Father and son duo Carl and Larry Leichman are so close, many often mistake them as brothers.
“It’s because he looks 30 years younger and I look 20 years older,” son Larry, 58, said, while his father Carl, 92, grinned across the table. “We’re close, but we’re not brothers.”
While they may not consider each other as close-knit as siblings are, Carl said the two are more like pals.
“I don’t even think we’re father and son — it’s kind of a buddy-buddy thing,” Carl said.
But while good companions, the chum duo is not immune to common father and son quarrels.
“We’ve always had the ups and downs like fathers and sons do,” Larry said, adding that as the two grow older and more mature, the arguments are solved faster.
“We never go to bed angry at each other,” Carl said.
Originally from Flushing, the pair lived in the same apartment building and opted to continue that tradition close to eight years ago when they moved to the Towers. Carl, a retired human resources director, lives two floors up from Larry, the co-founder of a publishing and ghostwriting firm.
But while they are a phone call and a 50 feet walkway apart, the two said they can go from hanging out regularly to not seeing each other for a week due to their separate, busy lives.
Still, Larry said his father is still “part of everything I do” and even part of everything he is as a person.
Larry praised Carl for always being an active father. When he and his brother — who now lives in San Francisco — were younger, Larry said his father pushed them to be involved with the boy scouts, for a troop in Flushing Carl started and headed as scout master, and with athletics as well.
The vigor Larry has now — that allows him to successfully complete marathon six-hour walks from the Towers to Manhattan — he attributes to his father, as well as his gregariousness and ability to “genuinely like people” without bigotry.
“My father didn’t ever do anything by halves,” Larry said, adding that he admired Carl for being a political activist as well. “He was absolutely fearless.”
Carl founded NST’s Camera Club within months of moving into the co-op, Larry said. Photos he snapped of residents working out — taken with much persistence and persuasion — are still hanging in the gym.
Over the years, Larry and Carl said they have grown a strong sense of respect and reliance on each other. And even after 58 years, Larry said his father will still check up on him and make sure he’s okay.