Ken, John Chabbott, Damien Evans, and Andy Kaplan, 1985
It’s OK to say OLÉ!!
It’s OK to say OLÉ!!
Having had the benefit of reading a number of blogs, my memories of Ken certainly came flooding back – school, sports, extra-curricular activities (the Spot, the Beach), etc. In looking back at my time with Ken, I have so many great memories of my time with Ken. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (“the Knights who say Ni”), Nick’s Pizza at Rehoboth (Ken did a great thick Italian accented impersonation of Nick), touch football, which ultimately turned into tackle with the lucky ones ending up on Ken’s team. No one wanted to get in front of Ken’s flying elbows. Late night chats at The Spot with all our friends about anything and everything. However, I can think of one particular event that, in my opinion, sums up Ken. It involves one of those ridiculous high school incidents (someone should write a book there were so many!) and how Ken liked to use his intelligence and sense of humor to continuously push our overzealous high school administrators to the brink (unlike the administrators, most of the teachers I think genuinely enjoyed Ken’s wittiness and sense of humor). As others have already mentioned, there was a group of us, like a lot of teenage boys, who loved Monty Python. Part of the humor is not only the wittiness, but its sheer stupidity -- it doesn’t always make sense, but that’s part of the humor. I’m sure others with better memories can fill in the blanks, but at some point Ken became fascinated with the word “olé.” I’m not sure why, how or who started it, but Ken took the word and made it his rallying cry our Senior Year. Given Ken’s masterful use of the word – as a noun, a verb, an adjective, even an exclamation point it got to be a very popular word among us all, but annoying to some of the Principals. Thinking back, it really didn’t make sense this obsession with a word, but in the vein of Monty Python, and at the time and at our age, we all thought it was hilarious, and the more it annoyed them, the more we wanted to use it. For some reason, the administrators didn’t get the joke and tried to basically squash the “uprising.” I think someone actually told the local papers and who actually ran a story in the local paper entitled “It’s OKAY to say OLÉ” which pointed out the stupidity of the whole thing. Imagine the absurdity of school trying to ban a word? I can still picture Ken doing one of his goofy dances with his Scooby Doo laugh saying “It’s OK to say OLÉ, It’s OKAY to say OLÉ!" My son, like a lot of pre-teen boys, has “discovered” Monty Python. And whenever we sit down to watch the Holy Grail – I always think of Ken. His smile, intelligence, sense of humor and that infectious laugh, not to mention some of his great impersonations, are still fresh in my mind. Although he’s no longer with us on this earth, he still makes me smile all the time. And that’s the way I remember Ken, as a fun-loving, intelligent, and wickedly funny friend.