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People’s District: Story of the Week
July 29, 2010 | 10:00AM

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.”

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“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”

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Recent Comments:
  • Tuntufye says:

    Carolyn,I’ve been lifting wehigts for about two years at the YMCA that’s on-site where I work (PA Square). They have a 14-machine circuit and your settings (and pounds) are all computerized so you can keep track. And earn points for free extremely unattractive t-shirts, probably only useful for wrenching. Location-wise, it’s really handy but I’m thinking of switching come January when all the gyms start offering specials the Y is expensive, $65 a month for all-hours access, although you can get it for less if you go during off-peak times. I know you work near me, I don’t know how close it would be for you, though. I can actually pick my 500+ pound motorcycle up after doing this. My ex boyfriend/instructor told me I needed to know if I could, so I laid it down in the driveway on some cardboard (with help) and gave it a try. I hope never to have to do it again, since I was black and blue the next day, but such a good feeling to know that if I HAVE to, I can. And this was before I knew about the preferred method of backing up to it, I did it the hard way, from the front And, oh, yeah, one more thing: you still owe me 1/2 a dinner!

  • dj underdog says:

    good guy. he works at wholefoods.