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Honoring my Father



Ken LaVoie Jr - Flacker Dad - Kenneth F. LaVoie Jr. 8-19-46 to 1-21-06
AKA: Flacker, Dread, Natty-Dread, Boyak, L'Hereux Burger, Pappa Dread

Slideshow to honor my Father's life

I 'd like to use words to define my father, to paint a clear and beautiful picture of him, but I'm afraid there aren't any words large enough to capture his mystery, and his spirit was far more colorful than the product of any artist's waving about. If Hemmingway were alive today, he would write about my father. He was born and raised in Chepachet (Glocester) Rhode Island, and lived much of his life in Key West and Cambodia. His writing was one of his legacies, and as time permits, I will duplicate some of his prose and post it here.

I think instead that the people he left behind are the canvas. All of them--or all of you--if it be the case, are chapters and verse in his story and brush strokes on the funny, deep, sad and fantastic canvas that was his life. I, hopefully, am his signature. I know that my Dad died searching for, and finally finding, his place among men. What gives me comfort is the thought that his spirit was just too large and bright to survive here - The only reason he lasted as long as he did is that God just couldn't bear to take such color from our lives.

My Father was fun to talk with. Unless of course you made the mistake of holding an opposing political view, then you'd wish you'd kept silent.

He was a multi dimensional man: A hard, firm father when I needed a boot in the rear, a comedian almost ALL of the time, and his Gandhi like spirit was like a warm breeze to everyone. Something very important he gave to me was a sense that no dream I had was out of reach. When he and I spoke of my dreams or plans, he was very non chalant in his attitude that I could accomplish, with relative ease, anything I wished to accomplish.

I had the good fortune of attending a weekend "right of passage" called the Sterling Men's Weekend in October of 1999. During that weekend I learned what my job as a son was. To show my father that I would be "ok" and that his job was done, so that he could let go and prepare to die. I worked very hard over the next few years to show him just that and I believe he "got it".

Thank you Dad
  • For giving me the Rolling Stones - They have been my favorite band since you turned me onto them when I was 12.
  • For telling me: "When someone loves you, you have a responsibility to them". This has given me focus now that I've stopped misinterpreting it.
  • The magic of Key West and what the city really stood for and came from. It died when you did.
  • My taste for writing, philosophizing, and reading Ernest Hemingway
  • My sense of humor. Unfortunately I live in Maine and nobody understands what the hell I'm talking about half the time, but my wife says I'm funny, so thanks anyway!
  • Introducing me to Kevin Fallon, who, when I was a teenager told my Dad that I had a natural gift and not to let me stop. That one moment is responsible for the fact that I still play today. At forty three years old, I've made about a thousand dollars playing guitar, yet if I could only one thing, that would be it. (Sorry, honey!)
  • For teaching me that it's ok to be silly just for the sake of being silly. It doesn't have to mean a thing.
  • For making me a "LaVoie" and letting me be part of all the great, funny, unique, tragic and beautiful stuff that goes with that birthright.
  • For giving us the Giant OO-OO Bird, the double hog backed growler and the hideous night gaunt.
  • For that famous quote to the ladies: "Give us a kiss now, and don't forget to wiggle your hips when you do!"
  • For telling me you loved me, and hugging me like you really meant it.
"Step aside Angels, A Warrior is coming to Join You"

Written by LaVoie, son of Ken, Sterling Men's Weekend of October 1999


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Honoring my Father, Kenneth F. LaVoie JR.