A Celebration of the Life of Kevin Cooper aka Cole Summers

Today, I talk with Billy Cooper. Billy Cooper is the father of the late Kevin Cooper, aka Cole Summers. At 7 years old, Kevin started his own business, at 10, he remodeled his own house, and at 14, he wrote the inspiring book Don’t Tell Me I Can’t: An Ambitious Homeschoolers Journey.

I asked Billy about Kevin’s upbringing, his education, and fond memories. We get to celebrate the life and memory of Kevin.

Transcript:

Aaron Olson: [00:00:00] my guest today is Billy Cooper. Billy Cooper is the father of the late Kevin Cooper, who is also known as Cole Summers. Billy, thanks for being on the show with me today.

Billy Cooper: Yeah, thanks for thanks for inviting me.

Aaron Olson: Yeah. So Billy, I first came across. Your son’s book, which he wrote under the pseudonym Cole Summers.

And his book is entitled, don’t Tell Me I Can’t, an Ambitious Homeschoolers Journey. And it was just so enthralling and so interesting to read about this young boy who was, I think he was 14 years old at the time. He wrote the book and he told about his life. Yeah, as an entrepreneur, homeschooler, and all the things that he’d learned, just through really grit, determin and determin.

But tell me a little bit more about Kevin and when you first started to exhibit this, like, determination that was just seemingly unprecedented, at least from the outside looking in.[00:01:00]

Billy Cooper: It goes way back I mean at two I keep meaning to upload this video cuz I know you wrote about it in the book.

I’m pretty sure he was two at the time. He was trying to take over, we had to take a tire off of a truck and I was in a wheelchair at the time. I’m still in and out of a wheelchair frequently now and, Kevin’s like, no me do it. I’ll, you know, me do it and come running in. And I still had to break blood nuts loose.

A two year old couldn’t do that, although he tried. But it, so it was always there. Really it just from the time he was old enough to really. Function with other people and function and activities and so little things like that to started you know, if there was a drill pulled out, like a, I remember one time trying to put up shelves and you know, getting the drill back outta his hands just wasn’t gonna happen.

I had to let him try to put the screws in.[00:02:00] . And so, yeah, that, that was just, it had that drive. It was just there. Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Olson: That’s amazing. I mean, I felt like I, I learned or right. I was really inspired by reading his book and for example, Six years old, he says, how do we get rich?

Or how do I, how do people get rich? And tell me that story and what you told him and how that inspired him to start learning.

Billy Cooper: I wish I remembered it more clearly that I knew. So all I know is I was in a really bad mood at the time. I was trying to get the va. I don’t know if I was trying to get him to paper or something, or.

That they had approved for medical care or getting ’em to actually approve me getting medical care. But you know, anybody who’s really had to deal with the VA understands the frustration, they can come with it. And they came and he is, you know, that just straight out ask, you know, [00:03:00] how do people get rich?

And I was like, if I knew I wouldn’t be fighting the VA to pay my medical care, you know, i’d, we’d be rich enough. I wouldn’t have flew with that. Still is that and. I was like, I don’t know go watch some videos on YouTube, Warren Buffet or something like that. And know I said Warren Buffet. I don’t know why it wasn’t just, it was a random choice.

I could have just easily said Bill Gates. It was just a random, rich person’s name that came to mind. Well, Kevin very much took it to heart and went and started watching videos of Warren Buffett and and he got ent. He was enthralled by it. You know, you don’t, just the last thing you’d expect a six year old to be fascinated by.

But he was, and and I mean, he just, he was watching YouTube videos of Warren Buffet giving speeches and the Berkshire Hathaway angle meetings and just anything he could find [00:04:00] video-wise on YouTube, on Warren Buffet. He was consuming it. That quickly expanded to, to puppet’s business partner Charlie Munger, who Yeah, Kevin just really loved his dry sense of humor.

We just sit and crack up at, you know, listening to some of Charlie Munger’s speeches and again, six years old. It’s just, you don’t expect this, you don’t, most adults find it boring.

