In Memoriam — 2012

By Toni Reavis 

“Some people cast shadows on one’s life, while others are etched in one’s being and their outline remains clear and strong forever. There are many shadows, fewer silhouettes.” 

— Elisabeth Reavis 

Jason, Charlie and Bill

My mother wrote those lines to me in a letter in 1983. They immediately came to mind when I
heard the sad news of the passing of my old friend and running partner, Jim “Jason” Kehoe. 

For those of us lucky enough to have called him friend, Jason was one of the indelibly etched characters in our lives. For me, his outline was recognized early on, and never diminished, not when I moved thousands of miles away, or even now when he has departed for dimensions unknown after being found dead all too soon of natural causes at his home in Hull, Massachusetts on June 3, 2012 at age 64. 

Photo Album


LINK TO PHOTO ALBUM

Charlie Rodgers

Today I mourn the loss of my best friend, although, in truth, he was more like my brother…how does one review and relate a lifetime of friendship and shared experiences. Most everyone reading this knows that Bill and I met Jason at a very young age; our families lived in the same neighborhood. Back in the days of early television, Jason’s family had one of first sets and on any weeknight Bill, Martha and I would run over to his house to watch the Howdy Doody show. Some sixty-plus years ago, lifelong friendships began.

Bill Rodgers


When I remember James Kehoe, I think of him as Jason. That’s the nickname I gave him when we were about 13 or 14 and walking home from Wood Pond in West Hartford after a fishing expedition. To me we were on a journey like Jason and the Argonauts, who were on a quest for the Golden Fleece.

We lived outside, riding our bikes and walking around the block from Thornton Drive to High Ridge Road. We played every game/sport around, all for fun, with no parents overseeing us. We were Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts together. Charlie, Jason and I went fishing and hunting together with Bobby Lang from Newington, Conn.

Carol Markowski McCannon

Remembering Jason Kehoe
It is hard to know where to begin in writing about Jason. I actually had a dream about him a few nights ago, and as dreams go, I remembered instantly he was the main character in my dream, but I have no idea now or even when I woke up, what the dream was about in detail. I just realized at that moment it was Jason’s way of staying in my spirit, and always will be there. So, here I go with my thoughts on paper.

Trips to Florida

By Randy Cook
We went to Florida twice — I don't remember which trips the events happened in so I’m combining them — both in my ’65 VW bug. We made it to Key West but the bug was running rough — took it to a dealer and had to get a valve job done. We were camping on a site that was coral based. When coral dries it is hard as a rock and full of shards — impossible to sleep on with only sleeping bags, so we bought cheap air mattresses which worked well until 3 in the morning when we woke up to find they had been deflated by those dastardly shards. 

Brian Kelly


To Catherine Kehoe and to Bill and Charlie Rodgers: Jason was my roommate from 1971 to 1974 in Boston and in Brookline. We spent thousands of hours together, talking, walking, sitting together on the park bench, or listening to music, usually "The Grateful Dead." Jason did not always talk a lot, but everything he said was valuable for me to hear. He was sometimes profound, sometimes humorous or goofy; he was always the smartest guy in the room and people wanted to be around him. I am so glad that I got to be Jason's roommate and friend for those years. He made a deep impression in my life and I will never forget him. Rest in peace, my friend.
Brian Kelly
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Dave Dial

Cast in this unlikely role,
Ill-equipped to act,
With insufficient tact
One must put up barriers,
To keep oneself intact
— Neil Peart

A memory
It was the early 80s and given Bill’s status as one of the world’s best distance runners, he was often out of town on running business and on this given trip Charlie had joined him.

That left yours truly to open the Cleveland Circle store at 10 a.m., meaning Jason would come in at noon, his usual start time, to close.

That said, back in the day, the number of people coming through the door wanting a piece of Bill was unimaginable — but then again that’s the price of fame. And, needless to say, just because the Rodgers brothers were out of town didn’t mean said individuals didn’t roll in unannounced, both those with credibility and those without.

With that in mind, one day in particular stands out because of what I consider to be the best Jason quote, at least that I can share in mixed company, I was ever privy to. 


At the Memorial Gathering

Randy Cook

Jason was a friend in high school and college. I'm sure he is sitting at the bar of the Russian American Club sippin’ on a red snapper. This is a picture of his ’71 BSA. Earlier he had a 1957 Chevy Nomad (he called it “the gonad”). God bless you, man.

J-ball, if you can hear me, fire up the Nomad and we will tip a few before we head into Puritan and deal with 201. Or we can just skip that and go to the RA. Red snappers, man.

