Raking up

Ken Hardy

Photo By Carla Resnick

Ken Hardy was blowing and raking leaves one Saturday, in his yard across the street from Lower Bidwell Park. He was dressed in rubber boots and a very stylish hat and took the time to talk about his gardening habits and his life in Chico. He graduated from CSU in 1987 and moved back from San Jose five years ago with his wife and two children, Natalie, 8, and William, 5.

Do you live here? I mean is this your yard?


Do you also mow your own lawn?

Yes. Most of us on this street do. The guy on the corner has a gardener.

What do you do for work?

I work as an English teacher at Gridley High school and I’m also the golf coach. I’m also an Army reservist.

What does that entail?

One weekend a month, I train command staff that are getting ready to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan. Our part takes about four to 10 days to train a unit.

What do you do to train them?

We put together in-depth scenarios based on real events that have already happened over there and examine their reactions. We try to get them to react correctly, to make the right decision.

Can you recommend a good book for a 17-year-old?

The Catcher in the Rye.

Can you recommend a good book for a 30-year-old?

The Catcher in the Rye if they haven’t read it, or The Last Convertible by Anton Myrer if they have.

Why that book?

It is about friends and relationships and the importance of extended family and how they help to get through tough times.

Why did you come back to Chico?

This is a town where one person can work and one person can stay home and raise the kids. Economics.