Larry Redalia

 

Larry Redalia was born and raised in the suburbs of the San Francisco Bay Area. He has always preferred to be outdoors in a tree rather than sitting indoors at a desk. Even as a boy he would come home from school and head for the hills behind his house for long hikes. More often than not he would come home with frogs and snakes and lizards and even kittens, so his interest was always in the natural world.

This experience in Nature allowed Larry to develop an unusual ability to “see” Nature, that is, to be able to observe elements of Nature present even in a crowded city. Such as a bird in a nest high on the ledge of a window in a skyscraper.

Larry The Tree Man

Larry harvesting a Christmas tree at a local tree farm.

It was natural for Larry to gravitate to working outdoors. After working for landscape companies to learn the trade, Larry started his own business doing tree work: Larry The Tree Man. His business plan was very simple. He had a big green 1958 Chevy pick-up truck to carry his tools and take the trimmed tree branches to the dump. His marketing method was to drive his truck around neighborhoods looking for trees that needed trimming and leave his business card on the door. With this simple business structure, he had a fairly consistent stream of income that was more than enough for his simple life.

 
Larry loves trees and has always been exceptional in doing his tree work. Instead of random trimming of branches, he uses a special technique of trimming the branches to preserve growth patterns and bring out the beauty of the tree. He truly is an artist. Like a sculptor finding the statue in the stone, Larry finds and brings forth the unique shape of the tree.
 
About 90% of the work Larry has done has been outdoors in trees and gardens.

When Larry Met Debra

 
When Larry met Debra in 1987, he felt a shared affinity and immense curiosity about having a practical understanding of life. Like Debra, Larry wanted to know how life worked, what made it tick, and what natural laws could be applied in one’s individual life to participate in the whole of life.

“At the time I met Debra, I was dating a mutual friend of ours,” says Larry. “She took me to a lecture Debra was giving (little did I know she brought me to set me up with Debra). As I was listening to Debra speak I felt like all I wanted to do was help her do her work. Whatever help she needed I wanted to do, to support her in doing her work.”

Larry and Debra married in 1990.

Larry carried Debra’s books after that lecture and he’s still carrying her books (and everything else!) today.

Since then, Larry has brought to Debra’s work his exceptional communication skills, acting as a sounding board for Debra to discuss ideas and make sure they are clear and un

derstandable. He is her “first reader,” editor, right-hand man, chief problem solver, and chauffeur. Larry has remodeled three nontoxic houses with Debra, planted and tended organic gardens, and is her traveling companion and assistant. And best friend. And lifepartner. And soulmate. And anything else that is needed and wanted.

Says Debra, ““Without Larry, I would not be who I am today, nor would I have made the contribution to the world that I have. That he is beside me to do what he does makes it possible to do what I do. What looks to the world like ‘my’ work, is really our joint creation.”

 
Larry and Debra love to go on adventures together and see and learn new things. They also love to solve problems together.

Always Willing and Able to Help

 

Larry has the exceptional capacity and ability to help in an emergency and is always calm in a crisis.

While Larry and Debra were driving down a back road on their honeymoon, as they came around a curve they were stopped by another motorist. A car had just gone off the road down the side of a steep ravine. A mother and children were trapped in the car. The first motorist on the scene had already called for help, but it was a remote location and it might take time for help to arrive.

Larry jumped out of the car and ordered Debra to go back around the curve and slow traffic.

He then climbed down the ravine to wait with the family in the car, telling him help was on the way.

When the rescue team arrived, rescuers wanted to smash the windshield over the occupants, which would cover them with broken glass.

Larry said no. He pulled out his trusty pocket knife and in one minute pried the windshield off all in one piece.

Mother and children were able to climb out of the car and up the ravine unharmed, thanks to Larry.

Repair, Reuse, Recycle

 
Larry has the knowledge and skill to do pretty much anything that has to do with a house, a garden, or an automobile. He’s good with his hands, and also with his mind and his creativity.
 
Larry never was very interested in the whole consumer world, he was much more interested in finding discarded products that needed repair or finding another use for things, or recycling what others had discarded.
 
Larry would much rather have old things than new things, and something made by his own hands or the hands of others rather than a machine. He considers any found material useful and puts his abundant creativity into figuring out how whatever is in his environment can serve his needs.
 
Larry is truly a “fix-it” and wants to repair whatever crosses his path, whether that is a toaster, or a body,or a relationship, or a planet—he wants everything to be working well. He loves to set things right.

Green Builder

Larry and Debra considering possible flooring materials while remodeling their house in Florida.

When Larry and Debra first got together in 1987, the field of green building was just beginning. After living in various temporary places for three years, they bought a cottage in a forested rural community and began to remodel it using nontoxic and salvaged materials.

In 2002 they sold the cottage and moved to Florida, where they purchased two older houses and remodeled both using nontoxic and salvaged materials—one to live in and one to rent. They did all the work themselves.
While living in the Florida house, there was a major leak in the bathroom plumbing, requiring a complete gut and rebuild. The project was completely documented in a pdf, was presented in a seminar at a green building conference, and appeared in several magazines.
Debra and Larry also gave other seminars together on green building, most notably one at a green building conference on the subject of “How to Remodel a House Without Getting a Divorce.”
Ten percent of the work Larry has done has been in construction or remodeling of private homes, other than his own. When he and Debra were living in the forest, the empty lot next door was sold and a house was being built. Larry went right over, offered his services, and got a job that required no transportation.
They are currently working on turning a reclaimed 1987 motor home into a nontoxic tiny house, which will allow them to take their toxic-free home anywhere, as needed or as opportunity and adventures arise.

Veggie Car Man

 
In 2008, Larry became interested in running cars on reclaimed vegetable oil from fast food restaurants, instead of polluting and nonrenewable diesel fuel. His curiosity led him to reclaim a 1985 diesel Mercedes and completely retrofit it to run on used vegetable oil.
 
In 2009, Larry and Debra drove across the USA—from Florida to California and back—in the veggie car, stopping as needed at local restaurants to refuel. This required towing a trailer with all the equipment needed to purify the used vegetable oil into fuel, a process that usually attracted a lot of attention.
 
Larry loved the adventure of having to hunt for the treasure of used vegetable oil in unfamiliar locations,
 
They drove all 6000 miles on used vegetable oil fuel.  A  number of television stations along the way. aired interviews.

Larry & Debra Create The Lifely Group

 

After three decades of living in ways that safeguard and protect the environment, Larry and Debra together created The Lifely Group.

It was clear to both of them that in order to solve the environmental crisis we face today, we need to do more than use green products. We need to make a fundamental shift to seeing ourselves as “part and parcel of Nature,” as Henry David Thoreau stated. We need to live according to the ways of Nature rather than as industrial consumers.

The Lifely Group is working on
increasing awareness that we humans live in ecosystems
collecting and understanding the laws of Life, and
translating these laws into guidelines for everyday human life.

The goal is nothing less than a metamorphosis from living in an industrial world to living in Nature, from which we were born and where we belong.