Friday, December 14, 2007

Kenny Remembered (Updated 12-19)

Since the news of Kenny spread the emails have been going around sharing stories and photos of someone we all loved. I hope I'm not stepping outside the lines by posting them here, but I thought it would be a good place to share our thoughts and stories. I know I want a place to keep his memory alive and I'm hoping everyone else will as well. So below are copies of the emails that were sent along with the photos that accompanied them. I am doing my best to post the emails I'm receiving, and I think anyone who feels compelled should click on the comment link and join. This is a great way to keep fond memories alive of someone we all loved! God Bless!

Unbelievable. Kenny was a dear friend and a wise ass and a joyful dad and a ton of fun to hang with and I'm going to miss the hell out of him.

Hey Guys,
I've been digesting this news for the last few hours and when I spoke with Dave and Matt earlier I really just did not know what to say. Still don't but regardless wanted to share my regrets and some memories. So given the circumstances, excuse the babbling.
Kenny is the reason I got into cycling so it is ironic

that I'm writing this to all of you. I probably would not know most of you if not for Kenny. He encouraged me to do my first race, and was always my consigliere (spelling help please) regarding the latest "purchase". Kenny was a wealth of knowledge about all things cool: cycling (particularly mountain bikes), surfing, music, business, whatever. Off the bike, I just can't think of a nicer guy. Kenny was always full of wisdom, a totally gentle soul, and a genuinely good natured human being. He always took the time to help others with their bikes in a pinch - did I mention he was an awesome wrench? He loved his kids, my kid, Dave's kids and I'm sure everyone else's. I still remember the many play dates at Kids' World with Trixie and Kenny. We used to joke that Kenny was Trixie and Dave's nanny. Most of the time he was more of a kid than the kids - always down on their level making them laugh, chasing them, pushing a swing or whatever. He did a great Tinky Winky imitation too. The guy was spot on always chipper and that puts a lot in perspective for me right now. I can't recall a moment in our years of friendship that he ever was down. Makes me feel guilty thinking of the times I complained about work or whatever to him on those (many) long rides up Romero and across east Camino. He loved that route and there's not a time when I've ever been on that ride (with others or alone) that I have not thought about him. I'm dumbfounded with disbelief right now. My heart goes out to his family and to all of you who ever got to know him or hang out with him. I've attached a some pictures of Kenny from the dirt crits a few years back (I think Matt may have sent one). I've also attached a picture of Kenny's forehead (on the bottom of the picture dead center) and me looking like I want to go to sleep from a Guided By Voices show we went to a few years back (Kim can appreciate). Can you pick us out in the crowd? I have no idea how we got in this picture (it's off the band's web site and I randomly came across it after the show) but it was a funny moment that Kenny
and I laughed at many times since. We were just overmatched and out of
place in the pit that night and I remember how we complained of our ears ringing for 3 days. Maybe you had to be there but to us it was hilarious - a couple of 40-somethings mixing it up with 20 year olds waving cigarettes in our faces - who were we kidding?
If for some reason you are having trouble viewing the images, try saving them down to your hard drive first and then open with whatever picture viewing software you have. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Best to all of you.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Heidi, Garrett, and Greta.

Gabriel and Kate

Very nice letter Bill..
I know most of you dont know me.. A few years back I use to ride and
race a lot, I was a familiar face with the SB club rides back then.
But now child raising and work has taken most of my spare time.
Ive known Kenny for about 15 yrs, I got to know Bill through Kenny mostly from our rides up what else but Romero.... Kenny was also the same in my life from bike tech questions, music, or doing kid things..
Kenny was the backbone to the 12pm Patagonia bike ride. You could always count on Kenny every Mon, Wed, and Fri for a bike ride at lunch.
Sometimes it was 6 people, other times it was just the two of us solving the worlds problems at lunch, fighting the headwind back to Ventura from Ojai.. During our lunchtime rides I remember him telling me stories of his days in a band called Friends of Barney Fife, or him singing Sponge Bob Square Pants before it was popular.
When you think of someone that does so much for others and was such a good family man you cant help but think why... Im really at a loss of words. I too included a few pictures. 2 pictures of Kenny being Kenny with garret and one of daves kids (Bo), and picture of garret on a fire engine. It was a fun day at a pancake breakfast and a normal day of kenny being a great dad..

So sad to get the news (thanks Dave and Matt).

