Friday, June 17, 2016

Certain Things Are Set In Stone...




Summer shall not even officially arrive until after this weekend's departure and I already have plans for October's third Saturday.  I was very pleased to learn this week - courtesy of Head of School Andrew Webster and Director of Alumni Relations Rudy Brandl, the latter of whom I have known since he and Jill were classmates at W-H, that on Saturday, October 15, 2016, WPK, Sr. is going to be honored with The Wardlaw-Hartridge School Distinguished Faculty Award, which award is presented annually as part of the Alumni Awards Ceremony that serves as the final piece of the annual tradition that is Homecoming/Fall Fair.  

Whether the indomitable Joanie K will be able to trek north from Florida I do not know.  Mom has lived in Florida for two decades now and when she is in New Jersey in the heat of summer she shivers almost uncontrollably due to "the cold".  I fear that mid-October weather in the State of Concrete Gardens might be too much for her to bear at this point in her life.  Similarly, whether all six members of the Kenny Sibling Sextet shall be able to attend the ceremony I do not yet know. Gathering all six of us in the same place simultaneously is not easy to do.  It is sufficiently difficult in fact that I am hard-pressed to think of such an occasion actually occurring at any time subsequent to Dad's funeral.  Thirty-five-plus years passes by in an eye blink.

It is dangerous business in the Kenny family for one of us to ever propose to speak on behalf of all of us.  That being said, I am willing to risk the potential ire of my older siblings by stating that we appreciate W-H honoring Dad, who dedicated the last dozen-or-so years of his life to it and to the students he taught there.  He is, to my knowledge, the first person to be awarded this honor posthumously and I think, coming as it does more than thirty-five years after his death, his being so honored speaks volumes to the legacy he forged while he was there and the resonance with which that legacy has echoed - and continues to echo - through W-H's DNA for all of these years. 

Furthermore, not only am I proud of the fact that W-H shall honor Dad on October 15, 2016, I am doubly proud of the fact that he shall share that day with a staggeringly impressive array of honorees. The 2016 Class for W-H's Athletic Hall of Fame is comprised of Eloise Cordasco (Class of '81), Steve Maxwell (Class of '82), Ryan Hegna (Class of '99), and (because attempting to parse out the achievements of one from the other two proved to be an insurmountable task - and I know of which I speak for I am part of the Committee to whom that task was assigned) the 1980 through 1982 Golf teams.     

Last and by no means least, this year's Distinguished Alumna Award is being presented to a hero of mine in my profession who I have had the privilege and pleasure of knowing since we both called W-H home a generation ago.  The Honorable Bridget McCormack, Justice, Supreme Court of the State of Michigan (Class of '84) is this year's recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award.  She is a lawyer who gives the practice of law a good name, which is far from an easy thing to do.  The fact that she does so is a testament to not just the lawyer she is, but the person.  

It has been said that one can tell much about a man by the company he keeps.  I suspect that somewhere WPK, Sr. is nodding his head approvingly - with the end of one temple of his eyeglasses in his mouth, no doubt - at the company he shall keep on October 15, 2016.  As is the case with each of his traveling companions, his place among their number is well-earned. 


  

Proof, perhaps that the walk's value can sometimes be measured by the length of time it took to complete...



-AK 


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