And it just kinda, it went from there. And, you know, of course YouTube’s got volatile algorithms and so it starts recommending all this, you know, stuff and you couldn’t get him off of it. It didn’t take very long. I wanna say that was around the time. Shortly after that happened I believe it was right after that, that the Choice Card program came into being after the big blow up in Arizona over the problems with the VA there, which, you know, it made big news, but [00:05:00] to most veterans it was kind of like, yawn.

This is what we deal with every day. And anyways, so the Choice Card program came into being and all of a sudden everything was getting approved left and right, and, I had, I wanna say it was like nine surgeries in a year and a half. It was, it was rough. But I was able to get caught up on, on some much needed medical care, so I was down.

I couldn’t really help Kevin as much as I needed to with a normal homeschooling and in recovering from surgery after surgery, and. . He’s like, well, he’s like, why don’t I’m learning here. You know, why don’t I just use these YouTube videos with my homeschool? And so we started watching ’em together and and learning a lot of it together.

And then it kind of slowly grew with a, as a fascination with me too. You know, it’s like, , everything you start learning on it about how businesses run and all that stuff is just very different from any [00:06:00] perspective that you typically get. You know, coming from a typical middle class family that doesn’t own businesses from public school and, you know, you just, you don’t see that side of things even though the information’s out there.

you don’t really see what all is involved and what all helpings actually work. So it was a really eye-opening experience, uh, for me in that regard. And for him, that was just the starting point.

Aaron Olson: Yeah. Yeah. That’s so f that’s so amazing. You, you’ve got a six year old kid. He starts watching Warren Buffet videos, learning learning all about finance and business.

He pulls you into it along with him, and he convinces you to let YouTube be his teacher for the year for homeschool, which I mean, YouTube’s one of the best educational platforms around, so that made sense. But, It was just so interesting, uh, thinking about how to get my kids in, interested in, in business in Warren Buffet.

That he, [00:07:00] Kevin must have been a very unique soul in that regard. I mean, by the, within a couple of years he had started his own business and I believe he was selling rabbit meat to restaurants. Tell me about how that

Billy Cooper: worked. Darn. He started that when he was seven. So it, it was I don’t remember if it was a, I think the whole video thing started very shortly after he turned six, but, you know, I’m trying to remember nine years ago.

Anyways, he was seven and he’s just like, I wanna start my own business, you know, and so, We’re like, okay, looking around. It’s like, well, we live in the middle of nowhere. , you know, you can’t do the, the typical lemonade stand or any of that kind of stuff. We didn’t have any neighbors to sell that would drive by.

I mean, it was just, we were just that far out and a remote area and One of the, one of the one of us, I don’t remember who came up with the idea of farming. And and then ultimately it came [00:08:00] down to rabbit farming because like I said, we, we were the absolutely the polar opposite of rich. And we, so we raised rabbits for meat because it was really affordable way to get good quality healthy meat.

I don’t remember what we paid per pound of meat, but it was certainly well under a dollar a pound, uh, at the time. And you know, it was, yeah. So we had already been raising rabbits and you know, he’s like, let’s. Why don’t I sell rabbits to people? And we had no idea about the markets, anything like that.

So he and I, we, you know, most of the research was definitely a joint effort early on. And so we researched and didn’t take too long. We found a buyer who sold to a processor that sold the restaurants in California is kind of a daisy chain of the supply chain, I guess. . And so I, I remember I challenged Kevin.

I said, well, why don’t you treat this [00:09:00] like it’s a big startup? Like you’re starting a corporation stock and everything, you know, and I figured this will probably last a few months. I, I mean, I, uh, maybe a year. I didn’t think it was gonna be big. I didn’t even, we, you know, get to the level that it did and.

But it was like, okay, make a learning experience out of it. Um, so I took what would’ve normally been the budget for buying all the typical homeschool curriculum books and and helped them with the filing fees and, and all that for shortness Corporation. And yeah, so we. Took some rabbits off to the side and let him have those for his first breeding stock.

It was a tremendous amount of work letting him put that old barn in our, our former backyard use and get it fixed up cuz that barn had to have been 80 years old. But he, he was relentless. I mean, just no slowing him down. He’d be out there doing 10, 12 hours a day. That was his play. [00:10:00] He had fun with it.

