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A Legend, A Grandfather, A Hero

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In Canada, he’s a legend. He’s a four time Grey Cup champion—the Canadian Super Bowl—and a CFL Hall of Famer. He even has a street named after him—Ken Ploen Way—and a book written about him—Ken Ploen: The Quiet Hero. To everyone in Canada he’s a national icon and a superstar. But to me he’s Grandpa Kenny. And I’m just lucky enough to share the same first name with him.

My parents wanted to name me Kenny right from the start. They must’ve had a vision that I would turn out like him. Just like my grandpa, I’m a quiet man who loves to play sports and fish. We’re both hard workers that get what we earn. And we even have the same body type: 6’ 2”, 175 pounds. My grandpa is a wise old man who gives good advice—especially when it comes to fishing. The best advice he has given while fishing me is “be patient and they’ll bite.” But this advice doesn’t only apply to fishing, this advice can used for anything. Be patient and good things will come.

The only thing that is different between the two us is that he’s famous in Canada and well… I’m not. Not yet, anyway.

One time I went out to eat with him. We sat down and within a few seconds there was a little boy coming up to him with a pen and napkin asking for his autograph. The little boy says, “Mr. Ploen can I have your autograph?”

My grandpa said, “You sure can.”

And so he signed the napkin and the little boy scampered back to his dad with the biggest, brightest smile.

Grandpa Kenny, the quiet hero. Maybe one day I’ll turn out to be as successful as he was. But for now, all I can do is work hard, be patient, and good things will come.



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