I wanted to share some of my fondest memories with Kim. Though these are just a few of the countless memories that I've shared with Kim and Marshall over the past 18 years, I hope they illustrate Kim's role n curating one hello of a fun childhood, and in serving as a role model since I was young.
One of the most common themes of my memories with Kim is mischief. While drives with Rahul's parents featured "riveting" discussions about astronomy, it was far more fun to hear Kim's stories about his college years. Shortly after Marshall and I first met, I remember Kim telling us about a prank involving water balloons and fast-moving cars, and being torn between thinking that Kim was the coolest dad I knew, or simply the best at BS-ing. The latter explanation was quickly put to rest. Of the many mischievous actions that we partook in over the years, the following are some of my favorites:
- Kim's impression of a senile old man at Disneyland. Who knew it was so easy to photo-bomb wholesome family portraits, and get away with it? - Our egregious line cuts on Indiana Jones that almost got us kicked out of the park. Fortunately, this did not come up in my background check when I later applied to work at Disney. - When Kim told the waiters at Chevy's that it was my birthday when it most certainly wasn't. Though I could have done without the giant sombrero and "happy birthday" en espanol, the free ice cream was nice. - When we left the Hotel Breakers cleaning staff a note saying, "muy bueno" and a single penny as a tip, in retaliation for poor service. I'm not sure who's idea this was, but I can tell you that I find Kim's off-color sense of humor absolutely hilarious. And I'm proud to say that it rubbed off on me. :) - Apple Farm and the infamous "lard shake." Without Kim's instant credibility, I'm not sure Marshall and I would have had as much success convincing Joe that this mysterious menu item actually existed and would suit his fancy.
The absurd moments with Kim extend far beyond attempts at mischief, however. Many of my favorites took place on our road trips to L.A., and on our adventures with The General at Magic Mountain and Cedar Point: - Reading and quoting "The Book of Phil" on repeat en route to L.A. If Kim didn't find "There have been many deaths Sudan" funny after the 100th time, he was one hell of a good sport for not letting us know. I still can't believe that Phil introduced himself as "Famous Phil" on his first visit to 30 Morton Way. - When I drew a grotesque picture of a morbidly obese, naked woman and let it fly out the window, only to get stuck on the front license plate of the car behind us. - When The General fought fire with fire by flipping off an angry tree-hugger on the highway, who wasn't very happy that Marshall and I were throwing tissues out the window. - When Kim accused The General of hitting on 14-year-old girls at Cedar Point. In retrospect, Mr. King was being unusually chatty with them...
If patience is virtue, Kim is one of the most virtuous people I know. Marshall and I caused a fair amount of chaos when hanging out. And Kim tolerated our recklessness in a way that only the most loving and supportive dad could.
- When Kim relented and let us skateboard on the boulders in your front yard. I really hope moss eventually regrew, and that the stuffed animal I threw into the redwood tree eventually fell down, for that matter. - When Kim recycled the enormous CRT TV that Marshall and I left in the side yard when our promise to do it ourselves fell flat. I still feel pretty bad about this one. - When I spilled a giant box of nerds on the backseat of Kim's Lexus. Thank you, Kim, for letting be back into your car after this incident. Had I been in your shoes, I don't know if I would have. - When Marshall and I would get stoned and watch laser shows in his room - the epitome of wasting time - and Kim let us do so without a hint of judgement.
Lastly, I wanted to share a few anecdotes and thoughts that are a bit harder to categorize, but relate to Kim's role in some of my favorite memories, and the qualities that I so admire in his character.
