Saturday, February 2, 2008

From Kristin (Stayton) Gibbons

First of all, I don't think anyone could ever forget Ken. I know I can't. His tragic departure has haunted me for years. For years, I would often dream that he was still alive, but we knew that he wanted to take his own life, and a bunch of us were trying to stop him. In fact, I think I still dream that similar dream about once a year. It is so good to see his ornery smile and hear his laugh in the dream, though. He could ALWAYS make me laugh!

I first met Ken on a bus trip in 6th grade with the TAG class (or as Ken liked to call it, "FAG" class). He was hanging out with Todd Cleek at the time, and I remember thinking that no two people could be more annoying, but our friendship blossomed in high school, where we spent four years together in the same homeroom & had many classes together.

Probably my best memory of Ken is 9th grade Personal Typing Class. I sat right by he and John Chabbott. We drove Ms. Brackett nuts with our constant comments & jokes. We had a heck of a time in there trying to learn to type on those old school typewriters! The brand names on them were "Silver Reed" and "Olivetti". Now I don't recall exactly who was who, but John & Ken dubbed themselves Mr. Silver Reed & Mr. Olivetti and made such weird voices that the three of us could barely get through those timed typing tests, which were daily! I would leave that class in tears with makeup smeared from laughing so hard!

I also remember our English Honors Classes in both 11th & 12th grade, when he & many others would make fun of Mr. Grace & "Mzzzz. Miller" -- he & Damian Evans mostly, with their recitation of Monty Python & "spam!" They would go on & on & drive all of us bit nuts, but they were so funny together. I also remember Honors P.O.D. with good 'ole Mr. Walters or "Jack", as he was fondly called by Ken & others.

During our senior year in what they had just dubbed a "mid-winter break" in Feb. 1986, Ken, Stuart Townsend, Sally Tapert, Deanna Hengst and I all went with Chris Ulp(in two separate cars) to his mother's beach trailer in Rehoboth. It was in a little park right after you cross the little bridge entering Rehoboth, & it was closed for the winter, so we thought it would be a brilliant idea to pick up some liquor & drive down there & hang out for the day. Needless to say, we had an adventure. On the way, Stuart got pulled over for speeding & we were trying to hide the liquor in the back seat. Once we got to the trailer & had a few, the 3 boys took off for snacks & the 3 girls (lacking in common sense & then intoxicated) had the police come collect us after a neighbor reported us for urinating in public outside the trailer, which at the time did not have working pipes! Ken managed to escape all of that, but the 3 of us got picked up by our parents at the Rehoboth police station! I actually had a slight crush on Ken at that point in time, which few people knew, and I was looking forward to spending the day with him. Needless to say, things did not work out as planned! Anyway, I realized shortly thereafter that he and I were just always meant to be good friends, and I treasured that friendship.

Ken was an intelligent, creative, extremely funny person, who was also a mystery in many ways. I will always miss him.

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