2012 Elite Series - All-Star Semi-final Lake Shelbyville - Decatur, IL, Sep 20 - 21, 2012

The 13th All-Star

“I took Derek fishing one other time, just stopped by his house, picked him up and we went out and floated a river by my house. It was a great day. He was happy, caught some fish. I got a photo of him with some fish…we became close…I’m still close with his family…but then…then…”

Edwin is looking at a photo of Derek he took with his cell phone, “He looks so good there, so normal, just an 18-year-old kid…but….you know…you know...I visited him in the hospital.”

“…for every beginning

there must come an end…”

On October 7, 2010…Derek passed away.

He was just 20 years old. Diagnosed in 2009, gone in 2010.

“I never said anything, db, but he had a wish. He wished that my truck…my wrapped truck … would lead his funeral parade…and it did. I did…it was pretty tough.”

I had to turn away for a moment or two after that comment.

When I regained my composure, I asked this, “What did you get out of this…anything?”

Edwin looks up from the table and straight into my eyes.

“Derek was somebody you wanted to be like. He said I was his hero but, in fact, it turned out that he was my… my hero. Derek lived his life as a great example. I put that decal on my boat in a place where I can see it. When I struggle as an angler and start thinking fishing is life or death, I see that decal and I realize that IT IS NOT…it is not…and I get peaceful…Derek gave me that, that young man, here on this earth not very long, taught me that.”

And then, the 13th All-Star came center stage.

Derek Keniston, 1990-2010

Photo by Edwin Evers

With the beacon.

With the whisper over the shouts, “He told me, and I get it now… I learned from him, don’t take any day of life for granted.”

It is a whisper from Derek.

It is a whisper from Kevin.

“Embrace life, man, embrace life.”

It is the stage we stand upon.


It is the stage we stand upon.


It is the whisper from the universe.

Through Kevin.

Through Derek.

Embrace life.

Embrace love.

Embrace each other.

And you will step gently upon

your own All-Star stage.

“…I want to thank you, thank you for

being my friend.”

“I Love You, But Goodbye”

Langhorne Slim