Well said all (Bill, you captured Kenny so well).I am amazed and happy to have been able to get to know Kenny the last few years, and in particular to get to ride with him to the top of Romero a few weeks back (the Jameson ride y'all). Per the norm (and despite his inclination to get back to his kids and family as soon as possible), he insisted on hanging with me after I flatted on Romero to make sure I was going to make it onto the pavement and home via Gibraltar, while he, "Romero Harbaugh", just floated back down his trail without a care (and no tube or patch or other, cause he was Kenny so who needed it; 'nuff said?). (Can we get that damn trail renamed right now??? From here on out it is "Kenny's Trail"!!) And of course, old self-styled punk farts that we were, we sang several "spiritual" songs at the top of Romero, but the mutually-loved Magazine song he/we sang off the top of Romero that day was:"I am angry, I am ill and I'm as ugly as sin - my irritability keeps me alive and kicking. I know the meaning of life, it doesn't help me a bit. I know beauty and I know a good thing when I see it. This is a song from under the floorboards, this is a song from where the wall is cracked. My force of habit, I am an insect - I have to confess I'm proud as hell of that fact.I know the highest and the best - I accord them all due respect."

I will never forget that moment and other mornings. I only knew him for a comparatively short while. But this much I gathered: while he might have been irritable a time or two in a good-natured way:-), he knew beauty and a good thing when he saw it (his kids and wife), and accorded them all due respect. All due respect!!

So hard to say it, but as we come to grips with your departure, Kenny, we wish you nothing but peace, good friend.

Special condolences to his family, Terry Jellison, Druber, and all his Patagonia friends.

Be mindful all.


I might speak for a few when I say I wish I'd been lucky enough to know
him. Prayers to his family. -Eric F

Very nice letters, everyone. I did not know him, but after reading through, I realize that he was a special person, dad, and husband. He also had some very good friends in all of you. You were all lucky to have known him, and he was certainly lucky to have you all as friends.
Jed Hirsch

Drue and others - I'm going to plan a Celebration of Kenny noon ride from Patagonia sometime next week. I'll let you know what day ends up working best once our heads clear a bit.
Good memories never go away.

What a loss - I'm glad to have met Kenny and will always remember his gracious nature. Pearl's first bike came from his garage, he just said, it's yours, go have fun. Soon she was riding it up Matt's hill saying "I can do it, am I the leader Daddy?"
See ya at noon.
HW (Sam)

I always looked for Kenny's wheel. He would sing my favorite 80's songs while hopping rocks going up Romero.
Kenny- we already miss you and will always remember you.


I feel your pain Bill, it's tough to lose a friend like that. From the times that I had rode with him he seemed like the wise guru type of person, who was always eager to share his knowledge with you. He was quick to give me coaching tips on some of my first rides up (what else?) Romero. A real nice guy, the world is much less interesting without guys like him.

Such a tragedy... My head hangs low today… We miss you Kenny, but we all know you will be out there on the trails with us…


Hi all-
Although I didnt know kenny it is clear as I have been reading through all these memories that he was a very special friend, husband, father, etc. My thoughts are with his family and friends during this very difficult time. It sounds like he was one who lived life to the fullest, and enjoyed life's experience and touched all who knew him.
Please let me know what I can do to help out his family. I look forward to the memorial ride and hope I am back in town by the time it takes place.
Kimberly turnerSent from my iPhone

Eddie was an old friend of Kenny's who I caught up with last week. I believe this picture was taken from a ride they did last year. Awesome shot! Bill Cuttler

Sorry it took me awhile to respond. I'm still having a hard time digesting the news. Anyway I have so many fond memories of Ken. We worked together for about 10 years and sat right next to each other for about 5. I can say the man never seemed to have a bad day. Everybody loved him. Even when he would be on the phone ordering bike stuff instead of fabric you still couldn't get mad at him. I tried and he would always end up making me laugh. "Teres ER just shut your pie hole I'll get your fabric" and he always did. I also thought it was funny how he had so much knowledge on all cool subjects. He had either worked it, done it, played it, read it, you name it Ken usually had great knowledge on it all. Sometimes it seemed like he had been around for ninty years. One funny memory was being at the beach one day and Ken telling me and two other friends how to shave legs. Apparently we were doing it all wrong and using the wrong razor. A week later I tried his shaving tips and by GOD he was right.
Every now and then those smooth legs would make a FULL appearence when Ken would decide that maybe he needed to run at lunch instead of ride. He would come walking out in the shortest black running shorts with the whitest legs but they were smooth as can be.
He had nicknames for everyone in my family and used them like they were our birth names. So from the Jellison's - B-RAD, Teres ER, Kelli A AANNNN, ME. BEEEE,
and Ticky - Ken may be out of our daily lifes but he will forever be rememberd in our family with fond memories.
The Jelly's


Check it out. Looks like from Brad's e-mail we may get some more pics as well. Will forward as soon as they come across the email stream. Wheels, work it baby!



befoot said...

