ANOTHER END ANOTHER BEGINNING
Kenny didn’t say how he knew I was in town and living at this particular place but somehow he knew. He just rolled in on that big motorcycle, just materialized in my life again. We had had no communications in ten years, yet there he was looking the same as when we were running all over Tampa looking for trouble and literally worshiping the gin and vodka gods; unable to get any drunker but still getting crazier and crazier. We had a certain insane chemistry that could have landed us in the morgue; for sure we were fortunate we didn’t land in jail; however, what occurs to me today is that I only got that crazy with Kenny, but for him, I don’t think it was unusual.
We traded stories about the past, the years since we’d seen each other, and a little about the future. His story was simple; he’d spent four years in the marines after high school, a good deal of those years in Viet Nam, he’d come back and gotten a degree in science, (I can’t remember which science) and was now working in Viet Nam as some kind of tech guy. He would go to Nam for nine months or so, make a ton of money then come back to the states and run wild till the money was gone, then go back to Nam, work, frequent the opium dens with his Vietnamese buddies and wait to come back stateside again. My story, other than football, was dull as dirt and I just ended up complaining about being at the end of my rope.
I loved Kenny, and I say loved because he never changed, never even tried to change, and in much too short a time, brought his own life to a predictable end with drugs and alcohol. He was a superman, but not made of steel. He was an incredible life force, brilliant, a super athlete in high school, the constitution of a water buffalo, a heart of gold, and wild as a mustang. If you shared any degree of that wildness you couldn’t help but have fun running with Kenny.
Looking back today, I guess God decided I needed a very big change and sent Kenny; he was the opening door to a whole new group of people and a totally new life experience. God rest his beautiful soul.