In the Navy, when one of the ship’s leaders leaves for retirement or another duty post, the wardroom traditionally throws a Hail and Farewell party for the departing sailor. Just before Christmas last month, McMichael feted Larry Head (photo), Lead Mechanic and part of the McMichael family for 36 years. Larry is retiring and his new duty station, as it were, will be “spending more time with his grandkids.” In the photo with him are his two sons who came to his Hail and Farewell: Jason on the left and Matthew on the right.
Larry joined McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers in 1985 as a mechanic. He came across the fence from Derecktor Shipyards where he had been a mechanic for 11 years. When he got to McMichael, there was no designated mechanic on staff…only one person doing both electrical and mechanical work. “I remember him welcoming me saying he hated to do mechanical things. Since then, I did engines, plumbing systems, all non-electronic systems on the boat. Everything except electronics! When I joined McMichael, I was automatically the Lead Mechanic because I was the only mechanic there. Others were eventually hired, and they worked under me.”
When I first came to McMichael, Howie (McMichael) made me feel right at home,” said Larry. All the guys welcomed me with open arms. They became my second family. I loved the work. We worked well, fast, and efficiently. It was a good environment to work in allowing me to make a lot of friends along the way…customers and yard staff alike. We wanted to make sure we made everyone happy–treating them fairly–so they would come back. And come back they did!”
Larry brought a number of innovations to McMichael. Adding the ability to completely rebuild an engine which he did for all the launches at Larchmont Yacht Club among others. “My being there brought to McMichael the missing element of their being a full service yard. Over the years we brought guys in, taught them different aspects of all marine systems, how to work them, how to troubleshoot them, and how to make the department productive.”
“Larry’s knowledge, work ethic, and kind demeanor made a significant mark on the McMichael organization. He left McMichael a better place than it was when he arrived all those years ago,” said Steve Leicht, President of McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers. “All of us at McMichael wish Larry a fruitful, healthy, happy, and well-deserved retirement.”
Now retired, Larry is moving into a new house in Humble, TX, just outside of Houston where one of sons is. This is the first time living outside of New Rochelle after living there all his life. Now he’s working on perfecting his skills as a grandfather.”