Fifth Anniversary Rememberances
April 11, 2012 was the fifth anniversary of Ken's death. Here are a few notes Molly recieved upon that occasion.
I have to say, that Ken's goodness, intensity, intellectual acumen, his insights and abilities in directing, his great work with children and poetry and drama, and dedication were things I always took for granted with him. I appreciated these things of course, but that was Ken, a person I always considered superior to myself.
So here is what I always remember first about Ken:
After an extremely hectic day in the office, around 1980, where Ken was managing a myriad pieces of campaign literature through production plus books plus everything else, Ken and I were leaving for the day and heading for the subway, and he said, "Oh my God, I am sooo hungry. I haven't eaten all day!" And I said, somewhat credulous, and a little bit hesitant (because perhaps I was crazy), "Didn't you have a big meatball sub around 3:30?" And he said, "Oh my God, you're right!" And he was completely freaked out. I think maybe I remember this so vividly because perhaps it was at this point, that I really felt that I was his friend, not just someone under his direction.
Otherwise, I always remember his good humor and willingness to laugh. He was superior in his altruism to all and his dedication to beauty and truth.
We all miss him.
You know about the only thing I might want said is that my memories of Ken have not diminished over the past few years, but more and more I remember us as kids. There are three memories in particular that stand out. The first of these is the time we spent almost an entire day traversing the Bronx. We walked from our neighborhood, past the Bronx River Housing Project, to West Farms Road, and then to the Bronx Zoo. From there we walked to the Bronx River Parkway and took the parkway back to our neighborhood. Ken must have been about 9 or 10 and I must have been about 11 or 12. It was a grand bit of parading.
The next memory was of our trip down to Willoughby's camera store for a Washington Birthday sale. We had both saved to buy a tape recorder. I suspect we were a hair older than when we walked to the Bronx Zoo and back again...but not more than a hair. We got up really early, grabbed the money we had saved, and headed for the train. We got off at Grand Central Station and walked a few blocks to Willoughby's. There was a huge line (small by comparison to the lines that begin forming at midnight nowadays, but pretty formidable by the standard of the day.) When the doors opened everyone just took off for the stuff they wanted since the quantities were VERY limited. I recall us both running through the store in our heavy winter boots trying to find the tape recorders. Sadly, we did not find quite what we wanted, but we did find a Webcor tape recorder that we had enough money to buy. That was our family's first tape recorder. It was quite the NYC holiday adventure for two pretty young kids from the Bronx.
The other memory is a composite of all the times we went downtown to mittleshul at 14th Street and 5th Avenue. We took the Pelham Bay Train (Lexington Avenue line) all the way...unless we crossed the platform at 125th St and boarded the express. We did this every Friday evening and Saturday morning through most of junior high and high school. At mittleshul we were in the same classes, and we all misbehaved enough to drive Bergman, Yachness, and Korn, our teachers, to distraction. There was a lot of time preparing for the twice a year performances. (In retrospect, they were pretty much fundraisers.) Ken was about the best dancer among the boys, and I think he traced his knee problems to all the dancing on his knees he did during those years. I was more one of the Yiddish choral readers. The dancing was with Edith Segal. There was also a bunch of singing, but I don't recall either of us doing anything dramatic in that arena.
I am sure it is a function of advancing age to do more reflecting on our childhood years. When I do that, Ken looms large in those memories. I continue to miss the days we spent together in that long ago time of our well spent youth.
Love to all,