Saturday, February 2, 2008

From Alex Heist

When I first met Ken in 7th grade gym class, I never imagined that he and I would become great friends by our senior year of high school. Ken was an athletic, handsome, popular fellow, while I was a major nerd who, at the time, could not have been less interested in sports or athletic activities of any kind. Given that the "jocks" and the "nerds" seldom hung out together, the fact that we would share an almost identical sense of humor, enjoy the exact same kinds of music, and wind up in many of the same classes throughout high school (including the infamous Latin Class) seemed more than ironic.

Ahh, Latin class...who could forget the relentless torture we put poor Mrs. Scarborough through for three years (although we did apply the same techniques to Mrs. Richards in our senior year, it never had quite the same effect). It was during this time that I really got to know Ken...and his incredibly twisted sense of humor. Our own language began to evolve, where terms and phrases like "cheese", "wheat", "cheese-wheat" and "Ish-tan-BUHL!!!" somehow had special meaning to us (only those who were there will likely understand all this). Not to mention the near-revolutionary "¡OlĂ©!" debacle, which actually materialized right between Ken and myself at the cafeteria lunch table. Somewhere I still have a clipping of the Delaware State News report about the incident.

In the Spring of 2001, I took a brief tour of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania while looking for a particular music store. I was immediately awestruck by the absolute beauty of the college campus...and then thought to myself how happy Ken should have been there as a student. It deeply saddens me to this day that I didn't get to know Ken as well as I would have liked. While I eventually lost touch with most of my high school friends, I'm sure I would have kept up with Ken...there were so many layers to his persona, and such incredible potential in him to do great things; I figured we had an entire lifetime ahead of us to develop a great friendship. After twenty years, my grief has not diminished.

Ken has never once left my fact, I was thinking about him right before I received Kristin's e-mail about this very website. Thank you, Kristin, for bringing us all together to celebrate your Brother's life in this very special way.

We miss you, Ken...more than you ever could have known. God rest you, my Friend.

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