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Death Strikes the Neighborhood

21 July, 2004

Nice Guy Finishes First — or Life Sucks in ADM Land

My neighbor died this morning. He was a really nice guy. I didn’t know him well, because he was always doing something. Mostly, I talked to his wife and kids, and we tried to come up with times to get together for dinner or something. The few times we did get together, it was usually to go to see a big opening of a fantasy-adventure film; we all shared a love for many of the same books, including the Harry Potter series.

Today, I learned some things I didn’t know. Ken was controversial. He got under people’s skin and the caustic sense of humor I found funny upset a lot of people. Or at least that’s what was in the news. Me, I just knew him as a nice guy, pretty quiet, interesting to talk to, and devoted to his family. They’re a great family, too. It’s weird to think of him not around, because he and his wife were such a team. Their kids are great, the kind of kids anyone would be proud to have. Me, I just wish I could do more to help, but then, what does one do? I’m third on the dinner roster, after the Chief of Police’s wife and the neighbor who’s been friends for years. That’s about it.

Part of that’s because of who Ken was. Fellow officers are on hand to help with anything the family needs, and they’re showing both sensitivity and a really touching concern. I think Ken would have been happy to see how it’s all being handled. I just wish he could — but then, when nice guys finish first, it’s never in the way they should.

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