Kenny...I'm going to get da shoe!
we will miss you always my friend.
all my best to his family and friends
Billy B in Prescott Az

jen said...

What sad news, and a beautiful page of tributes. My sympathies to his family and friends.


rob said...

I can only say I am really happy to have known Kenny. He was always smiling, commeting, giving me advice on my bike. And, he was a very positive person. He was a great Dad to his kids, I saw that and hold that in the highest regard. I can't seem to speak about him as if he's gone, he's just not here now.

beachgirl said...

I still can't believe this sad news--what a loss for all who knew Kenny. I met him many years ago at work, but became "buddies" with him when I started cycling. During the Patagonia lunch rides he would belt out the tunes, and I always wondered how he could be so silly and not care what others thought. He was always patient and thoughtful on those rides, and would hang back with me or wait for me at the top if I got dropped. I haven't been riding since I had my son two years ago, but in that time Kenny has become a very dear family friend (thanks to Garrett and my stepson Jackson). We were fortunate enough to spend many days together--at the beach, zoo, hiking, BMX, household camp outs, and family parties. He was a devoted family man by all accounts. During our days of play he would often check his phone and call in to Heidi to see how she was. The last time I saw Kenny was the Saturday after Thanksgiving (he and the kids were over for a family party). It was probably his 2nd or 3rd attempt at getting the kids to leave and he was walking downstairs toward the door. I stopped him and said, "Kenny...I just want to say what a GREAT dad you are." He was as humble as ever and said, "Well I love my kids, and I have so much fun hanging out with them." I am so glad that I had the chance to say that to Kenny. I only wish I had the chance now to tell him what a wonderful friend and person he is, and how much he means to our family. I can't ever remember Kenny in a mood other than happy or silly (unless one of the kids was in trouble!). Thank you Kenny for all the joy you passed along to us.

Kelly Hill

julie said...

I am going to miss you so, so much. I never told you that I've always sort of thought that when I have kids of my own, I want to be the way you were with your Greta and Garett - always laughing and playing with them, never taking things too seriously, and loving every minute of being a parent. I'll forever think back fondly on so many lunchtimes spent sprawling on the grass making fun of everything and anything that passed by and laughing...There's a lot of empty space here without you around.

amy said...

I still expect him to come around the corner in bike shorts, jersey and shower shoes with a plate of salad to talk some, well ... talk about whatever! He is missed for sure. And, as I get ready for marriage and kids of my own, I will hold his kind, genuine and FUNNY ways close to my heart as an example. Dunno what else to say other than I hope peace finds his family and friends. We miss you fellow lycra wearer...we miss you.

Grumpy said...

Kenny appointed me the nickname "Grumpy" for my oh-so wonderful view on life. He would always ask my wife at work, "How's grumpy--haven't seen him in awhile". Opposites attract and my fondness for him attached to his own, always uplifting, outlook blended with a pinch of humor too funny to pace with and a cynicism that was as gentle as riding tempo in the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez valley. Bike riding will never be the same. I haven't visited the office as much in the past few years but whenever I do the first stop is a visit to Kenny's desk to grab a laugh, scan the desk for new bike parts he isn't going to tell his wife he just bought and maybe get a kenny-sexual reply to a grown man clad in lycra. Somebody at Patagonia: please enshrine his desk--I will be lost w/o it. I think Kenny's version of Heaven includes managing a bike repair shop with a QBP-sized inventory and he's fixing up everyone's ride or at least telling them their seat is too high, chain needs oil or he can see their ass crack in worn out bike shorts. From here on out, when I'm going for a spin--it's to pay a sentimental visit to wherever he's got the bike stand set up. I love you and thanks for the Ksyriums, The Shins, Garrert's Robot drawings, the improved positioning, the good times at Interbike and O.R. and a humor never to be out-laughed.


Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I'm so sorry to have taken so long to say something about Kenny. He was a good friend, and I will miss seeing him and his family at the races. While we didn't hang out much when we'd see each other on a club ride or a mountain bike ride and Kenny would always take the time to ride with me and talk. Kenny was at the first ever mtb race I organized in 2000 and if he was around he always attended any event I did. He always encouraged me to do more events. As a father myself now, and having lost my dad when I was only 4 my heart aches for Heidi and the kids in a big way. I remember how stoked Kenny was when my Charlotte was born, it was really cool you could just tell he was very sincere, he wore it on his sleeve.

I will miss Kenny and always remember him.