A Man I Will Never Forget

Kevin is a gentle man, a soft spoken man. Thinking back, I am not sure how we met. It just seems to me like he was always there somehow; showing up at odd times in my life but always a welcome sight indeed.

Among his many talents Kevin was first … a Musician! He was invited to perform with many orchestras. His concerts were mostly classical; Bach, Mozart and all the other masters. Kevin played trumpet in these performances but he could play most any instrument. He was always so close to heaven. The music Kevin created WAS heaven and very powerful.

I remember one very special concert, a concert in the upper loft of my favorite shop, Celestine. Kevin played the crystal bowls, Sandra, the owner of Celestine, wooden flute and they both played wind chimes. Now I know this sounds like child’s play but trust me, the music that those two people made that night has no equal here on Earth. I imagine only in heaven do sounds like that resonate!

My first year working at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire was in August of 2001! I worked along side a very beautiful and talented artist, Shari Kestenbaum. Shari owned the “Earth and Spirit” shop. The shop was filled with many holistic and spiritual objects. Shari had gone to India and many other far away places to bring back many of the items that we sold. We also handmade some items too, like dream catchers, smudge and prayer fans. But the main item for sale was Shari’s drums! She hand painted on the all natural Native drums and Celtic bodhrans.

I was surprised when Kevin came into the shop my first day with a cheery Hello and warm hug! I wondered what he was doing there but found out that he was the lead trumpeter in the Queen’s court! Small world!

Then one day I was working on a candle display, setting it up in a geometric design so the eye would be drawn to it when I sensed there was something or someone behind me. I turned around and standing there in a Scottish kilt … proudly displaying his knobby knees stood Kevin!

He looked good with his wide belt slightly below his middle making sure the plaid skirt wasn’t going anywhere. But he fussed over his appearance as he looked at his back side trying to see if the back of the skirt was the same length as the front! He gave me his Shaman drum to hold and stepped back so I could get a full length view.

Fabulous! Looking good there, Kevin! Then with the drum still in my hand, I gave it a couple of beats and asked if he was going to perform for us at the shop. I looked around for the finger cymbals and native rattles. If he was going to give us a drum beat, I was not going to be emptied handed!

But no, Kevin was invited to go on stage with my favorite Scottish drum group! Their name back then was Clan n Drumma (this group went through some changes and the new group is known as Albannach!). Kevin had a blast drumming with this very lively and tribal group. I have the video to prove it!

Watching this very animated group of talented musicians can stir deep emotions in the listener. The beat of their drums and the sound of the whimsical bagpipe can be contagious! I defy anyone who hears it live not to want to sway with wild animal abandon!! Have you seen the movie “We Are Soldiers” with Mel Gibson? Their song, Sgt. MacKenzie was chosen for the bloody battle scene. But that’s another story.

So there he was, our Kevin, on stage making tribal music, the living example of “making every moment count.” What a night!

Many nights after the Faire was officially closed, you could hear the sound of drums and rattles, zithers, gourd pianos and instruments of all kinds, playing sweetly in the darkness of the night. Music flowed into the atmosphere coming from all manner of instruments!

We gathered outside the Earth and Spirit shop sitting on rocks and patches of grass. It was a spiritual gathering. We got lost in the music as we played instinctively following each other creating a choir of sacred sound. I believe God and all the Angels in heaven smiled at us as the love flowed freely from heart to heart. It all started with a friendly wave of his hand and Kevin calling to us as he passed by our shop on his way to perform in the Queen’s procession, “Drum circle TONIGHT!”

Kevin brought us many gifts. His most famous was his own recipe for a healthy “go juice” drink. It was packed with many good nutrients, herbs, fruits and vegetables. And it tasted delicious! He always made extra for me and Shari and insisted that it would make us feel more alive and aware!

One stormy night, just shortly before the Faire closed, Kevin stopped by to ask us to join him at the Pub after closing for a little something to eat and drink. “I don’t want you driving home in this mess,” he said. "Stay for awhile, we can sit under the trees and you can keep me company. "What he really wanted to do, I soon found out, was to tell tales of ghosts and invisible visitors to the Faire on nights just like this one. The lightening flashed and the thunder rolled, making this picnic under the trees feel and look like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie! Eerie! It gave the mansion house up on the hill above us an entirely different look.

He swore the tales were true and when Ginny joined us under the trees to avoid getting wet herself; she confirmed it and told a few spooky tales of her own! Ginny lived there at the Faire above one of the shops all year round and yes … the ghost stories were all true. She saw it for herself firsthand! We, all four of us, Kevin, Shari, Ginny and myself, stayed up all night talking about the unknown, our own “Tales from the Crypt”! There was no driving back home that night!

A few years ago, I had the exceptional privilege to learn a “healing touch” modality from a wonderful friend and most remarkable teacher. Kevin and I worked on our master level together. He was my partner as we worked with the energy. Kevin was already a very spiritual man. I was in awe of the way he could balance himself and execute some extremely disciplined and difficult yoga stances. It took great balance, strength and concentration. But Kevin made it look easy.

Everything Kevin did had meaning. His gentle touch and his profound love made him more than just a friend and healer. He was a kindred spirit.

I am missing you, Kevin. Thank you for having been a part of my life. I will keep you in my heart forever.

Kevin lived a joyous life here on Earth … he now lives with the Angels and is more joyous than ever! I imagine he is probably teaching a trainee how to play a harp!

A Man I Will Never Forget

Judi Taylor

Stowe, United States

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Artist's Description

Kevin was a musician, among other things. He is someone I will never forget because the “other things”.

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