Family is on my mind a lot today. We lost a great man when Roy Knoop, my uncle passed away yesterday afternoon. He was my father’s older brother and I can honestly state that he helped cultivate my love of classical music. Never in my life have I met someone so intelligent, with such a dry wit or…hell, he was just one of the best people I have ever met. The picture (at left) is Roy hugging an old growth tree on a hike last summer. He was, and always will be, the Knoop family patriarch. I miss you, good sir. Venceremos.
Roy’s grandson, my cousin’s oldest kid, Nicholas, turns 18 today. I don’t know when it actually happened, but he’s turned into quite a remarkable and intelligent young man. A chip off his grandfather’s block, if you will. This kid can discuss politics, music and movies like nobody’s business. This picture (at right) is from just last month. Roy and Nick, at Nick’s high school graduation. Best wishes and brightest future to you, Nick.
And last month, my niece Kayla also graduated from high school. I took this photo with my phone (after the ceremony), so the quality is not great. But check out the radiance and joy on this sweet, lovely girl’s face. This kid has always held a special place in my heart. Like Mary Tyler Moore, she can turn the world on with her smile. Love you, Kayla.
And last, but certainly not least, my nephew Brandon turned 14 yesterday. Not a little kid anymore, that’s for sure. We had a nice birthday dinner at my sister’s house, then presents (of course) and some cake. He went off to try out his new crossbow and air rifle. The evening ended with all of us playing a few games of poker. Happy birthday, Mr. Brandon. You’re a great kid. His picture (below, with friends) is from sometime last year.