One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for August 3, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
Today is my oldest son Geoff’s birthday. On this date in 1981 I was an Assistant Basketball Coach at Western Carolina University. At 9:30 a.m. on August 3, 1981 I was in the middle of giving a camp demonstration to 400 basketball campers in Reid Gym on WCU campus when our basketball office secretary Peggy Beasley came running into the gym and said you have to go home now. Rick Miller my good friend and other assistant basketball coach took over the lecture.
I jumped in my 1969 Ford Ranch Station Wagon and headed away from campus up Searcy Mountain Road in Cullowhee, NC to get home. My wife Mira’s water had broken and it was time to get to C.J Harris Hospital in Sylva, NC.
We got to the hospital around 11a.m and at 11:44 p.m. Geoffrey Thomas Kenney was born. I tell my friends that there are moments in your life when you know things will change. For me one of those moments was the birth of Geoff. The change of becoming a dad was wonderful and frightening all rolled up in one.
(l-r) Dan, Mira, and Geoff Kenney
Today Geoff lives in Knoxville, TN working for Sysco Inc. Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Geoff has formerly worked as a chef in the Knoxville area and even did TV appearances.
His background as an executive chef makes him a salesperson who can go into a restaurant and relate. His territory includes part of Knoxville, TN.
He is a son that I am extremely proud of and so is his mom. Geoff has given my wife Mira and I a lot of great surprises as parents. Mira and I were only married for 5 months when she got pregnant with Geoff.
He and his sister Becca have been with us on every move we have made as a married couple and as most college coaches moving impacts your family.
(l-r) Geoff and Becca Kenney
I know that at times moving from Cullowhee to Lumberton, NC, from Lumberton to Rock Hill, SC and from Rock Hill back to Lumberton have been interesting at best and difficult at worst for Geoff.
One of the biggest surprises Geoff gave us as parents was his hidden talent as an artist. In his junior year of high school my wife was contacted by the art teacher at Lumberton HS that Geoff had won a state award for a pencil drawing.
She was calling us to invite us to the ceremony that would be held at Barton College. We agreed to attend still in disbelief that he had won an award for a talent we had not seen. When we got to the exhibit hall we were shocked on how good his pencil drawing was. At the conclusion of the program it was announced that his piece which had won a state award had been chosen by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to be exhibited in the Corcoran Museum in Washington DC.
Unfortunately the Corcoran has fallen on hard times and the museum was dissolved. Picture of museum is below.
In addition to having his piece on display Geoff would be recognized at a program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We spent the weekend in DC and when we got home Geoff received in the mail a stipend from the museum for having his piece on display and an offer to purchase it which he declined.
That surprise and experience prepared me for how thoughtful and creative Geoff was. That thoughtfulness is why he is a great son and friend to many including Trevor Staple.
The Friend-GEOFF KENNEY
The Friend of the Friend-TREVOR STAPLES
I have only met Trevor Staples on a few occasions but I know that Geoff holds him in high esteem as a friend. In fact Geoff was part of Trevor’s wedding in 2012.
Geoff is located third from the far right.
Trevor and Geoff share a few passions in life including golf, food, and a quality beverage from time to time. They both attended school at University of Tennessee taking political science classes.
Geoff and I talk often and he tells me about golf outings that he says are too infrequent. When he does get to play with Trevor it sounds like a good time.
On June 8, 2015 Trevor and his wife Jamie became parents and Jamie had this to announce on Facebook.
We are thrilled to announce that today at 5:18pm Nolan James Staples has blessed us with his presence. He is 20 inches long and a lean 7lbs 9oz of perfection.
My hope for Trevor and his wife Jamie is that they watch Nolan James grow up to be the kind of son, man, and friend Geoff Kenney is.