The Ride Away Music Fest got its name from an incident when Parker was about 16. He was riding in the car with his Mom and they came to a yield sign. Even though it was his Mom’s turn to go, the car to her left should have yielded but didn’t. Exasperatedly his Mom said…’Wow, I had the ‘right of way’. Parker gave a surprised look to his Mom and exclaimed…’Right of way??? I thought the first person at the intersection got to “ride away” as he gestured with his hand to show how you “ride away”.’
As a kid, he thought ‘polka a dot’ was ‘poke a dot’ as he exaggeratedly poked his Mom (with his index finger) in her arm to demonstrate.
A Trip to the Airport
As an adult, he worked for a company and traveled throughout the United States. Most times, he and a co-worker would drive a company truck. His first trip flying brought him to the Atlanta airport…alone. He got there and immediately called his Mom – ‘Hey, I’m at the airport! Now what? She walked him through each and every step of getting to his plane until he boarded.
When Parker worked at his first job…his car being unreliable at times… he would have to hitch rides. When he couldn’t, he would walk to work…7 miles one way…how many 17 year olds do that? Sometimes he skateboarded.
When he was about 15, his family visited his uncle in Middletown, Maryland, for Thanksgiving. He wanted to photograph Antietam and Harpers Ferry, etc. The weather that year was unseasonably cold and windy. Wearing his heaviest jacket…nothing more than a light hoodie, he was undaunted. He did not let the cold and wind dampen his enthusiasm. He would see something interesting… would jump out of the car…snap a few shots and jump back in…warm up and go running again. He got some of the most amazing shots that day.
After his tragic death, Parker’s Middletown, Maryland, family – The Heatons – Bill, Dana, Liam, Nate, Sam, Daniel and Nicole wanted to honor and remember him in a special way. They came up with a idea to plan, design and build a garden that ‘speaks’ his name. After many weeks, days and hours of hard work, they took a forgotten area in their side yard and brought it to life. It is now a beautiful, parklike, serene, yet quirky garden – ‘Parker’s Garden’.
Parker and Nate had a special bond – they were ‘birthday cousins’. Nate was born on March 12 – the day Parker turned 12. This year they planned a big celebration as Nate was going to be 12. Since their special day became a sad reminder of tragedy – instead of their planned celebration – Nate asked for gifts for the garden.
Saturday, September 1, 2018 was chosen to dedicate “Parker’s Garden on Main Street in Middletown, Maryland. Family and friends came together to remember Parker with a tour of the garden, the release of ‘Painted Lady’ butterflies and painting on the ‘fence’ tree. It was a loving and special but bittersweet day.
‘As wonderful as it was, it should have never had to be something we had. A garden dedicated in honor of my sweet boy. “Parker’s Garden” created by my family here in Maryland. It is one of my most favorite places on this earth. I can feel Parker here. I love y’all and I love the garden.’
Parker’s Mom and her family have established Parker Killian ‘Gives’ Moore, Inc. to keep his light burning bright. Parker was a loving and giving person so we want to help others reach their goals through scholarships and other life changing opportunities. To date, 4 scholarships have been awarded at three colleges and 1 at a Marine Science camp. A trail in a new park will bear his name – Parker’s Trail, and two swings have been placed in a favorite hiking park. We are also planning a music festival to honor his love of music.
More about Parker
Parker was a quirky, lovable, unique and amazingly intelligent guy who loved everything about life. He had a deep love for nature, history, photography and science. He loved all genres of music and excelled as a violinist. He hiked and camped throughout the North Georgia Mountains and on the Appalachian Trail.
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