A Person. A Photo. A Story.
This week: Kevin on the Key Points in Life
“I am the seventh of thirteen children. We were actually a small family compared to how my parents grew up. My mother was one of 15 and my father was one of 18. We lived in a house where you had to take care of yourself from an early age. As a kid, I knew how to sew and clean my clothes. I could cook and I also learned how to hunt and fish. Those lessons have always stayed with me and give me my strong work ethic and enthusiasm. The fact that I get up every day to see another day means that I am already having a great day when you see me. Everything else is just gravy.
“Now, I am 53 years old and have worked in almost every job that you can think of. I mucked and cleaned stalls. I was a motorcycle messenger. I was a long-distance driver. I worked for UPS. I was security, both on-and-off federal property. There is some of my work history that I can’t tell you about because I signed a piece of paper with the government. Now, I work at Whole Foods, where I am everything from the parking coordinator to the seafood monger. I love my job and eventually want to open my own Whole Foods.
“Of all of my jobs, the one that I am most passionate about is being a father to my two boys. My boys and I are particularly close because I was a stay at home Dad for 16 years. Much of that time was spent recovering from a motorcycle accident. Even after all of the surgeries and rehabilitation of my knee, I prefer two wheels over four wheels over 18 wheels any day. I don’t know, there is something about the wind in your face that puts me at ease. For me, a ride is not driving from your home to some destination. A ride is going from Florida to Alaska just because. During my biker days, I learned a lot about myself and the world and now teach my boys about life based on my successes and failures.
“For me, the key points in life are:
- If you are a father, be a father. You should be the guiding light and show your children which way to go. In return, kids will give you balance and keep you centered.
- Boys, pull your pants up. That style came from prison culture where people did not have belts. Remember, the better you present yourself, the better people will look at you.
- Live every day of your life like it was the last day of your life.
- Don’t go to a job, go to a career. If what you are doing is just to survive, go back to school and find something better. If you can’t afford it, look for grant money.
- Learn something new every day because the day that you stop learning is the day that you die.
- Don’t talk on your phone while driving. I have spent most of my career driving and have seen people get all kinds of messed up from not paying attention while driving.
- Last thing is to respect for yourself and those around you. Question authority and stand up and be heard, but do it with respect.”
“Danny Harris is a DC-based photographer and collector of stories. In September, he launched People’s District, a blog that tells a people’s history of DC by sharing the stories and images of its residents. Every day, People’s District presents a different Washingtonian sharing his or her insights on everything from Go Go music to homelessness to fashion to politics. Every Thursday he’ll share a favorite story with us”