BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
The Rockland County Times received word on Tuesday that Larry Clay Dillard, a fixture in the Haverstraw and greater Rockland community, had died earlier that morning.
Larry was a lawyer known among other things for his willingness to represent deserving folks who could not otherwise afford decent representation and was also a former Rockland Community College trustee.
He was a friend to some on staff at the Rockland County Times and our condolences go out to his wife and other family.
It would be appropriate to share a few stories about Larry Clay Dillard at this time.
You see the timing of his death is a bit difficult as he had visited the Rockland County Times office in Nanuet just this past Friday to submit a handwritten request for coverage and investigation of assaults against day laborers occurring in Spring Valley. It was the first time he’d contacted the Rockland County Times since August 2009, when he wanted to clarify that “the German tourist was black.”
What’s that mean you say? Well, another Rockland newspaper had reported the mugging of a German tourist in Haverstraw without mentioning the race of the victim, while showing the photos of the black assailants, thus perpetuated the stereotype of black on white violence (after all most Germans are assumed to be white). Well, in fact, it was a case of black on black violence.
Larry, an African-American, was never one to settle for political correctness and so he thought all the facts should be laid on the table so that the stereotype could be shown to be an illusion. The Rockland County Times to this day is the only newspaper to report that “the German tourist was black” thanks to the scoop provided by Mr. Dillard.
Larry was a spiritual man and since suffering a stroke two years ago, he had taken to passing out Biblical scripture verses printed on small stationary to friends and people that he crossed paths with. The verse he left at the Rockland County Times on Friday was Luke 21:33, which seems to have foretold of what would come to pass just a few days later.
The verse reads, “Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away.”
The word. The Bible also says in John 1, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.”
That’s deep stuff and maybe it’s something Larry can now understand better than those of us left behind.
Rest in Peace Larry, may you be with God. You were a pleasure to know and thank you for visiting our office on Friday out of the blue, to say goodbye as fate would have it.