Sunday, February 14, 2016
Fly High Pontius
Love is blindness
I don't want to know
His humor is kindness
and his strength an inner glow
So the Ghost of Jerry Reed left the constraints of earth less than a week ago. And because of that my heart body has been consumed by intermittent shocks of pain. Like anyone who gives it up in the name of realness Kenny's presence will live beyond the days he spent here. With both hands over my heart, the mantra is ringing loudly in my head, "What's real can never be taken away."
About six years back from this I went down to Hawleyville in midstate South Carolina to ride in the Ian Foster Memorial Ride with a bunch of fine folks. At some point during that ride the Ghost of Jerry Reed crashed behind me on a semi-technical fire road descent. Hitting the surface of our only earth caused a dirty hole in his knee. The kid instead of trying to arrange for an extraction because of the bloody open injury acted as if nothing had happened. There was still a long time left in the saddle to the finish, but he uttered not one complaint or suggestion that he was in discomfort. Strength and calm during what must have been a painful situation radiated from within him. Apparently Kenny has had that trait his entire life, the time he spent here.
For weeks after the Hole in Knee incident I couldn't shake the feeling of being responsible for what had happened. Guilt. Guilty. Guilt knee. In my mind, my choice to go out with these pros on my fixed gear work bike caused the crash. More guilt. Every apology I could muster over time as recently as a year ago was answered by Kenny with, "Don't worry about it, it wasn't your fault." Kindness during pain. We all have something to learn from that kid. Maybe it wasn't my fault, maybe it was...
My deepest condolences to his wife, family, inner circle of friends, coworkers, anyone who crossed his path or read his hilarious work at the Hawley Blog and of course his champion falcon Pontius.