My friend Marshall Ryan Kemp (usually known simply as “Kemp”) died last week.
He was hit by a pickup truck while he was driving to the children’s hospital to entertain the kids by dressing up in his Ghostbusters costume.
Volunteering his time to cheer up sick children was not at all uncommon for Kemp. He certainly devoted more time to cheering up sick children than I did. He died doing what he loved — bring smiles to others. (Actually, it was while he was driving to the hospital to do so, but you know what I’m saying.)
It made me wonder — any of us could go at any time, but what will what I’m doing at the time say about who I am? Like most people, the biggest chunk of my time is spent working or sleeping, or eating or doing chores and such, but when I’m not doing those, where does my time go? If someone were to spin a giant wheel-of-fortune to pick an activity during that time, would it land on something that I’d want to be known for?
Kemp’s time went into what he loved and what he believed in. Can I say the same? Or has my life become too routine?
If you knew Kemp, share your memories on the Remembering Kemp facebook group, or by using the #ForKemp hashtag on Twitter.
At the funeral, his Ghostbusters friends all came. They drove the Ecto-Mobile, and I took this picture that turned out to be unintentionally awesome. The sunlight gave the Ecto-Mobile a “spirit aura” and a sunbeam reflecting from the siren projected a “sunshine smile” on the ground. I think that Kemp would have approved.
Two of the improv comedy troupes that Kemp was involved in are performing some KempProv tributes this Saturday at The Bard’s Town.
Here’s a song parody that I wrote in Kemp’s honor:
If there’s someone sad / In your neighborhood / Who you gonna call / KempProvster!
If you’re feeling bad / And you need some good / Who you gonna call / KempProvster!
If gloomy thoughts / Run around your head / Who can you call / KempProvster!
If your heart’s in knots / When you go to bed / Who you gonna call / KempProvster!
If you’re all alone / Pick up the phone / And call / KempProvster!
If your funny bone / Hasn’t fully grown / You better call / KempProvster!