He enjoyed it. So there were we to tell him, no, don’t do what you wanna spend your time doing, you know, the whole go be a kid and enjoy yourself. Well, he was. And uh, anyways, it, it. He did well, he did really well. He was making money really fast. And of course rabbits, you know, they, they kind of let you make money a little faster than than cattle cause rabbits are kind of famous for that.

And so, yeah, he. It blew up pretty quick and, and then it truly did blow up after there was some things that went wrong and, and it kind of wiped him out. We gave him every option he could stop. I mean, it was a very emotional thing felt him, he could quit. Farming. He could go to public school if he wanted.

He could pretty much do whatever he wanted at that point. Um, you know, his success and everything. We, he had a lot of freedom. He had to do something we wouldn’t [00:11:00] have allowed. Okay. I’m just gonna, you know, take what I made by video games and do nothing for forever that. That wasn’t an option available to him, but he would’ve never tried that.

He never had interest in video games ever. Anyways, so things worked out. He got a little bit of insurance money and, and he started back up. It was his choice and, uh, but yeah he took some of the insurance money and started making other investments. Yeah. It just, it kind of went crazy.

Aaron Olson: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the, in his book, he writes about, he started, he wanted to buy his own house and fix it up, and he had scoured the area for like different deals that he could get with the amount of money he had saved up. And he started looking up how to refurbish and. Paint and do electrical work on YouTube.

And he finally finds a house from an elderly woman in the area that’s willing to [00:12:00] sell it for like 10 grand if he’s willing to redo the house and remodel it. And it was just he, and this is all when he is like 10 years old, right.

Billy Cooper: Let’s see. Yeah, the house was, I think he found it when he was nine.

He had already bought his ranch. And. and he really was fascinated. He quickly took a fascination to real estate and property in general. You know, so he had us buy him some books on it and was studying a lot of stuff online. And he, this is what he spent a lot of the downtime after he lost all his rabbits.

This is what he spent a lot of the time doing to kind of help distract him, I guess. Yeah. And so he learned how to study the county property record system, and yeah, it was, it was a big thing. And so yeah, he found this house and I guess some of the other farmers in the area, the, the bigger multi-generation farmers who had a bit more money had made some offers to [00:13:00] her that were bigger than anything Kevin could do, but.

Pretty low. She couldn’t afford to keep up the house. She couldn’t afford to keep up the property taxes, but all the other people had said they were probably gonna just gonna bulldoze it and build a new house. And her father had built that house for his own retirement with his own hands, so she just couldn’t do it.

Kevin’s like, yeah, I’ll fix it up. I’m not gonna pull those up. And. You know, it was so she said, yeah. And so after everything, it was about 10 grand. After paying the BR back due property taxes, he paid to help her finish getting some of her dad’s stuff out of the house. And and some legal fees and filing fees, all that stuff.

So it was right at 10 grand, give or take a little Homeowner at 10. That’s, that was once we even knew that was actually going to follow through and happen is when my wife and I were looking at each other going, this [00:14:00] kid’s not normal, . This is, this is, you know, I mean, yeah.

So, you know, it wasn’t, it sounds like a huge achievement and it’s, it still is a huge achievement, but it isn’t like being in the city and you went and bought a multi hundred thousand dollars house or anything like that either. You know, this was by many people’s standards, they would’ve called it a tear down.

The roof was, was almost completely gone. It was what was, there was shot. , some of the roof decking was shot. I mean, I remember looking at this sink and son, you are absolutely outta your mind for wanting to try this. And, uh, and he didn’t pay him at all. And so, yeah, and like he said, he, he started learning.

Most of it. He did learn some electrical on YouTube, but I, that was one area I put my foot down and I remember like, no, you’re hiring our [00:15:00] neighbor Joey, he’s an electrician. I’m just not letting you take that kind of risk. Safety implications of electricity is, you know, too big and. . My wife did the same thing with his custom countertops cuz of the fumes or the epoxy.

