June 24th, 2008

amd: raining women

memories of ken

I found out today that one of the guys I used to work at Borders with back in the 90s passed away. Ken was older than most of us and had already lived a couple lives. He'd been a hippie, then a stock broker, but had to retire early because it was bad for his heart. He was killing time at the bookstore until his pension kicked in.

Ken could be annoying sometimes, talking endlessly to you when you really had to get some work done, but most of the time it was fun to kick back and listen to his stories. He was always bringing people his old stuff. You'd complain about your chair one day and the next he'd bring you a cool old pillow from home. He knew I liked Michael Moorcock, so he gave me his book-of-the-month-club hardcovers of the Dancers at the End of Time series (with awesome psychedelic 70s covers). He knew I liked Doc Savage, so he brought me in Philip Jose Farmer's crazy biographies of Doc Savage and Tarzan, including the novel where Doc Savage and Tarzan become more than just friends.

My buddy Rey found out about Ken's passing at a poetry reading, where the poet read a couple elegies for Ken. I think Ken would have dug that a lot.

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