4/21 Kenneth

A remembrance of my brother.






There are better pictures of him but I can’t find them right now. Here he’s dancing with Bobbie Ann, Jim’s sister, at our wedding picnic/celebration/barbecue at Arrow Rock. She’s trying to teach him to two-step. She was a great dancer and Ken wasn’t bad.

He told tales and fables that came right out of his head without the least hesitation or mental editing and did so all his life, an impulsive and charming storytelling that may or may not have had some relation to the truth but that didn’t matter because they were riveting from beginning to end.

My mother used to reprimand him severely for ‘making things up’ but I suppose he was a born storyteller and sometimes the stories were believable and other times they were like science-fiction or fantasy. I remember once ( and I told this story at the funeral service) when I was in third grade and he in fifth, in Marshall, Missouri, he came running into the house crying out that there were zebras and camels and elephants walking around the streets!!!

Mother became very exasperated with him (she was ironing at the time) and told him to just stop it, but there really were camels and zebras and elephants walking around the streets, the circus had come to Marshall on the railroad, and they paraded the animals through the towns they came to to drum up interest in the circus. I ran outside and saw them, and with a lot of other kids followed them as far as I dared. They were beautiful and magical. It was as if Kenneth had invented them and they came true.

He kept steady jobs all his life and raised five kids, adopted a sixth, wrote poems, played guitar, all of his with a houseful of kids and a factory job. Finally in his old age got the solitude he wanted and had always needed. Solitude right up to the end. Raised wonderful kids, I have the deepest affection for every one of them. Here they are at the Peninsula Burial Ground, where he was laid to rest.