like, whatever is left, to be buried in a shoebox next to my donor wife, Diane. She died in 2004. I declined. Too much ceremony.
My first memory is at four, of my grandfather and I sitting on a day bed while he shows me how to play the harmonica. In elementary school, I was a sissy and frequently picked on. In junior high, I got fat and was bullied. In high school, my fortunes turned. I did impressions of famous singers, became the president of the student body and joined a professional dance band. In college, I hit my stride. Fronting a successful combo, appearing in numerous plays and musical productions. I also became captain of the bowling team and learned how to use my charm to get passing grades, instead of relying on studying.
Returning from a Larry Womack Combo road trip to New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, I met Diane Van Deren, the love of my life. We raised two lovely, very smart, successful daughters. Diane and I had forty years of outrageous fun, passionate love, and career success. She was a case manager for the court system and highly praised by the legal community for her exceptional work. Diane died a decade ago.
While still playing music, I formed an advertising agency. In my twenty years, in advertising, I was recognized for numerous humorous radio and television commercials. Next, I became a marketing, media and management consultant for national and international organizations, and politicians.
In 1996, Dan McArthur and I wrote Outcome Management – There is no future in the past. The book became required reading in twenty-five business schools. Now I write prose, produce YouTube videos, and record music; entertain in my home; enjoy entertainment media and venues; and provide pro bono consulting and advice. For additional fun, I visit my grandson, Larry Arace, (22) Creative Director at Cogent Advertising in NYC and two beautiful crazy granddaughters in WPB.
My life is an open book and can be downloaded from the home page of this site. The manuscript, Don’t Save Me A Place In Heaven – An everyman journey up from faith, is with the Linda Langton International Literary Agency in New York. My editor is acclaimed author and O. Henry Award winner, Robert Schirmer.
THE FATHER OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
In the early morning hours of September 29,1938, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Nazi Germany signed the Munich Agreement effective ceding part of Czechoslovakia to Hitler’s Germany. The purpose of the agreement was to appease Hitler in hopes of preventing World War Two. Czechoslovakia was not invited to the meeting.
Five thousand miles away, just as the final signature was scribed onto the agreement, I was born in the galley of a privateer frigate off the coast of Barbados in the Lesser Antilles. At first mother wanted to name me Ishmael. But her better judgment prevailed and I was named Laurence, after Sir. Laurence Olivier.
Three days later, when the ship entered the harbor at Caracas Venezuela, mother and I rode trains to Mexico City. When we arrived I was three months old. Mother took a job as a dancehall girl in the Me gusta cuando me toque en todo Cantina, I slept in a palm basket in the kitchen where I was watched over by a kindly old chef and breast-fed by my mother during intermissions my mother.
It was in Mexico City where my stepfather met my mother. He was a firefighter from Nashville Tennessee who had been hired by the U.S. Trade Commission to teach fire fighting to Mexicans. After a two-week courtship, he sold his return airline ticket, bought an old Chevy truck and the three of us came to Nashville. Arriving on my first birthday; the day the Nazis and the communist divvyed up Poland.
During my early childhood we lived in a rented house very close to the city dump. So close, in fact, I was four years old before I smelled fresh air. One Sunday my grandfather took me to visit his people in a rural area outside Nashville where I hyperventilated when I exited his car. We had been there two hours before I could breathe normally. Fresh air was a life changing experience.
In high school I was recognized as a scholar in Mediterranean history and was offered a scholarship to Columbia University at the age of fourteen. I turned it down. In Nashville, my mother became a pillar of the community and fingerjointer of the cross at the Methodist Church. She also played piano at the Wednesday night services.
One night while my father was at the firehall, mother, “a male friend” and I went to a local tavern where the drummer passed out for some unknown reason. I filled in and was immediately hired by the bandleader. For the first few months we played around Nashville. But the road called and, for two months, we played our way across the United States. The tour ended in Los Angeles, where the bandleader died. The other musicians elected me leader. Two months later we were hired as the official band of the Perry Como TV Show. I also served as a backup singer for Mr. Como on that show.
It was there I wrote and whistled the theme song for the Andy Griffith Show. Edward Doyle of Doyle Dane & Bernbach Advertising recognized my talents and hired me as creative director for the firm. “You’ll wonder where the yellow went” won me my first advertising award.
I was picked by presidential candidate, Walter F. Mondale, to manage his campaign and moved to Washington DC. Though unsuccessful, the recognition led to lobbying job on K Street where I represented the Arab Emirates, Campbell Soup (Um, Um Good!) and the Hog Growers Association to ensure important legislation was past in the House and the Senate.
While in DC, I was selected as the model for the new Benjamin Franklin one hundred dollar bill (Release date 2014) and sang the National Anthem for President Bill Clinton’s Second Inaugural.
During the preparation for Y2K, I foolishly moved back to Nashville Tennessee to pursue a career in country music as a performer and songwriter. To date I have written over two thousand songs, having won the CMA’s Most Songs Written in One Year Award three years running.
I was recently nominated by the World Sophist Society as one of three individuals who have contributed to preserving its mission of intellectual discourse through relativism, discourse and Socratic reasoning.
Known as the Father of Artificial Intelligence, I now write, relax, and when trouble brews pretend I’m dead. www.pretendyouredead.com