Sunday, March 18, 2007

Obits from Northern Kentucky


I wanted to note the passing of two Northern Kentuckian who had an impact on my life.

Jack Kinsella

Jack owned the West Side Café in Newport which was a hotbed of working class political activism.

Jack was a great friend of my father and I worked in a deli across from the West Side all during high school. The years in Newport had a tremendous impact on how I view the world and my writings 30 years later reflects it.

Jack was one of the nicest human beings I have ever met. He was the ultimate soft touch for someone down on their luck and there were a lot of people down on their luck on the West Side of Newport.

In the 1970’s Newport High School had the second highest dropout rate in the country and the city was the true definition of economic depression. As the great KET documentary, Where the River Bends, notes, the city has come a long way since then.

I have not seen Jack since my father’s funeral in 1993 but know that he never gave up his affinity for the hard working people who came into his café.

Another part of me was formed during that time period. The food at the West Side was incredible and I gained a bunch of weight.

Here is a link to a Cincinnati Enquirer profile of Jack:

Hilda Robinson

I never met Ms. Robinson but she had an tremendous impact on Kentucky through her son, William T. (Bill) Robinson III, who is a powerhouse on the Kentucky legal, business and political scene.

Her grandson, William T. (Tay) Robinson IV, is a structured settlement consultant who started his career with McNay Settlement Group and we remain good friends. Tay’s father in law, Ed Currin, is a funeral director who did a wonderful job with my mother and sister’s funerals last year.

Enclosed is an obituary and profile from the Kentucky Post:

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