Sunday, May 18, 2008

Welcome, Swarthmore Alums

Thanks so much to Jim Sailer for getting the word out to Ken's Swarthmore classmates about this blog. I hope that many of you will share some of your memories with us whether they are funny anecdotes or serious stories. My husband and I take my boys to visit the campus at least once a year since we live fairly close, and I always lay white roses by the tree dedicated to his memory. The campus is so completely beautiful, but it certainly is a bittersweet beauty for me. I hope that Ken's Swarthmore friends and acquaintances know that you were a tremendous part of his life. While I don't know many of you, I hope that, through this blog, we can change that. Please feel free to send your memories, thoughts, pictures, or anything that reminds you of Ken to me at: rememberingken@verizon.net. My brother had an amazing ability to recognize genuine character, and if any of you reading this were his friends, then that is a testament to you. I thank you for visiting and for being his friend for a time that was much too short.

8 comments:

Grace Bulger said...

Hi Kristin! What a beautiful site this is. I do still think about Ken, and I wanted to share my college memories of him with you... I met him in the fall of his freshman year, when I was a junior. I was heading back to my room in Wharton, where a bunch of my friends were hanging out, and I saw Ken wandering down the hall. He looked lost -- I think he was trying to find someone's room -- and on a whim I introduced myself, grabbed him and swept him into my room with my friends. He looked kind of shocked at suddenly finding himself -- a freshman! -- surrounded by all these "older women" talking at once and firing questions at him. Of course, being Ken, he took it all in stride, and hung out with us for hours. It was memorable for me, because Swarthmore was not always the friendliest place, and going from total stranger to buddies in this way was pretty unusual! From that moment on, he was a friend -- just a great, genuine guy I was always happy to see and chat with at parties or on a walk from the dorm to the dining hall. We weren't the closest of friends, but I really liked him. Even though I was older, he always had that older brother energy to him -- you could tell he genuinely liked women and would always have your best interests at heart -- and now I know why. He's very, very lucky to have had a sister like you. I wholeheartedly agree with the counselor about your dreams. I think he'll always be knocking for you, just on the other side of that wall... I wish you the best.

Gemma said...

Read this, loved it. I hope you get LOTS of Swarthmore alums sending you their stories. What a wonderful tribute to your brother.

Kristin said...

Grace, you made me weepy. If you read this, please send me your email address (my email link is on the right column). Thanks so very much for your heartfelt and thoughtful memories.

Chris Marquardt said...

Kristin,

What a wonderful thing you did by putting up this blog. It's been a long time since Swarthmore but I do still think about your brother regularly. It's always with a mixture of joy, great sadness and also regret. Being selfish college students, as many of us were, I don't know that he understood how much he meant to pretty much anyone who knew him at Swarthmore - although I'm pretty sure he knew that his close friends loved him.

One of my fondest memories of Ken was from the night he showed up in my dorm room and grabbed me for a race around the campus in the golf cart he was using to ferry an injured football teammate around after the teammate badly broke his leg. I had been goading Ken (in a half-joking way) for a week to let me ride with him and do donuts on Parrish lawn. He always smiled and laughed in a good-natured way that made it clear that he thought I was being funny but that he wasn't inclined to pull any antics with college property... Until he did show up in the middle of the night when I had a room full of classmates, but the both of us tore out of the room and did donuts on Parrish lawn, laughing like goofballs all the way until he dropped me back at my door.

He had the best way about him.

Then I also remember the picture of you and he as kids that he stuck on his door before he left Swarthmore for the last time. He loved you very much.

All the best

Laura said...

What a wonderful tribute to your brother. My brother died in a car accident in October, 1987--just a year before your brother. Even though I don't know you, your brother or your family, this blog brought tears to my eyes. I never thought about doing something like this for my brother! Thanks for the idea to memorialize my own brother, whose life was taken all too soon as well. My heart goes out to your and your family. It IS heart warming to hear stories about your loved one from other people. Best wishes...

Gemma said...

Have been keeping up with the new comments and posts from Swarthmore alums. How wonderful! I'm not sure who was more blessed by having each other---you or Ken.

Kristin said...

Thanks to the Swarthmore alums and anyone else reading this for visiting. I just want to clarify that I would LOVE it if you would send your memories to my email address: rememberingken@verizon.net instead of writing them on the comments page. Then I will have your contact info, and I can post your stories separately so that no one will miss out on any of your wonderful tributes or thoughts. Certainly feel free to comment any time you have a comment, of course! Thanks again!

Gemma said...

The new header is just beautiful! So meaningful! I love it.