My friend Todd composed and recorded this beautiful musical tribute to Kevin. You can listen as you read the thoughts I shared at his funeral.
A Memory of Kevin
Don’t ask me why, but when I think of Kevin, the memories that come to me are often the silly ones. Like trying to decipher the difference between strange and weird (I think I was always the weird one). Or shipoopy. Or the much-feared but little understood ‘nose-eating tree.’ Or my favorite – something I still repeat to this day – whenever someone says ‘So?’, responding with a tirade of various types of fasteners. Allow me to demonstrate:
‘Sew buttons on your underwear. You can’t glue them on. You could use Velcro, but that would itch. You could use snaps, but that would be cold in the winter.’
Kevin never had to work hard to be funny or silly. And he never had to work hard to be a caring friend, a gracious host, or just a downright interesting person. He just WAS all of these things.
It was always a treat to be around him – whether we were seeing George Clinton at the Maritime Hall, discovering another great restaurant at Jack London Square, or simply goofing around at our 10-year high school reunion.
So, I think back to the end of our first year in college. There we were in the last day of our Introduction to Engineering class. By that time, we had both decided that music – not engineering – was our true calling. So, of course, the only proper thing for us to do at that point was to launch into a spirited, but quiet, a capella rendition of Stars & Stripes Forever. Later, when – like 75% of our classmates, we got our big fat Fs, I realized that we had a lot more fun getting that F than anyone else in the class.
And I realized that Kevin taught me it’s okay to be myself – and it’s a helluva lot more fun than the alternatives.
This is going to be a recharge weekend. I think I’ll spend some time scanning old high school pictures for the Kevin photo gallery and work on some projects I have been putting off.
I did finally give up on Comcast. Yesterday, we switched our cable TV service over to RCN (formerly StarPower). Miraculously, even though RCN uses the exact same Motorola set-top box and the exact same house wiring, the signal quality is perfectly fine and there are no audio or video dropout problems. I guess after a year of putting up with Comcast’s incompetence and utter lack of concern about their customers, I’ve discovered that I was right all along.
Next Monday, Verizon is installing FIOS internet (YIPPEE!!!). Then I can tell Comcast exactly what to do with their service.
Well, it certainly helped going back to work. As soon as I got in, I forgot the sadness – for a moment. I guess it helped to have the last minute 5 hour budget planning meeting scheduled at the office 45 minutes away from mine!
My dog Jake seems to know how upset I have been these last few days. He’s been following me around more than usual and pushing his nose under my hand to force me to pet him. When something triggers a bout of sadness or a bit of weeping, he immediately comes running. Thank you, Jake.
I’m hearing the Rush lyrics in a whole different light. Maybe I didn’t remember them that well back then. (Many of you know the possible reason for that!) Or maybe I didn’t pay as much attention to some of them. But, Cinderella Man, Closer To The Heart, even 2112 have new meaning now.
I don’t know why I haven’t listened to Rush in so long.
After living in the new house for almost a year, I’ve finally put the finishing touches on the audio system. We have speaker wiring in 8 rooms, but haven’t been able to wire up all of the speakers because we needed an impedance matcher to avoid blowing up the receiver. Well, we’ve had the impedance matcher in a box for a couple of months, so I thought today would be a good day to finish it. All 8 sets of speakers are up and running.
In memory of Kevin, I’m playing all of my Rush albums back to back. The house is now officially christened the “Rushhouse.”
I’m gonna play it loud enough for Kevin to hear it in heaven today!
Back in 1980, after I had recently moved to Buffalo, a new friend introduced me to Rush. Very soon after getting into Permanent Waves, I went to my first ever rock concert – Rush, of course. Then came Moving Pictures around the same time a became close friends with Kevin. I hooked him on Rush and proceeded to do the same for two other good friend of ours – Jim and Mike. Also around the same time, my parents gave me their old 1974 Saab 99 EMS. My brother had improved the sound system with better speakers and a Blaunpunkt head unit. All I had to do was add my good friends and Rush tapes – and voila – instant Rushmobile. Special thanks Todd and Mike M. for tolerating Rush all of the time. Not that they had a choice if they wanted a ride!