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Editors' note: Larry lost his battle against pancreatic cancer in September 2009. When we invited him, some months before his death, to prepare this essay he eagerly agreed, despite his worsening health. We acknowledge with gratitude his longtime service as a member of the Geographical Review Editorial Board, as a Councilor of the American Geographical Society, and as a professor of geography at San Diego State University. In many ways he was himself an inspiration.