A day rarely passed without someone asking Larry R. Byrd if he's the famous ex-basketball player. Then it intensified when a new neighbor moved in.
His name? Larry H. Byrd.Their common name not only sparked their friendship, but also their following of the third Larry - former Boston Celtics superstar Larry Bird.
Larry R., a candy company's distribution manager, said the name serves as a great icebreaker: "I meet a lot of representatives from other companies and customers, and the first thing most of them want to know is if I'm the real Larry Bird and is this what I'm doing since retiring."
Larry R. said once when he was in San Antonio, the Spurs just happened to be playing the Celtics. "Our hotel room wasn't ready, so I gave the clerk my credit card and we went shopping. When we came back, the clerk said every time I was paged, people would come out to see if it was really Larry Bird."
Mail, phone calls, health club memberships, even cashing a check also has been a challenge.
When Larry H., a a branch manager for South Central Bell, called the community recreation center to obtain a swimming pool membership, he was told, "We already have a Larry Byrd."
"Well," Larry H. quipped, "do you have a quota on Larry Byrds?"