Kenney

Kenney Phipps

by: Charles Young

Kendal (Kenney) was born in 1942 in Boulder, Colorado. The family later lived in Crestone, Colorado and near Huntsville, Arkansas. Kenney left the farm and came to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and lived with us for a while. He was a strong handsome young man who enjoyed the outdoors and physical labor. He could lift large rocks (boulders) that others could not even move. On my summer visits to the farm, I learned about farm life from Kenney and his brothers and sisters. When he moved in with us, he learned some things about city life from me.

Kenney was really my second cousin, but during the time he lived with us, he was more of a big brother.

Kenney was drafted into the army. He was able to return to help the family at the farm on something like a hardship furlough. He was a different person when he returned -- depressed and suicidal. He took his life in 1965. Perhaps his peers and/or superiors in the Army didn't know how the "gullible country bumpkin who can't do things right" image bothered him. His own internal pain must have crowded out any thoughts of what pain and guilt his final act would inflict on those of us who loved him. After all, we should have seen his pain and been able to help him. I wonder who he would be today if he had lived? Perhaps he would have a family and still enjoy physical activities and joking around. Almost half a century later, I am still sad that he died so young, and I still miss him. I am thankful for the good times we had together.


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