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On October 24th, 2006 My family held a memorial service for my sister Linda Kinkel at Luther Village in Arlington heights, Illinois.

The following is a transcript of the memorial speech I gave reflecting on my life with Linda.  E.K.


My older sister Linda, was just that... my older sister. Separated in a vague kind of way since she had 7 years on me. I don't recall many childhood memories of Linda because we didn't spend much time together....Linda and I were busy growing up!.

I recall both my sisters fighting, bickering over things like; clothes, music,  boyfriends and the occasional spat over who gets to NOT do the dishes after dinner...that was always a source of sibling rivalry.

Even our family camping trips were often spent apart, as Linda and Nancy  always found time for their new found boyfriends. I didn't so much mind because I knew they still loved me, after all I was their brother...I wasn't old enough to understand what they were growing into... except the music we listened to...that, we always shared as a source of mutual pride and passion. After all it was the sixties and oh what a time it was. The music was everywhere, it was spirited, fun, lively, exciting, political, and captivating, different at every twist and turn of a new screaming guitar lick, every rapturous lyric and punctuating drum beat... it was wild...it was fantastic....it was new... it was wonderful. Linda and Nancy and I shared those moments often, and more and more every time our favorite songs came on the radio, or every time we played our records to our parents disgust.

As I watched Linda grow through her teen years I could see a mature intellectual mind at work, sprouting idealist thoughts about what was going on in her world. The sixties were a contentious time, a time when college students and  teens found their angst in that which was changing all around them. A time of moral and political upheaval was at hand ...even in our sheltered suburb of Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Occasionally Linda would say to me "you know Eric"... you know what's going on... right? As if no words were needed to explain, I would say "yes" I know what's going on. A trust developed in those years as I approached my teens, and Linda came to the end of hers.

Music somehow always cemented our relationship. Linda often turned me on to music I was never aware of. Her boyfriends always sucked up to me trying to get in "good" with the younger brother so things were O.K. with the new girlfriend. I remember one of them (who was the spitting image of actor William Hurt) turning me on to something called "FM" radio. He plopped a large black transistor radio down on our kitchen table and said switch this over to "FM", and with the flick of the switch I heard "Purple Haze" .... I was fascinated at the lively sounds, Bill said; "That's Jimi Hendrix man"! Isn't that cool ?, the sound was stereo... if not for Linda having dated him it's possible I might not have heard Jimi Hendrix until later on in my life. Linda's influence was always apparent to me.

As I was growing up, I thought of her often. In time Linda went to college and then on to live in Connecticut. Soon afterwards she got married, continued her education and did a lot of traveling and studying. We were all proud of her. I didn't see her or Nancy much after that... our lives were going in different directions.

In 1988, shortly after a good friend of mine passed away, Linda knew I was distraught and she called to console me. We talked for what seemed like hours. A mutual understanding that already existed deepened as we bonded on a number of issues which affected our lives. Besides my friend's recent passing, I had just broken off an engagement which was going to set 1988 in the record books as the year in which we were ALL to get married. I played for Linda's wedding that year and watched as she approached her new life with a zest and a zeal.

In the years to come Linda was diagnosed with MS, and I watched on the sidelines as her life took a turn for the worse. We continued our mutual understandings through out those years. All along I felt that Linda understood me. She supported me in most things I did, and told me when she didn't think I was making a good decision. I advocated for Linda through the many concerts I put on to help pay for her in-home health care. I loved Linda and I still advocate for her... I wish for her to be flying with the eagles, the gulls and the swallows... for among them you will find her spirit, I will always share her spirit through my music.

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