Magazine features Gardnerville man |

Magazine features Gardnerville man

by Merrie Leininger

When a local boy makes the big time as a model in a national magazine, one might expect him to be stuck up about his new-found fame, but it is just the opposite with Larry Lawrence.

Lawrence modeled for “We,” a magazine for people with disabilities, which needed one more male model for a fashion shoot at Lake Tahoe. Lawrence lost part of his left arm about four years ago in a work-related accident.

“I had a fight with a meat-grinder,” he joked.

He said he just lucked into the modeling job.

“It really was an accident,” Lawrence. “I went to pick up parts for my prosthesis and they said they had gotten a call that a model was needed to stand in for someone who had canceled. I was just there at the right time.”

Lawrence doesn’t consider himself the type of person who would ever be a model, but he couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

“The biggest reason I decided to do it was it was a once-in-a-lifetime shot,” he said.

According to Lawrence, the magazine, which is published in New York City, has just recently started up and it was the second or third time photographers had shot on location.

“They were looking for someone local. All the models are actually disabled,” he said. “I called them and they asked me to send pictures. Then they didn’t call for a while and I thought they hadn’t picked me, when one day she called at 7 a.m. I couldn’t believe it. I never even thought about doing something like that.”

Lawrence and the others were shot with the scenic backgrounds of Pyramid Lake, Sand Harbor and Cave Rock. They also took pictures in Lampe Park, using a familiar hot-air balloon owned by Dream Weavers, generally seen flying over town in the early morning hours.

Lawrence, 28, brought his whole family along on the shoot; wife, Pandora, stepdaughter Britney Cunningham, 9, and daughters Shelby, 4, and RyLee, 16 months.

“We had a really good time. We had a riot,” he said.

But, the most important thing – did he get to keep the clothes?

“We asked that, too. They said in a few months when the clothes go on sale I could buy them,” he said.

Overall, it was a positive experience, Lawrence said.

“It wasn’t what I imagined. It was real relaxed and we just acted natural,” he said.

n Quiet time. Now that it’s back to normal for Lawrence, he is back to his job as a chef at the Dayton Depot casino, where he has been kitchen manager for about three months. Pandora works at Magic Stitches embroidery shop in the Ranchos.

Lawrence has always wanted to be a chef, he said, “probably because I like to eat.”

He went to cooking school and has worked at the Reno Hilton, the Carson City Nugget and the Carson Valley Inn.

Lawrence didn’t let the accident that took his arm stop him from getting back to work. He was only in the hospital for three days and out of work for four months.

“It was supposed to be longer, but I needed to do something,” he said.

Lawrence said he doesn’t consider himself disabled, but generally has to prove himself on the job.

“I have problems convincing people I can do the job if they will give it to me. I just tell them, ‘I can do it,'” he said.