I said goodbye to Ken Ranieri today. He said he loved me. And I told him the same. That tuff motherfucker still had jokes. I told him that he must be from Mountain View to look death in the face and still have jokes. He grabbed my hand and said, ” Lynel? I want to go now, I want it to be over”. He was not in fear of death, he was telling death” If you want to take me, I’m not running from you, I’m running toward you.” He accepted his fate, he accepted his destiny. He taught me a lot, in the two hours that I was there. He taught me that no one should be alone when it is time to say farewell to a world that brought you joy, pain, wonder, love, excitement, and splendor. We discussed “The wonder years”, how the infield grass smelled before game day in little league. Climbing the plum and cherry trees on our way to and from school, before it became the Silicon Valley. Tryouts for Pop Warner football, P.A.L. Boxing Gym, making our own Go-Karts to race each other down Stierlen Rd. Scooters we built with our own hands, with lawnmower engines. Rock Fights, fistfights, and Kung Fu shoes. These are the things we remember before we said our goodbyes. We remember the freedoms of a child.- Lynel Gardner


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