Kenneth Warren 1951 - 2015

Some photos from my time with one of the smartest, most beautiful people Lakewood ever had the honor to call a resident, and more. ©2015 Lakewood Observer, Inc.

(click photo to enlarge)

  • Kenneth Warren, circa 1990s

  • When he first came to town, Ken, the ever-loving beat poet and musician wrote for the Alternative Press for years under various nom de plumes as his bosses in Lakewood might not approve.

  • Ken sitting in on percussion with Cats on Holiday, one of his favorite bands in the area. Ken had given breaks to many, many of the area talents.

  • Ken Warren and Best Friend and Board Member Jeff Endress.

  • Ken at a meeting to decide how to raise money for the new $12 million library.

  • Kenneth Warren with 3rd son Daniel Slife. Dan is now director of the Wadsworth Library.

  • Kenneth Warren with the Library Board, he so loved so many of the members.

  • Ken speaking to area realtors about why he loved Lakewood.

  • Lakewood Judge Patrick Carroll steps up and takes a shovelful at the Library Ground breaking.

  • Library Board Members Suzanne Metelko, Scott Kermode, Jeffery Endress join Ken in checking out the progress made by Turner Construction.

  • Ken

  • In the back, Ken stuffs envelopes at an Envelope stuffing party at Shannon Strachan's house. Ken loved and was thankful for every memebr of Friends of Lakewood Library, especially Jay and Lynn Foran, Mary Ann Crampton, Shannon Strachan and each and every one.

  • Ken with one of the top murialists in the world, Richard Haas and Lakewood Historical Director Mazie Adams to get information for the two murals in the Grand Reading Room.

  • Ken enjoy Cats Lights in front of the Old Library.

  • Dancing

  • Walking through the new room with Stephan Davis.

  • Kenneth Warren, Achitect for the new library, Robert A.M. Stern, and Library Board Member and friend Jeff Endress.

  • Sitting with Robert and team prior to the opening.

  • Sitting with Robert and team prior to the opening in the Grand Reading Room.

  • Ken at Light Up Lakewood. He was a huge supporter of LakewoodAlive, and everything Lakewood.

  • Possibly one of Ken's happiest moments ever. Playing drums at the Library Gala Party prior to opening. He had been practicing with some of his favorite people, and he loved the drums.

  • He was having a blast.

  • Ken with Senator George Voinovich.

  • Ken Warren with his Library Board prior to opening the new Library.

  • Ken's next favorite moment, letting the public into their new library.

  • Ken with Members of the Lakewood Board of Education getting another one of tons of awards he earned.

  • Might be the only time I saw him cry. Final lunch with the crew that helped on the Book Sale at Don's Lighthouse. He so loved each and every person at this table. Terrible day, but the beginning of new.

  • Ken's retirement photo. In a library of books, Ken had chosen each one in the photo, brought some in from home. Each meant something, when you read the titles, he was just such a punk.

  • Ready to hit the street.

  • Gene Kramer with Ken at a LakewoodAlive event.

  • Dollar store

  • Ken found a Veteran who had lost his bed, Ken decided he should buy this guy one. So Steve Calhoun, Steve Davis and I took Ken to WalMart for the first time in his life.

  • Overwhelmed, but he got the bed.

  • Ken giving a talk on Spiral Dynamics. This was a huge part of Ken's assesment toolkit. I never took much stock in "the color thingy" which would set him off!

  • Steve Davis, Ken and I creepy crawling Cain Park in the early morning hours.

  • Another great moment for Ken. The launch of the Lakewood Observer Gourmet Food Security Network. AKA LEAF's first meeting. Ken bought 7 shares.

  • Ken with Lil' Ken, Dan Slife.

  • Ken with one of his favorite humans Lynn Rodemann. Ken became a father and mentor to all who passed through his life. But he took a special interest in the friends of his sons Parker and Beckett.

  • Ken, giving Mel Page and LO editor Margaret Brinich the schtick. This was prior to me giving them the LO. We had many "Charlie in the Chocolate Factory" moments.

  • Ken fighting for libraries down at The Cleveland Public Library.

  • School Board member and friend Kenneth Warren with Ken and Steve Davis.

  • Ken and Dan, these two were great together.

  • Ken wearing one of my "Mellonsak Hats" with Stephen Eisel.

  • The infamous Color Thingy

  • Ken after one of our many, many late night walks around Lakewood. Here he had chased off some druggies with a stolen bike.

  • Ken Warren opening the first death threat against the Lakewood Observer. "I'll do it, I get them all the time."

  • Ken and I visiting some Somalis that had just arrived in Lakewood. We became good friends with all.

  • Then we walked around the corner to one of his secret food places-- blackberries in Hidden Village.

