(as told by their parents)
What can I say? Kathie was born at 3:00 AM on February 16, 1975. She came into the world in a hurry. The doctor got there just in time to catch her. It was an omen. Kathie has been on the run ever since. When she learned to crawl, she got rug burns on her nose because she was going too fast trying to keep up with her older sister. At about 2 or 3 she ran everywhere on her tip toes. I thought maybe a ballerina? When she learned to ride a bike, she was going soooo fast that she flipped the bike and got major road rash on her back and shoulders. I knew that I would have to find some outlet for all of this energy. At about 4 years she was enrolled in dance class. She loved it for a while but after her first recital she had had enough. Now What? Piano lessons. While she excelled at playing, it wasn’t what she really wanted. So after I got tired of beating my head against the wall, we enrolled her in riding lessons. Here was Kathie’s love. She threw herself into the equestrian life, and went at it 150%. This has been her practice all of her life. She was the child who ran until she just stopped. I’ll never forget the night she fell asleep at the dinner table and landed face first into her plate of spaghetti. Like a wind up doll, you could just see her wind down. Kathie was the only child we had that put a pea up her nose. You just never knew what she was going to do next. Kathie was a very shy little girl. Would not dial the phone for years because she was afraid she would get a wrong number. Boy how times change.
Stephen was born at 3:16 AM December 23, 1976 in Iola, Kansas. A Bicentennial Christmas baby, you knew he was destined to make history. Allergies to milk and eggs didn’t stop him from reading books at 2 1/2 and doing math at 3. He didn’t overlook other challenges, either, like testing how many cookies could be purloined without mom noticing. Not content with mere academic pursuits, he early on took to baseball, soccer and household gymnastics, leaving his mark at every turn. Competitiveness was a cornerstone of his personality, whether it was academics or sports, which also included tennis, one thing his “old man” could whup him at, until about 6th grade. Moving on to junior high and high school his interests also included other pursuits not unlike most teenage boys; music, of course. There had been piano lessons at an early age, but he played viola in junior high and high school orchestras, and sang in the school choirs. Despite notorious escapades which are still legend in the community, he graduated from Lawrence High School in 1994, proceeded to Stanford University, and much of the rest of the story can be found at stanford.edu/~chaps and fieldapps.com. Of course, no biopic is complete without one of those special moments that are prophetic of things to come. He was 4 or 5 at the time, and it was during an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard, or maybe Dallas, essential aids for teaching children family values and the facts of life. He looked up during a commercial and said, “If I ever find a girl who sticks peas up her nose, I think I’ll marry her.” Unbelievable? Okay, you got me. He was a General Lee fan, though, and that was kind of prophetic.