She’s like, Uhuh, no you can’t do this one. So he did a custom wood countertop. He did the staining and everything, but my wife did the epoxy work. , but then when the electrician showed up, Kevin’s like, you work for me, so your job is to teach me. You’re getting paid the same per hour regardless. You know, your job is to teach me how to do it right.

Make sure that, you know, you can hand me tools. And Joey just, you know, we ended up becoming really close friends with Joey over the years. But he was just enthralled. He , he thought it was just the coolest thing ever. He’s got this little. I, I think when he hired Joey, he might have been 11, but you know, , he has this whole 10, 11 year old boss, uh, on this job.

And, and Joey just thought it was so, so awesome. And I know Joey ended up doing some work for [00:16:00] free. I don’t remember if he ever actually bill Kevin for it, but I know there was like when Kevin went to go install his custom built countertops you know, Joey came out and stayed. I don’t know, one in the morning helping out just cuz he was so fascinated.

He’s like, I’m just doing this as a friend. I’m here to help. This is fun. But, you know, and yeah, it was, it was quite a time. Yeah.

Aaron Olson: Yeah. You know, he, the way you hear about him, he’s so inspiring and he, and he talks in his book how it’s all about mindset and there’s this. He says that from everything I’ve read and grownups I’ve talked to, good luck almost never works.

Like bad luck, good luck requires us to do something on purpose to earn it. Where did he get that mindset? That good luck requires you to do something to earn it. Did he get that from you?

Billy Cooper: No, I, I got it from him. . I don’t know where he got it from.

It, it could’ve, [00:17:00] you know, when he would be sitting here going through plans, his, he had this really analytical mind at, you know, when he actually could sit down and contemplate things. That he would come up with stuff like that. So, I don’t know. He might have gotten it from someone else that he read or watched on YouTube.

I don’t know. But I couldn’t agree with it more, that’s for sure. I, and yeah I, I wish I could tell you where he got it, where it came from. I just remember hearing him talk about it and. Like, yeah, that’s, that’s exactly it. Yeah.

Aaron Olson: Yeah. Yeah. He, he also mentions that, you know, you really need to embrace your individuality, and he says he I don’t understand why we don’t encourage being different as a good thing.

Michael and I aren’t the same. He works numbers through his head like magic, but doesn’t understand much of anything about [00:18:00] business. We’re different people with different skills and different interests, and that’s a good thing. We’re supposed to be different, you know, traditional schooling, like, it’s kind of like an assembly line process where you, you all go through and you get a stamp on your forehead, but somehow he at a young age was able to realize that his individuality was a strength.

Yeah. Talk to me a little bit about that.

Billy Cooper: I, yeah, I guess again, I wish I could tell you more of where it came from because I mean, we, we’ve raised two kids in the almost identical manner and you know, Kevin’s brother did not take on that same mindset. Um, I, yeah, I don’t, I don’t know. He just, he naturally just, he loved himself. He loved everybody around him.

He always treated everybody [00:19:00] with genuine respect and kindness and, and really it, it was surprising like, to, to watch. The best example of trying to show, and, and I mean, we, we discussed it one time, you know, that he was one of the best examples I I’ve ever seen of showing a, a biblical Christ-like kindness towards people.

Like he just, he would never hold a grudge. He never really got angry, ever. I mean, he. When we had the haul water because our will had gone dry, you know, um, he, he caused his brother wasting some water and he got pretty perturbed at it. But he didn’t hold a grudge. He didn’t stay angry. He didn’t even really get that angry.

And and that was just, you know, kind of who he, who he [00:20:00] was. He just, Embraces individuality very naturally. It, it wasn’t something that we really, it, it, we encouraged it, um, as we realized it, but it wasn’t like a conscious thing that we started trying to encourage it early on. It was like, yeah, son, you’re doing this right.

You know what? Yeah, you be you, you know, don’t worry. You know what other people think of you. And uh, and he never, never did. Um, but you know, he was, he was just that way. He, he would go out of his way to avoid arguments and usually would do something really funny to avoid it. Like it was impossible to ever get in to engage in politics, which in the last couple years is.

