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14264986_10153679218496090_535049201653155718_nProject Share Day 19: my friend Ken

The summer of 1997 is when I first meet Ken. I’m driving in Beverly Hills heading towards an Ithaca College alumni event at Planet Hollywood. I notice a Honda with NJ plates at a light. I see a gentleman in the driver seat and then his IC alum sticker on his car. I’m so excited to see another alumni driving around that I wave frantically at him with a huge smile on my face.

As I arrive at the welcome table he greets me with open arms. We are instant friends. (I remember seeing him on campus at school, however we didn’t hang out.) We love participating in Ithaca alumni events in LA. We spend time talking and laughing and watching/talking about TV.

He finds me my favorite apartment in Los Angeles, across the hall from him. He can drop by whenever he wants. It’s convenient and lucky and I love being able to ask my neighbor for a cup of sugar. I have fun living there.

We fly to NYC for New Years 1999 into 2000. A private party a few blocks from Times Square. 2YK so much fun! On our walk to Penn Station to go back to NJ we enter Times Square. It’s empty of people yet a million streamers. It’s 3a so we celebrate again (virtually) with our LA friends

I’ll never forget the call. 7a as I’m getting up and ready for work. “Are you watching? Turn on the tv”, What?! 9/11/2001. I freeze. I’m in his apartment. He’s in mine. I’m trying to connect with my family and friends. What a day. I’m so glad we have each other.

While in LA, Halloween is notably my favorite holiday. Many thanks to Craig and Ken. Walking around West Hollywood in costume and gathering at Ken’s place beforehand. I make sure I plan my visit to LA during Halloween season many times after I move back to NYC.

Ken passed on in 2010. His influence in my life is loud and joyful. He makes a difference just being around. And although he is not physically around me anymore his influence and compassion are. His laugh and spirit are in my space. I miss him. And wish him well on the journey he is now on…