Happy birthday, TK


When my friend Larry started his new blog, I went through a thought experiment. See, Larry is writing about one person every day who has influenced him – one person who has left “footprints” on his life, so to speak. So after reading his first few entries, I sat down and made a list of people who have influenced me. Now, I’m not quite ready to jump on the “Project 365” blog experiment, but I wanted to see if I could come up with 365 people who have impacted my life in one way or another.

One of the first on my list was my cousin, Tyler. Or, as you know him, TK.

TK, in living 3-D

I can’t remember a time when TK wasn’t in my life. He’s about 8 1/2 months younger than I am. After entering this world as a Michelin baby, it didn’t take long for TK, his older brother Shane and I to become quite the trio. We didn’t see each other too often as kids, due to him living in Milton-Freewater, OR while I lived in the Portland area. But when we did get a chance to hang out, hoo boy. We would literally sprint out of our house/car and slam into each other at full speed for a full-contact hug. This was a fun ritual, but it sometimes resulted in one or all of us falling down a hill or slamming into closed glass doors.

As time went on, TK’s family moved to Silverton, OR when TK and I were in middle school- a much more manageable distance for frequent visits. Shane and I stayed connected through our love of Star Wars, and TK and I became closer through our love of music. (not to say that Shane isn’t a music fan – he is, and he’s a great musician as well. But he focuses more on jazz music, while TK and I… well… you’re at this blog, right?)

It started out with CCM. We loved dc Talk, Newsboys, and Audio Adrenaline. Then, to Christian punk, alternative, and ska bands like Five Iron Frenzy, Ghoti Hook, and Mxpx. We took turns introducing each other to new music and making “dt’s” for each other – mixtapes that we would send through the mail. At one point in 2001, TK had introduced me to my favorite band (The Juliana Theory), and I had introduced him to his (Dashboard Confessional).

Life went on. Through high school, we spent our spring breaks in Mexico building houses. Those experiences were great bonding times for all three of us, as Shane, Tyler and I were officially branded “The Knox Boys”. We even bought a brick at Disneyland with our names on it. Our families went on a few Disneyland trips together, so it became an important place for us. We picked March as the date on the brick because our Mission to Mexico trips happened each March in high school.

After high school, TK went to Concordia, then UO, then LA, while I went to God’s favorite college. I think we actually kept in touch better during college/grad school than before, thanks to e-mail, Myspace, Facebook, etc. Our relationship has been more than just music, too. For the last 10 years, TK has been my go-to friend for conversations about all aspects of life, whether it be music, movies, love, politics, religion, or whatever.

Here’s a Five Iron Frenzy video to watch. While it may not fit the typical teen/20something experience lyrically, the attitude and energy remind me so much of going through high school and college with TK. We also went to no fewer than four FIF concerts together, so it seems appropriate to have them in this post.

Happy 24th to my best man and best friend. Cousins 4 LIFE!


4 Responses to “Happy birthday, TK”

  1. 1 Christy Knox

    Caleb, Thanks for making me smile, tear up a little, and be thankful that my nephew and sons are such good buddies. Love you, Neph.

  2. 3 Shane

    Full Length Mirror 4 life!

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