Kevin Kling is a rare Minnesota treasure. 14-years ago today we nearly lost him in a tragic motorcycle accident. He is a member of a select group that I call, “The Great American Fool.” Just like the king’s relationship with his court fool, America has looked to the wise fools of their day for the truth. Mark Twain claimed to not be an American, but “The American.” In that spirit Kevin’s stories serve to tell the story of, “The Minnesotan.”
What a gift that we didn’t lose his voice the day that he was riding his BMW motorcycle to perform his play, 21A, at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. That day I recall walking out my front door and smelling sweet citrus cleanser wafting in the air. Kevin, my next-door neighbor was hosing off his freshly cleaned motorcycle. We talked about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and how a BMW beats out a Honda any day of week. As I watched him ride away I remember looking forward to seeing his show with my family that night.
Hidden in an old cigar box I’ve kept those unused Fringe tickets clearly marked 8/11/2001. That date has always haunted me because it’s exactly one month before the World changed forever. Thank God we didn’t lose the guiding voice of Kevin Kling that day.