Raleigh Rambles

John Dancy-Jones at large!

David Larson: Dead Dads, Lt Walsh & Karl

Peter Eichenberger, David and brother Karl at Viki B’s wedding

The Dead Dad’s Club, Lt Walsh Day, the Poker Game, the Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Party, all were a big part of David’s social life and the action often involved brother Karl and his house on Sasser Street in the Oakdale neighborhood of Raleigh. And David always celebrated not just with drinking but with art.

from Alan B

The Dead Dad’s Club was invented by Karl Larson. David went through training and qualified to make videos for broadcast on Channel 10, Raleigh’s public access station. His video starring Karl and others about the club was banned from broadcast for lewdness ( the urination of Peter E off camera during the filming) but represents an excellent history of the event. Alan B posted the video here.

The annual party was attended only by people who had lost their Dad. David’s Dad died at age 50 (David told friends he thought he would die at the same age). David made a card for some of the occasions.

from Alan B DD stickers

from Bill H




from Sasser Street









Lt Walsh was a Confederate soldier who, perhaps in a drunken angry mood, fired on the delegation of Union officers entering Raleigh to accept the city’s surrender. He was captured and hung at a spot in Oakwood near the Side Street Cafe. His grave is prominent in Oakwood Cemetery, and Karl Larson, a fervent local historian, made adorning his grave a special and sometimes large event every April 13th for over 25 years. David’s portrait was used in the elaborate brochure made for year nineteen.



from Sasser St


from Sasser St


Karl Larson was a Raleigh legend in his own right and he as well as his hospitable house on Sasser were an important part of David’s life. Karl’s unique take on history was evidenced as far back as high school, when Steve, my classmate, would intimate stories of midnight readings of Poe in City Cemetery. A few years later, he made his claim to fame with an elaborate, well documented funeral for the original Boylan Avenue Bridge, which was torn down amid concerns for the continued existence of Boylan Heights as downtown and its throughways grew. He is seen below with Kathryn Myers at the ceremony.

lovingly appropriated from the News & Observer

Karl had a fine career as graphic designer and publication manager at NCSU, but his reverence for local history blossomed late in life with a post-retirement job as archivist for the state and especially with his magnificent accomplishment in leading the effort to restore Joe Cox’s Light Wall on the side of the NCSU Library. He also became a beloved part of a local scene blog call Goodnight, Raleigh.

“Raleigh Boy” posts on Goodnight, Raleigh

Karl’s M.A. thesis on the history of Segregation in Raleigh


David Larson survived Karl and his brother Steve, but not by much and now Phil Larson is left with the loss of all three brothers in a few short years. Steve’s dog Dup was a favorite subject for David, and below are some images contributed by some of the many people who have shared their art on these posts. Thanks to all, and love you some DEL!


from Mary R (cut-out with collage)


from Mark H


from Jim D (linoleum print)


from the Sasser Street collection

David Larson Art webpage

January 24, 2022 - Posted by | art, David Larson, Raleigh history | , ,

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