Something that stood out as kind of intriguing, I guess, [00:21:00] like it was impossible. He wouldn’t, he wouldn’t, he would not discuss it with anybody under any circumstance ever. He would always, somebody asked him a question about it, you know, he would divert and he’d give him a look that said, yeah, I know you just asked me a question about politics, and he’d come up with some wild, random answer that had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Just to avoid the topic completely. Yeah. Yeah. He had, you know, I had asked him why he wouldn’t, you know, why he wouldn’t dis discuss it at all. Even with, with me and my wife, it was like an off limits thing. He’s like, cuz too many people hate each other over it already. And I don’t want any part of it.

Mm. That was his response. And so like somebody asked him one time, you know, you’re support Trump or Biden, and he looks at him and he says, I think I wanna go pull the transmission out of the truck so I can learn how to rebuild it. That was his answer, you [00:22:00] know, that was his way of, of responding to anything like that.

Um, yeah.

Aaron Olson: That’s amazing. Yeah. He was, he was more into, it sounds like, like action and doing things and building things to make the world be a better place than to get involved with the futility of politics.

Billy Cooper: Very, very much so. He, uh, yeah, it, his involvement getting on Twitter was something that, you know, kind of surprised us early on.

Cause, you know, He worked so much , you know, it was like, when are you supposed to have time to sit and engage with people? And, um, you know, and, but he, he found ways. There, there was a few times, well he was I don’t remember what he was. Oh, he was, when he was trying to find a gravel pit on his ranch and.

[00:23:00] Text me and say, will you go log into my Twitter and post this for me ? You know, cause he had some random idea if he wanted to post or something. And that was part of his way of trying to keep up with things is cause he couldn’t just sit there. So he would, he would do a little bit in the mornings and then he’d be out working his farm all day long.

But he’d come back, he’d study on something he’d write. Like when he was working on the book, I remember, you know, waking up and hearing a chair move across the floor and it was like three in the morning. , I hear a can of soda pop. I go out and I’m like, what you doing? He’s like, I’m just working on my book.

You know? And it was three o’clock in the morning, . Um, it was, he was quite relentless. Yeah.

Aaron Olson: Yeah. Were you surprised when he decided to write a book to try to inspire other people?

Billy Cooper: No, I wasn’t. When he came up with the identity, [00:24:00] do don’t tell me I can’t. That wasn’t very surprising, um, because he had already written his, uh, children’s stories.

It’s a 10 part children’s stories he had written that were, I think we found an illustrator for him finally. He had real problems trying to, to get it illustrated. Even though it’s been almost two years now since he wrote that. So anyways, when he, when it came time, when he came around to doing another book, no, it really wasn’t that surprising.

Just because he had already written these, this other set of stories when he was 13. And. Like, I remember sitting outside with him talking about his farm plan that he talks about towards the end of the book. And I remember going son to realize, you know, you’re coming up with the idea for this project that’s gonna cost you.

And I hesitated just like I just now did. And he just looks at me. So matter of fact, he is like, yeah, I know it’s gonna cost 40 or 50 million. [00:25:00] Hmm. I’m like, son, that’s. That’s an outrageous amount of money. Uh, you know, it’s like we’re, we’ve always, we were always, you know, mostly poor.

Aaron Olson: What was that idea?

Was that the great, the idea to save the Great Basin Desert through regenerative farm farming or what, what was.

Billy Cooper: Yeah, well, his idea for how he was gonna, he wanted to change how it was farmed so that it used less, drastically less water. And uh, so he looks at me, so matter of factly, he is like, yeah, it’s gonna be 40 or $50 million.

And I’m sitting there, I know I’ve had to have had a stunned look on my face, you know, just in talking about that kind of money. Like it was nothing cuz he didn’t have that kind of money either. Uh, he, he certainly wasn’t [00:26:00] poor, especially for his age. But nothing, and, you know, nowhere near that kind of money.

And he’s like, you forgot what we’ve learned in Sam Walton’s book, didn’t you? And I’m like, remind me. He’s like, earn globally, spend locally. . And, and so that was, he was very driven. He’s like, I gotta start coming up with, he’s like, I’m never gonna be able to do this if all I do is farming. He’s like, I’ve gotta start putting myself out there.