Paula Buick

I am so sad my long time ‘boat’ friend Jason (he was ‘Steve’ to us commuters) has died. On the 8:30 boat at night he would have his ‘Sam’ and Cape Cod chips — always checked the date for freshness. We’d talk about the Celtics, the Sox, the Pats, and with his philosophical approach to life we’d muse about the goings-on in the world and Boston. A few of us wondered this week where he was – not like him to not be on the boat. He missed his running days – that right foot, left hip bothering him this past few months. He loved his running friends – especially those who loved the single malts. I don’t know any of you but I know his wry smile would peek out when he’d talk about different moments or from his trusty Sports Illustrated tell me about the distance runners from Kenya and Ethiopia — and big smiles talking about Billy and Charlie…. And Christmas dinner with his sister and their aunt over the years.

Love from Vajra

I just heard about Jason, and am flooded with the memories of that lovely man and my time with the shop team in Cleveland Circle in the early eighties when I did massage there. Jason and I were quite close, ran together as well as have social time hanging out. He was the kind of guy who lives in the heart, very kind and generous but also with great intelligence and perception. It was easy to feel a joy and affinity at seeing him. I think he contributed a lot to everyone who he met and by extension to all our connections.

I am thinking of you all with much love

Vajra
Vajradaka/Ian Currie

Old School

By Jason Kehoe, 1999


Jim Kehoe and Coach Frank O'Rourke, 1965

“Get going, Kehoe. You can catch him!” 
The words pierced my left ear, slapped my fuzzy brain, and kicked my legs into another gear. I caught the runner ahead of me, passed him, and held on for my first mile victory as a high school senior. I was thrilled.

The voice that had triggered the winning response in me was that of Coach Frank O’Rourke. It was one of the loudest voices in central 13less high school track in the mid-sixties. The key to the voice how­ever, was not so much the volume, as it was the urgency with which the message was delivered. Coach O’Rourke cared, and if you bought into his program, you cared, too. The combination was the coach-athlete relation­ship at its best. It was based on a genuine mutual enthusiasm for the sport, in this case, running. 


Poem

By Elisabeth Reavis

I cannot see you
or touch you —
distance is the
master now.
But with my eyes
closed and with
my ears attuned
to the smallest
vibrations of your
voice, I can hear
you say,
“there is no time,
no distance,
no separation.
There is only
love,
my friend.”



A French teacher for 40 years, Elisabeth Reavis also wrote poetry to soothe her Slavic soul. Being a Pole who was displaced by war, she carried a deep melancholy which emerged in her verse.  She and Jason met when she visited her son Toni Boston in 1987. It was her first visit back since her landing in America in Boston harbor in January 1946.

Obituary


Leo Lashock

Jason Kehoe and Leo Lashock

I'd like to start off by offering my condolences for Jason. I just heard of his passing.
My name is Leo Lashock, and I worked with Jason at Bill Rodgers Running Center from late 1995 until I moved west in 2000.


In those years — we spent time together in the store; and running after work; and drinking beer after that, at the Green Dragon and Pizzeria Uno... and although I was a good bit younger than Jason, I grew very close to him. Right from the start, really. He was like a brother to me. I can assure you he had a big impact on my life, and I can't even imagine I will never see him or speak to him again.




The first thing I did when I got the news (it was through an email from a mutual friend), was to call Charlie Rodgers. I spoke with him about an hour, reminiscing. Charlie was still having a hard time off and on in our conversation; but we enjoyed some laughs, too. I know it was good for me to talk to Charlie, as I was closest to Charlie and Jason. Charlie and Jason were/are closer to me than most of my family (and Bill too, but I just didn't get to see as much of him while I was in Boston). And of course, everyone else at the Running Center were/are my extended family too; but essentially, it was always Charlie and Jason.




I think this is an awesome way to keep Jason’s memory alive. I know he touched a lot of people’s lives, in many ways. He will never be forgotten. His outlook on life, and his sense of humor will always live in my memory. I’ve thought about him very often, since I left Boston, and I know I will continue to do so for as long as I’m around.




He left us far too soon — but he will live on, with all of those who cared about him and loved him, in their own way.

Whether it be his wit, his philosophy, his humor; or his genuine, honest friendship — he’ll always stay with us.
Sincerely,
Leo Lashock

Hate Runs

By Toni Reavis
(In loving memory of our dear friend, Jason Kehoe, assistant manager of the Bill Rodgers Running Center, who passed away at his home in Hull, Massachusetts Sunday June 3, 2012 of natural causes at age 64. Jason worked at the store since it first opened in Cleveland Circle in November 1977. Before that he had grown up with Bill and Charlie Rodgers in Newington, Connecticut, where Jas was the miler on the Newington High School track team when Bill was the two miler. With a piercing wit this wry purveyor of truth was an uncompromising contrarian who lived his life his way, the whole way.
“Personally, in my own life, I try, in my own limited interaction with the world, to do it with integrity, and earn what I get. And don’t ask for more than I’ve earned – which seems to be an exception. But I don’t see it as exceptional. I just view average as exceptional when mediocrity is the norm.” — Jason Kehoe