"I'll try to write a run-down of a few decades. I don't know some of the folks mentioned in the postings that I've read. I was only there during summer, fall and winter of '66 (EIU was then on a 'quarter system' as opposed to semesters). I did pretty well that summer until the Mow and Mongoose returned in the fall. That's when I really got my education. I had one hell of a time. In fact, it was so good that I was asked not to come back for the spring quarter 1967!
Like Mongoose, I enlisted in the Air Force. That was Sept. of 1967. I was sent to Westover AFB in Massachusetts right out of basic training - - to fearlessly fly a Smith-Corona in personnel. I was later stationed in Okinawa for six months and loved it so much, that I volunteered to go back. I ended up spending about four years there; four out of an almost six-year enlistment. I had one hell of a time there, too!
|Mary and Ken visiting Graceland, TN|
I got out of the Air Force in Aug. of 1973 and went to Lake Land College in Mattoon and then back to EIU. I soon got tired of school and went to work at the GE plant (General Electric) in Mattoon. I was laid off from GE in late 1976, so I took the postal exam in early 1977 and was hired to be a letter carrier. I retired from the postal service in 2004. After retirement, I worked five years with a 'Meals-on-Wheels' program to feed elderly folks. Now, I'm pretty much hanging out. I grow a vegetable garden every year and do some canning. I love the homegrown veggies.
|Ken with his 1979 Gibson; usually plays a Fender Telecaster.|
Some might remember that I did some guitar pickin' up in the Bahamas. I even tried to teach Lyle a few licks. I've tried to stay in practice over the years. I think I taught every roommate I had in the Air Force how to play 'The House of the Rising Sun.'
I got married in 1980 and have two daughters. They have each blessed me with a grandson and granddaughter. They live nearby, so I see them as needed. I married my second wife in 1995; that only lasted a year and a half. Somehow these women didn't catch on to my act!
|Daughters of Ken Lowry|
I married my present wife, Mary, in 2003. I had known her for around thirty years and worked with her at the post office. She's retired also, so we just goof around as we please. She's the best thing to happen to me.
|Ken talking with BB King (2007)|
I've played in a few bands in this area, most recently 'The Swingin Jon-Suns.' I still play the oldies. I suppose the highlight of my music career was meeting BB King and getting him to autograph my guitar. Mary purchased tickets to see him perform in Effingham, and arranged for us to meet with him after the show (Birthday present, sweet!). I still jam with some guys every week - getting set for our next gig.
|Grandson will own that Gibson someday! (Autographed by BB King)|
I'll always have great memories of the Ko-Op days even though they didn't result in a degree. We sure had some 'yucks.' I hope to hear from anyone who wants to e-mail (Contact Johnse for my email address).
Yours with 'a pair on-one-with',
Ken Lowry, A.K.A. P-nuts"
|Ken and his grandkids takin' a spin (2 girls and 2 boys)|
One more tune, another Animals classic - - often heard playing in the Bahamas room. Eric Burdon was such a rebel in those days. Here's to you, Ken. Keep rockin'.