- When Kim came to my concerto performance in high school. Though I was always awkward about inviting others to see me perform and receiving congratulations afterward, it meant a lot to me that Kim made time to attend. - Kim's (and the entire Walters family's) fostering of orphan dogs. This, to me, epitomizes the compassion that's too often missing in the world, but is ever-present in your family. - Our trip to Gold Country and Yosemite in elementary school. Apart from Bill Overton's rendition of "Cheeseburger in Paradise," I had an absolute blast. remember feeling like the coolest kid when Kim got us excused early for an impromptu day-trip to Yosemite. - Listening to Kim's CD collection on our road trips. Warren Zevon's "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" was always my favorite song and, to this day, it still takes me back to those long, care-free drives on I=5. "Debaser" was a close second. - When Kim and my dad tormented us with an onslaught of dad jokes on the way to Woodward West. In the moment, "ollie the freeway and drink the McDonald's sign" was incredibly annoying. But if I could relive this trip, I would do so in a heartbeat. - Our many father-son trips to Outback Steakhouse and the Rainforest Cafe. And the fact that our Outback tradition has held strong for almost two decades. - Kim's unflinching support of Marshall's skateboarding and downhill mountain biking in spite of the injuries and risk involved.
I really hope that these anecdotes engender the same nostalgia that I felt when reflecting on them. When I think back to the "good old days" of my childhood, these are the memories that are most salient. As a lifelong role model and the coolest friend's dad I know, Kim has had an outsized influence on my life, and for that I could be more grateful.
2. By Sharon Yasukawa (Karen's cousin) Wow, this is so hard, my brain is at a standstill, and my heart is overwhelmed with sadness of the current Kim update.
Where to begin. Well, I remember you (Karen) going to Japan and thinking you'll come home, to the "right thing" and marry a nice Japanese guy that your parents would love. What? Who is this tall White Guy named Kim with a funny accent from? What Tennessee? He was not the type of guy I thought you'd be attracted to, let alone marry, but he has truly endeared us to him with his very dry sense of humor, true loyalty, kind and gentle demeanor FOREVER.
Oh boy, being a Tennessee Volunteer advocate was my biggest impression of who Kim is. There's that loyalty and camaraderie!!! I actually found my Volunteer tee I got for Christmas from you way back when and can still fit in it! I had to take a picture standing in front of the mirror today. I think being a staunch volunteer and sports enthusiast helped bond with Karen's parents, Uncle To, and us. I see that same enthusiasm in Shirley's daughter June for the VA Tech Hokies, and even Marshall for the OH Buckeyes which automatically rubs off on those around them.
Ahhh 1984, not the book, but the Bay to Breakers! Those were the times of running to stay in shape. I think Kim or I had mentioned the Bay to Breakers, and we decided we could do it together. We tried to get Karen to come for the fun, but she would have nothing to do with it and met us at the Polo Fields at the end. This was my first time, and my goal was to run the Hayes Street Hill without stopping. Little did I know that would be impossible because everyone stopped dead in their tracks in front of you and walked. I was thankful that Km didn't leave me in the dust cause he was in better shape than me but continued to encourage me to keep moving. So my favorite prize possession is the Bay to Breakers "I Survived" tee, thanks to Kim. Darn, wish I could still fit in that one (I even bought a Poster to commemorate this event. Those were the days when the Examiner sponsored the B2B and had fabulous Tee designs. I ran a few more, but the first run with Kim was the most memorable of all and a huge accomplishment I will forever cherish.
I also loved seeing and hearing about your father-son bonding adventures to find the biggest and best roller coasters in the country. It's so wonderful and heartwarming that you and Marshall have that close bond that hopefully will be shared with his kids one day.
Kim, you have always been my go to person to pick your brain for advice, especially when I had to do my mom's estate. You gave me all the background info and heads up on what to expect, and I truly appreciated that knowledge and what to look for. You helped me ease through the process and lightened the stress I had to deal with, so I am soooo very grateful for your kind assistance. No matter how often I bugged you, you were always happy to answer my questions ;). I have passed on your knowledge to my friends who have been in my same situation and to Darren for my inevitable future. Such is Life,. Your knowledge goes on.....
A Successful Life is measured in the family and friends you love and those that love you more!!! Count me in!
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