Kevin was born in
While still in
After his arrival in
Along this time he began playing soccer in AYSO. He was aggressive, quick, and had played the game in
When Kevin was in middle school he would ride his bike to school. One day he was riding home and crossing a busy intersection near home. A car didn’t see him and he was hit; he had seen the car coming and moved his leg just in time to avoid serious injury. The impact threw him onto the hood of the car and he then fell to the ground hitting his head. He was knocked unconscious and an ambulance was called. A neighbor saw the accident and came to our door to tell us he was on the way to “the hospital” with no information which hospital or about his condition. After a few anxious moments we determined which hospital and we arrived just after the ambulance had dropped him there. He was now conscious but the doctor wanted to examine him and keep him a short while for observation. Lora tried to fill out the paperwork but was having trouble because her hand was shaking so badly. He had a whopper of a headache but was otherwise unhurt. His bicycle, however, was totaled with a bent frame and wheel.
I suppose we should have been wary when he came to us in high school and wanted to play football? Like his brother, Scott, he was aggressive and quick. He was not, however, very big but he could take a hit and was happy when we gave him permission to play. He was happy until the day he went to make a tackle and dislocated his shoulder. When I got to the stadium he was sitting on the sideline and his face was a deathly shade of gray. I’m told the pain of a dislocated shoulder can be extreme and from the look on his face I would not argue. We went to a sports orthopedist who attempted to put his shoulder back where it belonged. It took two big doctors, a nurse, and me to hold him while they manipulated his shoulder back in place under a local anesthetic. He would later have the shoulder surgically repaired. While at a party several years later a friend tackled him to the floor and they landed on the shoulder re-injuring it again. Today he must be careful how he moves because it still goes out occasionally.
Kevin attended a party given by a friend. It was the typical parents-out-of-town scenario with kids, lots of noise, and alcohol. During the night a group of uninvited guys decided to join the party. Kevin, accompanying the resident kid, went to the group and asked them to leave. The group proceeded to pull out tire irons, knives, and bats and started swinging. Kevin was hit over the head with a tire iron and when down one of the boys tried to stab him multiple times. One attempt was successful and Kevin was taken to the hospital ER. We arrived just as the ER doctor was examining him and determined the six inch knife blade had been stopped by a rib.
The attacker group was somewhat known to Kevin and the others and charges were filed. The guy who stabbed Kevin was on parole and he went to prison. There was lots of drama during the trial where the guy’s pregnant girlfriend confronted Lora in the courtroom after Lora read a statement during the sentencing. Lora accepted the offer of a sheriff’s escort to her car after the incident and we remained wary of strangers in our neighborhood for a long time after.
Just thinking of all these events in Kevin’s life as I write has me thinking about how fortunate most of us are. Kevin on the other hand was not through, yet. He had just started work with one of our local home improvement stores when a young female co-worker challenged him to a street race in his new car. She and her husband were street racing competitors with modified cars and she wanted to show Kevin her skills and provide Kevin with the opportunity to see how his new car might perform. The girl’s husband performed the starter’s role and they were racing their cars around an industrial area, at night, at speeds reaching ninety-five miles per hour. There were no drugs or alcohol involved which was the only fortunate part of this story. The girl rounded a corner and lost control of her car and hit a parked semi-truck at ninety miles an hour. She was killed, instantly, and Kevin and her husband pulled her from the wreckage.
Kevin was convicted for misdemeanor manslaughter for his participation in the race; the husband of the deceased girl was not charged. He was sentenced to serve thirty days in work-furlough and was released in twenty for good behavior. But this was not the end to Kevin’s problems related to this accident. Not long after he received a DUI; he was medicating the severe trauma of the accident and spiraling downward. While awaiting the court date for the DUI he received a second DUI. Now he was really in trouble and was sent to the county jail.
He hadn’t been too long in jail when he contracted pneumonia. He was lucky when a concerned sheriff took notice of his medical condition and rushed him to the hospital ER; the same ER he had visited several times before. His temperature was very high and his condition was critical enough we were told he might not have survived if the deputy had delayed bringing him in much longer. He spent a week in the hospital and was returned to the jail just in time to be released.
On a brighter note, Kevin, is doing well now and appears to be getting back to a more normal routine. Somewhere during his job trail he learned a lot about the wine industry and has become somewhat of an expert of different types, the vineyards, and the subtleties that make a good wine. Kevin is also a people person and has worked extensively with the public where he has a faithful following in the local wine bar/tasting establishments.
Additionally, Kevin appears to be finally dealing in a positive way with the accident. He recently received his driver’s license (restricted) along with insurance to drive. He has started to attend the court ordered AA classes and counseling and has been mentoring a friend through that process.
Kevin has always been an animal lover. His dog, Dozer, keeps him occupied with walks and another reason to act responsibly. His earlier dog, Teddy, is now fourteen and continues to live with us but responds to Kevin as her long term personal human. Kevin’s future looks brighter these days and we’re hopeful that his “other guy” days are over.