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                                                   Written By: Rashon Leyf



            Well, it’s happened. A very sad, but not unexpected event has recently occurred in our city. Kenny Asher, while intoxicated, has driven his girlfriend’s (Lauren Havess) antique car off a north side embankment, and has either died from injuries sustained during the car’s subsequent descent into the river, or else has died from drowning. Whichever, Ralph Hawk has told me that this incident is producing devastating effects upon Lauren.

            And at this time I think I’d better say this:  Even though this is the second paragraph of this chapter, it’s the last paragraph to have been written for this chapter. I wrote the rest of this chapter (including its first paragraph) yesterday when the full impact of Kenny’s death was still influencing my words. And after reading what I’d then written, I realized this chapter concerned Ralph Hawk and Lauren Havess much more than Kenny Asher. Thus, today I want to inform you that I don’t intend this chapter to be a second “Tribute To Ralph Hawk;” rather, this is simply an attempt to report Kenny’s death, and announce that his death may have significant (but hopefully not) effects in this city. And, of course Ralph had intended to include a chapter about Kenny Asher later in this book. But now I guess he’ll (Ralph) be looking back upon Kenny’s life in that chapter, rather than speculating about what he (Kenny) might have done, or what may have befallen him in years to come had he not succumbed to death at such a young age.

            And I know that while Ralph mourns the death of Kenny, he doesn’t assign any blame for that death to anyone but Kenny himself. Yet, Lauren apparently doesn’t see it that way. She blames herself. And since Lauren always was rather emotionally unstable, Ralph has now become especially concerned about her well-being.

            And as you’ve probably learned by now, since her father’s death, Lauren Havess is the owner of the largest operating factory here in our city. And I wouldn’t be lying to you if I said that many of that factory’s workers fear their jobs may now be lost because Lauren has assumed ownership of their place of employment. And those fears have only been exacerbated since the death of her boyfriend.Yes, rumors spread quickly, and Lauren, who was an only child, and who had been gone from our city for many years, had apparently lived a life of, let’s call it “looseness,” since she’d left our city.

            But now I’d like to apologize to you, the readers of this book, for “springing” this short and unexpected chapter upon you at this time. Yet, when John, Ralph, and I finally did agree upon some type of structure for this book, we had no knowledge then that Kenny Asher would die during the course of our writing it. And trust me, I think Kenny’s death has left varying, but lasting impressions upon the citizens of this city. And it’s especially impacted Lauren, as I said, nevertheless it’s Ralph I’m primarily concerned about because I know he now feels responsible for Lauren and the continued productive operation of this city’s largest source of employment – owned by her.

            And, in closing, let me state this:  Kenny’s death had not yet occurred when I wrote the previous chapter, otherwise the words of praise I’ve had for Ralph in this chapter would have “fit well,” into that one. And every time that something like this happens, we in this city are reminded of all we owe to Ralph Hawk.

            Also, I should tell you that Ralph had asked Al Asher (Kenny’s older brother) to write the next chapter of this book prior to his (Al’s) brother’s tragic death. But Al hadn’t completed writing that chapter when Kenny died, and thus that chapter contains references to Kenny’s death. And given what’s happened, John, Ralph and I want to thank Al Asher all the more for his kind remarks in the upcoming chapter. And he has our sympathies.



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