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
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.
When Larry Met Debra
“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 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.”
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
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.
Veggie Car Man
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.