Monday, October 08, 2007
Good bye to this good man, Ken Smith. He died last night, which is hard news. He taught fiction at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, my undergraduate alma mater. Mysteriously ill for some time from a never quite understood or diagnosed immune system disorder, he had been recovering from heart surgery this summer. The old story: complications followed.
When I taught there two years ago, he was newly struggling with whatever was wrong with his body. He had to wear these white gloves to protect the skin of his hands. He looked tired. He was tired. It was the last year he'd teach.
I never took his workshop but I knew him him all the same. Sweet and tender, at the long, wine-soaked final parties for the Meacham Writers Workshops, he would sometimes kiss the top of my head as I was leaving.
Laurel, my old friend from the same days, speaks well of him too.
He was the sort of man that was easy to love and I did.