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Gen X File #002: Kenneth!

Kenneth! gets a big exclamation point because WOW! It's been forever since we've been saying we'll get together. And we ...

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Gen X File #002: Kenneth!

Kenneth! gets a big exclamation point because WOW! It's been forever since we've been saying we'll get together. And we FINALLY GOT TOGETHER, so I'm super-stoked about it.


I was working at my teeny desk located in the small alcove in the tiny Comm Ave apartment I shared with Joe. I was no doubt transcribing some interview or writing some band's bio, when an email popped up. The subject, if memory serves, read "Blast from the Past...?" and the sender's name certainly proved that: someone I hadn't seen since we were kids. Ken had found my blog, written under my pen name Lexi Kahn. Between my PR photo and context, Ken had deduced that it was me, Michelle DiPoala of St. Margaret's School's class of 1984. Kenneth's email revealed that he, too, lived in the Boston area (wow!) and we vowed to set plans to meet for coffee at some point. But we didn't meet for coffee at any point. Not 'til today! Hey, it only took about twelve or thirteen years to set the date. But in a way, our spectacular procrastination made for perfect timing. Though I have no intention of publishing the Gen X Files show in order of Interview Subjects, as it happens Ken is the perfect Gen X File #002. Excellent. I got some video clips for the show, and the content is half-written. During our talk, I even messaged back and forth with Colleen and Simone. Simone had a question about Ken's ascot from third grade. You'll get to hear her question, and Ken's answer, when this webisode gets posted. [Date TBA]

Life and Work and Stuff:

Ken is married with two kids, lives and works in the Boston area. He went to Dartmouth and specializes in bioinformatics, microbiology, computational biology, database engineering and architecture, data wrangling, research informatics and software development.

Discussion Topic Abstract:

The 1970s
St. Margaret's School
Waterbury, CT
Cub Scouts
Ascots and Ties
Youth Kickball
Youth Stickball
Youth Basketball
Italian moms

The Interview

The interview was great! Today was rainy, so I was a bit wet after taking the #1 bus from Harvard to Central, and a quick but splashy walk from Central along Inman Street. Just as I reached the corner about to cross Hampshire to 1369 Coffee, I spotted Ken approaching on foot from the other direction. We waved, so then I didn't know where to look during the however-long-it-takes for the light to change. I'm so awkward in person, it's not even funny. "You got taller!" is of course the first thing I said. But Ken laughed, and I remembered that he was called "friend" in grade school because he was one of the few who "got me." I was always such a weird little person, and had more bullies than friends. We were going to have coffee at 1369, but had a back-up plan ready in case it was too crowded and hot—it was. I used to love doing interviews at 1369 back in my Lexi Kahn days, and surely will again. But today it was packed, and because of the pouring rain, my glasses fogged up the minute we were inside the door. So we crossed to S&S, which was a godsend, because I was suddenly ravenous. I ate the whole hell outta a bowl of mac & cheese. Why is S&S so good, I love that place. Ken had a burger. It took over three hours to catch up on what's happened since 7th grade. It's been...a lot. My face hurt from laughing, and there were quiet moments as we talked about losing touch with old friends, the crazy blur that was our 20s, bouts with anxiety and depression, the "kids or no kids" decision, reaching the age where our parents are turning gray and slowing down. He lost his dad. As expected, this first interview was a solid conversation between old friends.

The Next Interview

The next Gen X File will be a more formal "interview." I make that distinction because, unlike #001, I don't know this guy except to say hello to in a club. The subject is Rob Crean, a locally-famous stand-up comic who acts, sings and makes funny videos of skits with other talented people around Boston and LA. I'm setting up a time with Rob right now. I haven't really told him about the Gen X Files, but he's down for an interview. Stay tuned for profile & notes about Gen Ex File #003: Rob Crean. Here's a preview of what you can expect from Rob Crean (...and friend?) via YouTube:

Comments are welcome and will become part of the Gen X Files project.