Kendon and Damen Kurzer of Hart, Michigan

“Kendon and Damen Kurzer of Hart, Michigan,” Friend, Sept. 1996, 15

Making Friends:

Kendon and Damen Kurzer of Hart, Michigan

Kendon (9) and Damen (6) Kurzer’s parents have them work two to three hours once a week at Jershon, Inc., their dad’s business. Kendon assembles parts for the automatic ladder levelers, and Damen boxes the parts.

They have chores at home, too—doing the dishes, for one—but life is not all work for them. They have fun together and separately. One of the things they love to do together is pick blueberries—and eat the good things that Mom makes with them.

Another thing they like to do together is sing. They and their friends Ryan and Daniel Brown sang “Jesus Once Was a Little Child” in a sacrament meeting. Daniel and Ryan’s mother played the piano for them.

Both boys have parakeets. Rosie is Damen’s pet; he paid ten dollars for her with his own money. Aver was given to Kendon by his grandparents when he was only two years old. When Mom played a music box, little Kendon danced to the music, and Aver followed him as he danced around the room.

The brothers are both good readers. Damen loves to read with Mom. His favorite series is of the Berenstain Bears, but he likes to read many kinds of books.

Sometimes Simee, the Kurzer cat, lies next to Kendon when he reads. He loves the Oz books. He has read so many of them that when the library was going to discard one that was too old to be checked out anymore, they gave it to him. He loves this antique treasure and takes good care of it.

The boys like to build things together with plastic building blocks. By adding some of Damen’s blocks (used with permission) to his own, Kendon built a castle complex by himself. He worked on it several weeks, then entered it in the county fair—and won a blue ribbon and a small cash prize!

Kendon is creative in other ways too. For instance, he is scripting, directing, and producing “Dorothy of Oz,” a play that he plans to put on sometime during the school year. It will be open to the public, and any money it earns will be given to the school or to a needy family. At this point, he is casting some of the parts among his friends; Damen will be a codirector.

Another creative talent of Kendon’s is music. He loves to play the piano, and he plays it well. He enjoys practicing, has memorized his favorite pieces, and has performed at a Church fireside.

Although Kendon is a jump-rope champion, having won a first place and a second place in different years at school, Damen is the athlete in the family. He plays on a soccer team and has two trophies already!

He is creative too. He loves to draw, especially pirates and dragons. If he ever gets bored, Mom supplies him with paper and crayons and he is happily busy for a long time.

Damen feeds the family fish, and the two aquatic crabs that live in the bottom of the aquarium. First he “calls” them by flicking his finger against the glass; then he drops their food into the water. The crabs are so small that you might not see them in the photo.

He collects gemstones and got many of them along the shore of Lake Superior when the family went camping in Upper Michigan. He doesn’t have a favorite—he just likes them all. He and Mom have polished some of them and plan to make them into jewelry. When he grows up, he wants to be a miner so that he “can make jewelry and help people because I would give jewels for free to poor people.”

Like Kendon, Damen tries hard to both be and do good. He says, “When I do good things, I feel the Holy Ghost.” His favorite place is “heaven, because Jesus is there, and Grandma Burns and most of my relatives.”

Kendon has had several spiritual experiences. The first one occurred when he was watching a Church video during a baptismal service in Muskegon, Michigan. He told his mom, “I feel something.” She asked, “What do you feel?” He said, “I don’t know, but I have happy tears.” For him, the best thing about being a Latter-day Saint is the way he feels good about the gospel.

The Kurzers plan to build a home someday on their property next to Hart Lake about a mile from town. It is a peaceful place with mulberries, wild grapes, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, lots of trees, and wildlife such as herons, cormorants, turtles, and frogs. Meanwhile, they have lots of fun there, swimming, canoeing, sledding down the bank onto the thick ice in the winter, and picnicking and holding family home evenings there in the summer.

Working at Jershon, Inc.; Kendon assembling ladder-leveler parts

Damen boxing ladder-leveler parts

Kendon and Damen picking—and enjoying—blueberries

Kendon jumping rope with Rachael

Damen in his soccer uniform

Family home evening on their property by Hart Lake

Canoeing on Hart Lake

Kendon, Damen, Daniel, and Ryan singing “Jesus Once Was a Little Child”

Kendon (in blue shirt) making early plans for “Dorothy of Oz” with Damen (in blue striped shirt) and friends Rachael Longcore, Daniel Brown, Andrea Oomen, and Ryan Brown

Kendon giving water to Aver

Damen “calling the fish and crabs to dinner”