January 30, 2021
I received the news today (thanks, Kelly) that my good friend from high school, Ken Turner, has died unexpectedly. I don’t have any more details, but he was my age—much too young. Much too young. He was a kind and generous soul—liked by everyone. I know his life had difficulties, being the gay son of a minister, but when I think of Ken, I see the impish jokster smiling devilishly about something. And I never heard him complain. He even maintained his faith, something that must have been challenging for him.
When together, we were usually messing around; laughing a some inside joke or making our band director’s day a bit more difficult. We were tight, both trumpet players—what’s the band-geek equivalent of alphas—that’s what we were: I was band president and he was drum major. He was the better musician; I was only first-chair because Ken was the drum major. We shared that duty in concert and jazz band. He loved eighties music, especially bands like Yes, Asia, and GTR (remember them?). I was supposed to go see Duran Duran with him and Kelly back in 2017, but I was unable to make it as we were vacationing in Florida. I deeply regret that now. I wish we had kept in-touch outside of the random Facebook post; he lived 100 miles away in Marietta, for goodness’ sake. I never met his partner Jason, but my heart goes out to him. Man, these times are tough.
Rest in peace, my friend. I will always remember you fondly, even if you put mayo on your bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits.