Posted by: Jack Savage | February 2, 2012

A Son’s Best Friend

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Ocular melanoma took Mike Kimball’s life when he was 52. He left behind his five kids–the youngest, Stephen, was 16 at the time. Stephen wanted the people who attended his Dad’s funeral to know what he was like, and so he put together some of his own thoughts about his Dad. He asked me to read the following at Mike’s funeral, and I was honored to do so:

In Memory of My Dad, My Best Friend

By Stephen Kimball

 I have so many good memories of my Dad. He was my best friend. I remember the road trip to Buffalo with Patrick. Going to Dad’s races. Going to Boston and him getting all stressed out over the traffic. We’d always hang out on the weekends. I remember last summer staying at camp, playing board games, makin’ that canoe. Playing Monopoly, he’d always get mad when I beat him five times in row.

 Up at camp we rented movies so often that we got so many free movies. We’d just buy subs and then go up and hang out. We both liked the same movies, like Old School—we saw that about 50 times. He liked Field of Dreams. He used to cry at movies. It would be a movie that you didn’t usually cry at and he would cry.  Coach Carter he was crying at…I would always look over if there was a part that was remotely sad, and he would be crying.

 I could say anything in front of him—that’s why he was so cool. I’d talk to him like I talk to my friends. About girls. About sports. About music. I remember in the car, even though he hated rap, he would still let me listen to it in his car.

 He didn’t like people who talked a lot. He was more of a quiet guy. He always make fun of me ‘cause he said I had a loud mouth, but I knew he was kidding about it, ‘cause he always would say I was a good kid.

 We were always mouthing off to each other, talking trash to each other. I was always making fun of him, tell him he was going to go down to Florida and wear his man thong. He always told me he didn’t, and I always said he did. Instead of a forehead I told him he had a fivehead. I would always make fun of him blowing his nose, he sounded like an elephant. I’d say, what did a herd of elephants just come through? It was so loud.

 He was always joking around. Even when he was in the hospital he was still joking around. When I told him I had a girlfriend, he said I deserved a girlfriend because I hung out with him…that he rubbed off on me.

 I would just laugh; laugh laugh laugh. He would always turn bad situations to good with his smile and humor. His laugh was really loud. I remember him and Shannon. She has a really high laugh too. I remember we went to see ‘John Q.’ in the movie theatre and all you could hear was him and Shannon laughing.

 And then our favorite foods. Dunkin’ Donuts, Dunkin’ Donuts, and some more Dunkin’ Donuts. He liked the coffee there. And chocolate glazed donuts. Or a blueberry muffin. I would get like four. He would get like one.

 We didn’t sit down to eat a lot. He would say it was expensive to sit down and eat. That’s why we ate fast food a lot. We’d always get Moe’s. He liked Moe’s subs ‘cause it was cheap.

 He could be stubborn. And he’d always get mad, but then later you could joke about it. I remember one time, we got some ice cream. He was driving and he had an ice cream cone, the whole thing fell on his lap, he cussed big time. He blamed the ice cream guy.

 I remember when I was about 11 or 12 years old, I spilled Gatorade in his car and he got mad, and I ran into the house crying, but then he came back in and apologized.

 Dad gave me advice about school–we were sitting in the car about to go into the movie theater. He told me about how he wanted to be a professional hockey player when he grew up. He told me school was important. That he never went to college and that I should definitely go to college. He wanted his son to be better than him…get more education…

 I’ll always remember my Dad as a good person.  What I’ll miss most is just hanging out with him. Going to races, going to bicycle shops, watching movies, doing stuff with him. I’ll miss having my best friend.



  1. Jack, I love this. Thanks for sharing – and best of luck in the race.

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