  • Ken with David, a great guy that completely blew our minds.

  • Ken Warren laying down the rules of the dance-off.

  • Ken hated abuse of public property and trust. Here he was explaning why we do not need illegal signs in a park while waiting for police. The dude left.

  • Back to steal some berries. Finally a guy came out and threatened to shoot us if we took any more. As he went to get his gun, I told Ken we have a couple more minutes, and it is doubtful he could hit anything in his current aggravated state. Ken grabbed some more then scurried back to the car and said let's go. We only went back during the day after that.

  • Stephan Davis with Kenneth Warren at bella dubby.

  • Ken talking with a police officer riding a horse across America to publicize legalization of marijuana.

  • Ken with his hand-picked successor at Lakewood Public Library, James Crawford. They were great friends and Ken loved Crawford.

  • Gary Rice with Ken Warren at the Root.

  • Ivor Karabotkovic at the Root.

  • Ken bought us these fucked up hats, and we had to wear them everywhere. He originally wanted purple caps, I settled for the hats.

  • On our way to NYC with hats.

  • Stopping to pose with the bear, with hats.

  • Ken, looking for punks.

  • Powering back a can of coke at bella dubby. Tea, or coke, nothing else.

  • Part of the Wrecking Crew at the Church of Human Remnants.

  • On one of many field trips we ran into Edwin juggling scissors and shears in the window around 11pm on Lorain. You bet we stopped.

  • Kenneth Warren son 4, Nadhal Eadeh, who Ken dubbed at one time, "The Palenstinian Don King." Nadhal grew up with his real sons and Dan Slife.

  • The infamous "Pleather Boys" photo.

  • Betsy Voinovich and Ken

  • Each year for Christmas Ken would give me the worst bear thing he could find, the worst tie, and some other screwy thing. So when ever he saw a bear, Grrrrrrr.

  • Badass!

  • Ken with James Crawford first time back at Lakewood Public Library.

  • Ken and Jim headed to Mahall's.

  • At Dan's wedding party with Lynn and ??

  • Ken with friend, poet and percusionist Michael Gill.

  • So we find out that Occupy Cleveland is coming to Lakewood. So we come up with the idea to try to get people to hold up a sign that should get them killed by most police. This grandmother gladly holds it.

  • Music Legend and friend Sam Phillips holds it and knows why it is bad, and supports it.

  • At Occupy Cleveland we couldn't get anyone to hold it...

  • ... then Ken kicked this guy a couple bucks, as we hurried back to Lakewood to see if they showed up.

  • Yeah they showed up in their Betty Boop outfit. And wouldn't hold the sign either.

  • OHIO, Ken hated your pizza, I don't care what he said or what you think. KEN HATED IT, and would bitch about it all the time.

  • Ken talking at a Library event for Kent State I believe.

  • We went to see where this car plunged hundreds of feet killing two. Ken found his lucky hammer where they landed.

  • Steve and Ken debating if it was a lucky hammer or not.

  • When Ken's masterpiece, "Captain Poetry's Sucker Punch" came out, it was a grand day. Ken's work on somethng he deeply loved, poetry, punk music, and the era of excess.

  • On the porch, we celebrated with a reading.

  • Ken with Carl Jones.

  • Doing a reading at Visible Voice.

  • Talking with longtime friend, Tatiana Roberts at Rising Star.

  • Ken with John Griener at the Westside Market. Ken was in awe of John's accomplishments and work. A rabid supporter of Lake Erie Monsters.

  • Ken with author Betty Rozakis at Blackbird Bakery.

  • Ken winning a bet. He bet me he could get this guy to buy a book for retail, or a trade of more value.

  • After hours in the store Ken walked out with magnetic bracelets and a free dinner.

  • Signing a book for one of his fans.

  • Steve, myself and Ken, the heart of the Observer Project on day one. Since then many have come and helped to build it into what it is.

  • Now this is cool. Thomas Mulready stops by the porch.

  • They talk musc, and then...

  • ..cane fight.

  • Walking the tracks I take some pictures of Ken. Hey, can you butch up a little?

  • Ken working on one of his many lectures on shit I could never understand.

  • Ken with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.

  • At India Garden the last time we were all together. Parker, Beckett, Ken, Craig Bell and Deb O'Bryan.

  • Portrait of Ken for the back of his book. I will never be able to express the impact this person had on my life, and the lives around him. He was one of a kind, with the mold broken, to steal from Hunter Thompson, anauthor he loathed...:
    "You couldn't invent someone like Kenneth Warren. He was one of a kind. He was a mutant. A real heavyweight water buffalo type... who could chew his way through a concrete wall and spit out the other side covered with lime and chalk and look good in doing it."

    Ken-- peace/love and goodbye

Back to Jim's photoblogs