Last August

Discuss a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Kimball Farm once had the lightest atmosphere on earth. My problems would dissolve upon entering the ice cream stand and my concerns for the outside world would completely vanish. At work, I worried about simple things, like whether or not we had enough vanilla to get us through the night, or if I could manage to get the tempering room clean enough for the high expectations of the FDA. Now, as I stand in our gigantic walk-in freezer, I feel a painful sense of nostalgia. The bitter-cold of this small, plastic room seems to get to me a little more than it used to. As I walk past the cylindrical metal cans I am reminded of the pictures of them strewn about the accident scene, and I remember tossing them around in the freezer while working with my friend Scott.The evening of August 2, 2002 was hazy and humid, and the oppressive heat seemed to slow everyone and everything to a crawl. I had just finished a non-stop, four-day recording session with my band in Northborough, which also doubled as a mini-vacation from work. Driving down 495 with our brand new CD blaring, I was interrupted by a call on my cell phone. Upon picking up my phone, I noticed I had over five missed calls, and knew that something must be up. I said “Hello,” and my heart skipped a beat when I heard no immediate response, just the heavy breathing of an obviously distressed individual.”How far are you from Kimball’s?” my friend Chris asked.”Far. Why?””You should come by. Scott died today bringing a load of ice cream to Jaffrey. He may have fallen asleep at the wheel – we’re really not sure yet.”Dizzy and angry, I would have pulled over if my bandmates weren’t following me home. Instead, I bit my lip, screamed, and did my best to focus on the road.I met up with my co-workers as soon as I could. We didn’t really say much to each other. I think we all knew that words wouldn’t bring him back, and that no one could explain why any of this had to happen. So we silently drove to the crash site where some friends had surrounded the tree with personal items of Scott’s and candles that flickered against the mangled trunk. We stood there for what could have been two minutes or two hours, saying our own personal goodbyes.I breathe in the cold, creamy air, knowing that I’m not going to find him working in our freezer anymore. However, I have now accepted that I will never really lose my good friend and personal inspiration. It’s only been a matter of months, but in that time I’ve learned that we at Kimball’s have been given a lot more than we lost on August second.

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