Letters to the Editor
Dear No Umbrella-
Regarding Kevin Cookson, I am very proud to have known and lived with Kevin for all the years he was at Unicorn and here at the house. I am glad to know that this service is coming because I regret being unable to come to the first service and will finally be able to pay my respects to a person I cared very much about -- When Kevin lived in our house in Brunswick, it was one of the most exciting and creative periods of time I had ever experienced. We used to sit around for hours and he would show me things on his acoustic guitar, something I had never been able to play before. Whenever Kevin started playing he would notice me hanging around outside the room and gladly invite me in to listen and play along. I never thought I would be able to play music, I was always too shy and embarrassed, but Kevin was one of the first people to have the patience and perseverance to encourage me and to really show me I could do it. Kevin was one of the first real teachers who showed me that he believed in me and that I could believe in myself.
We would sit around listening to Cake cd's, Sublime cd's (this was the 90's after all) -- anything that struck our fancy. He was a close friend regardless of the years between us and nurtured my interest in music in a more care-giving way than I have ever experienced from anyone to this day. I have never run across someone who had such a genuine and selfless ability to share. It might seem at first that Kevin was shy about his music, but as soon as you expressed any interest you would find out quite the opposite, he was excited to let someone in to that part of his life and help to make it a part of your own.
I still remember the day Kevin left our house. I had not expected him to be gone when I came home from school. When I walked into his room in our house I saw that all his things were gone except for one thing - his electric guitar and amplifier, which he had left behind for me. I remember the way he had talked about the guitar, something he had gotten when he was a teenager - and it was obviously very important to him. I felt honored to receive such a heartfelt gift, and credit Kevin to introducing me to something that would become one of the most important things in my life, music. I really loved Kevin, he was a very close friend and teacher to me in a period of my life when I was struggling to define myself, and I'm sure I can speak for the rest of my brothers, family, and all those involved with Unicorn, that we will continue to miss him and learn from him long after he is gone.
Sincerely, Luke S.
Dear Nick and No Umbrella-
I read in the Courier (Courier-Gazette, Rockland, Maine) about your award for NO UMBRELLA. I am you and Zeke's second grade teacher. I go up north (not kayaking anymore so much) but I do a lot of fishing. I always pick up your paper as I really like it. I tell people about it and so I just wanted to say great job! So just count me as one of your fans too! Please tell Zeke I hear about him too!
-MS ZWICK (if you can remember that far back!)
Dear Ms. Zwick-
Of course I remember: Rockport Elementary School in the 1980’s! Great times! I am honored that you remember me—you certainly had a lot more students than I had teachers.
And thanks for bringing up the award, because I hadn’t mentioned it yet here in the paper. Thanks to Unity College for presenting me with an honorary citation at their commencement ceremonies in May. It was quite the honor. The environmental college recognized me, and No Umbrella, for "contributions to environmental writing and advocacy". Special thanks go to Dr. Kathryn Miles who invited me into her environmental writing class to talk with her students and nominated me for the award. It was all a great experience.
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