Kenyon and I used to hang out all the time when we were students at Missouri State. He came from a Mennonite background and studied defense and strategic studies which I thought was ironic and hilarious. Kenyon has a fantastic sense of humor; he thought it was funny, too. I was there when he tore his ACL during a pickup football game on the artificial turf of Plaster Stadium. I was also there when he proposed to his now wife, Missy, on a retreat at Logan Valley (Day #201). A Royals fan, he keeps his George Brett picture readily accessibly on his phone, a picture in which George Brett has a mullet and Kenyon has a bowl cut. I guess one of the joys of growing up bald is never going through the mullet or bowl cut phase. Kenyon and I connected through a shared love of the game as we talked through all the big questions of faith and what we wanted to do with our lives.
And then I moved to Texas to go to Baylor and Kenyon moved to Oklahoma. Thanks to the interwebs, we were able to stay in touch occasionally. Of course, it was never the same as it was during those all-important collegiate years. Now, Kenyon’s oldest daughter is starting her freshman year at Baylor and both of us have moved back to Springfield.
He works for Literacy & Evangelism International in all things media related and is transitioning to the world of working from home instead of at an office. His photo and video work has taken him around the world, interacting with new cultures and meeting amazing people and eating new foods. He said fried caterpillars taste like dirt. I trust him and have no desire to ever try them, even if they are a delicacy.
On what might be one of the coolest August days in recent years, Kenyon and I shared stories much like we used to in college, minus the video games. I might have to buy one of the new retro Nintendo systems for future conversations. I learned that Kenyon also broke his ankle a couple years ago, so now I have a friend who knows the joy of enduring both ACL and ankle surgeries and the cool scars they leave.
In the green space between the library and Academy Sports, we played catch. I delighted in the interesting echoes the leather pops made off the library’s siding.
Welcome home, my friend. I’m looking forward to new adventures, hopefully ones that won’t leave a scar.