And the Oscar Goes to…
Dr. Larry Hornbeck, a Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) member in Texas, was recently recognized with an Academy Award of Merit for Science and Technology. His wife, Laura, tells about this award and gives us a brief history of how they met and the story of their Marriage Blessing. Congratulations to Dr. Hornbeck for this inspiring achievement! Tune in to the televised Academy Awards this coming Sunday, February 22, 2015, on ABC, to possibly see part of Larry’s two-minute acceptance speech from February 7.
This year on February 7 in Beverly Hills, California, my husband, Larry, received an Academy Award of Merit (Oscar statuette) during the Oscar ceremony that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences holds before the televised Oscars, for inventing the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). This invention—a chip with more than 8 million digital micromirrors—was described by the Academy as “the core technology that has enabled Texas Instruments’ DLP Cinema® projection to become the standard of the motion picture industry.” It has changed the way the world sees movies, effectively ending the 100-year reign of film. His unique technology has eliminated the burned holes and faded images of film, providing pristine images for an estimated 10 million moviegoers every day.
Born in 1943 in St. Louis, Missouri, Larry was an only child raised by hard-working Christian parents. His mother graduated from high school, but his dad quit school after the eighth grade, relying on intelligence and creativity throughout his life. After living in Portland, Oregon, for about eight years, they moved to Brownsburg, Indiana. There Larry’s dad took up the new hobby of electronics, encouraging his son in the same interest. With merit badges in radio and electronics, Larry completed his Eagle Scout requirements at age 14. Then the family moved to Parma, Ohio, where Larry graduated as Science Valedictorian in his 1961 class of 1,000. He went on to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, earning his PhD in solid state physics. In 1973, he was hired by Texas Instruments in Dallas and never looked back.
For my part, I was born in Dallas in 1946, graduated with honors from Irving High School, and then earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Texas. In 1974, I moved to California, where I met and joined the Unification Church in Oakland. Among my missions were MFT in Michigan, CARP in Massachusetts, and transcriptionist and editor of True Father’s speeches on the staff of Dr. Bo Hi Pak in New York from 1982 to 1988. I also have been active with Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) since its inception.
In 1988, I returned to Dallas with my son, David, a child of the 1982 Blessing, which unfortunately didn’t work out. The next year I went to Korea in hopes of being matched again, but True Father told people with children to go find their own spouse to bring to the Blessing. After a while, I decided to join the Christian Single Adults Dating Service in Dallas, a precursor of today’s online groups. About the same time, Larry Hornbeck, recently divorced, also got the inspiration to sign up with them.
Partly to honor his mother, who passed away in 1989, Larry decided to return to the Disciples of Christ Church of his childhood. After we met, he told me that his church had been founded in the 19th century to overcome denominational divisions. When I asked him if he had ever heard of Reverend Moon, he replied, “Is he the one who conducts those mass weddings?” I told him yes and then invited him to visit the Dallas Unification Church. I explained that we also were about bringing all believers together, but he’d be hearing a few new terms, such as “True Parents.” That was the beginning of his education about our church and its traditions.
To make a long story short, as Dr. Pak often said, Larry and I were married in 1991 in the First Christian Church of Van Alstyne, Texas, with our families in attendance. The next year we were invited by our Unification Church pastor, Rev. Chae Hee Lee, to attend the 30,000 Couple Blessing in Seoul. At the Blessing Ceremony, when True Parents entered the Olympic Stadium and descended the stairs in their white robes, Song of the Banquet was playing. Larry had an intense emotional moment and began shedding tears. He didn’t understand why, but even to this day, he often feels the urge to weep—as I do—when thinking or talking about True Parents. When True Parents visited our region in the following years, we were there every time.
Larry adopted David, my son, so now he has two wonderful sons, including Jason from his first marriage. David is married to his beautiful wife, Carissa, and they have one precious little boy (so far). Grandparenthood is a whole new arena of heart, and we are loving it.
Larry has stated that the Divine Principle is the teaching of a “thinking man’s religion.” We both have been deeply touched by the consistency of Father and Mother Moon, and how they never deviated from the same message and path. After reading True Father’s autobiography Larry said, “Through that book I have come to know [True Father] in a way that is much more real than anything else I’ve ever read.”
After returning home from Los Angeles last week, we prayed and blessed the Oscar statuette with Holy Salt. Surely it was the first time in history that an Oscar was dedicated to the purposes of God and True Parents! We hope and trust it’s not the last. No doubt, there are brilliant members of Family Federation who will achieve many more great things in the future.
Contributed by Laura Hornbeck