Saturday, April 26, 2014

An Expression of Gratitude

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all others.”
- Cicero

Every now and again, it is the oldest sibling too.  For me it is anyway.  Today is the birthday of the oldest of the six progeny of WPK, Sr. and Joanie K.  Bill is the one of our sextet who was cast into the toughest of all roles.  He was the Tip of the Spear.  The one who dealt with the old man in his undiluted form.  

As if that is not in and of itself basis enough for having an eternal, life-long debt to him, he is the one who insisted that I learn how to read and is the one who ensured that I did so before I was two years old.  The fact that my comprehension has progressed little beyond that point is entirely my fault.  I smile at the memory of walking around the Rutgers University Library dragging The New York Times back to whichever table Bill and his friends were set up for the day so that he and I could read it together.  

He is also the one to whom I am indebted for a great deal of my music appreciation.  He was of course my original conduit to the music of Bruce Springsteen.  However - and not insignificantly - he has introduced me to other important contributors to the soundtrack of my life, including Leonard Cohen and James McMurtry.

He has done no shortage of cool, extraordinary things since he first arrived here a bit more than six decades ago.  I feel safe in noting - without checking with him first - that he would consider his two most significant achievements being a husband to his wife, Sigrid, whom he loves with all his heart and being a father to his rather wonderful young adults, Patrick and Michelle.  One who has achieved that much has had one hell of a life.  

Happy Birthday Bill.  All the best to one who deserves nothing less.  


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