I just thought he would live forever
by Cam Kicklighter
Terrible news. I just thought he would live forever. I hope is peacefully at rest and smiling. I feel very badly for not staying in touch, but life takes us all in different directions. We have not been in Sarasota for over 20 years.
I cannot be there and I am devastated by that. I will be in the air, traveling. But for me, I will have quiet thoughts and memories that will roll through my mind at that moment. But, that is not important. The important thing is all of us, whether or not we are able to attend Ken’s party or celebration, all have one thing in common – nothing but the fondest of memories. Those thoughts and memories are more powerful than any single event.
My wife, Pat, I think has captured in words how Pat and I remember Ken in the attachment. Maybe you can get someone to read it for my wife and I or just post it in a book of memories.
I remember him with such reverence, love and fondness. He was way beyond just being a tennis coach to me. He was a mentor to me way beyond the game of tennis. He was a great human being and cared about everyone of us as we all started to learn the game. He taught all of us about life – not just the game of tennis. I think I am accurate in saying that Ken Wagstaff lived the life he wanted to live. He lived his dream. All of us were his children and his family. It is just life’s journey that took all us in different directions. I just know in my heart that Ken probably wished that all of us had just found a way to make a living in Sarasota and be nearby.
After I returned from the Army Rangers and Vietnam, Ken put me to work on the new Bath & Racquet Club (1969), rolling 4 courts back then, cleaning bathrooms in the trailer and teaching tennis. He was at my wedding with Pat in October 1969 and I was the best man at his wedding to Penny years later. Ken, Penny, Pat and I would go to Burn’s Steak House in Tampa for dinner. Those were great times that I will always cherish.
Please pass along our wishes of wellness and happiness to Penny. Please pass along our best to Raoul and Chris. Take care of your family. Both of our daughters, Cassy and Ashleigh were married within the past year.
What great memories Pat and I have of him. We will miss him.
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