I’ve got to start writing or doing YouTube channels. Or he’s like, I have to do something to earn globally. He’s like, I don’t know if it’ll be t-shirt designs, whatever it takes. That’s what I’ve gotta do if I’m gonna pull this off. . And, uh, yeah, that was, that was an interesting conversation. And it was one of those points that I was sitting there like, yeah, he’s smarter than I am.

Mm-hmm. . [00:27:00] Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Olson: Yeah. Well, I, I appreciate you so much, uh, for sharing all these stories with me. You know, I, I read, I came across his book because he started putting stuff out there on Twitter, and I follow homeschooling stuff because I ho homeschool my kids. And here’s this kid, you know, his tweet must have gone a little bit viral, so it showed up in my feed.

And, and uh, I download his book that night and I finished it within like, I don’t know, maybe two hours. I was so, cause I was so interested in what he was writing and he was so fascinated by this kid’s determination. And then, I wrote a book review right away. I followed him. I was trying to get him on my podcast and, and then what seems like two weeks later, you know, I find out that he passed away through a freak accident.

And I was just so saddened by what happened, um, because it seemed like he had so much, so many dreams that he wanted to fulfill. Um, are you able to share with us at all what happened or [00:28:00] would you rather not go. No,

Billy Cooper: I don’t want to go there. Okay. I can’t go there. I just can’t. Um, but yeah, it, it was three weeks after he published.

So I can say that the lady he met through Twitter, um, and had actually been talking on the phone with, is working on his audiobook right now. Um, he, he turned around and rerecorded the entire audiobook just three days before he died. . Um, she said it’s, it’s been a pretty easy edit, so hopefully she’s gonna get that done here pretty soon to get that out.

Cause I know a lot of people have been looking forward to it. Um, but yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to it. Uh, but we’re, it’s one thing, one of the last hands on projects his will truly be able to try and get done for him. I greatly appreciate her help on that. Yeah, [00:29:00] yeah, yeah.

Aaron Olson: Well, what’s, uh, what’s transpired since Kevin passed away?

What, how have, how have you been holding up and, and, and, uh, keeping his memory alive?

Billy Cooper: Well we, we really had to move, um, and my wife and I were actually discussing a little bit ago that. Um, we’re, we’re thinking about actually doing like a big thread or something to put out, I guess, more of what it’s been like and what we’ve been through to try and help any other parents who ever have to go through this or help people who are trying to help parents who are going through it.

Um, it’s.

It’s really a lot more than, I think most people can, can wrap their heads around. I sure never could have, but, um, yeah, we, we had to move not just because there, our whole life really revolved around [00:30:00] him. I mean, we, all three of us, we, we got up in the morning and, you know, is what’s Kevin gonna tell us to do for.

Um, or what project does he have us working on today, or with me, it’d be, what does he want me studying to or, or finding information on, or is he gonna give me a book to read to determine if it’s worth his time to read it , because that’s what our days are like. Alright. Everything at that point really did revolve around him with all of us.

And so, yeah, very much. At first it was just, you know, We were in shock and lost felt directionless. And, and so, uh, we couldn’t leave our house without driving past this ranch. And needless to say, that was a pretty extreme emotional trigger. Um, and so we weren’t able to leave the house very much cause.[00:31:00]

Driving and crying. Don’t make a really safe mix. And I, I couldn’t, I couldn’t even get past that half mile stretch, uh, from either of the two roads that left our house, um, from when we did get brought to the scene afterwards. Um, There was, there was a life flight helicopter, and so now my wife has very severe PTSD ts triggered by helicopters.

And there at our old house there was, uh, a helicopter school just to our east and an air force base just to our west. So, um, staying just, yeah, we, we had to leave. I mean, cause. She hears or sees one, she’s instantly reliving that moment and then she’s back in shock the rest of the day. So, yeah, but we, we got moved about two months ago and, uh, one of the things [00:32:00] we really, really needed that we did not get, um, before moving was.

there’s kind of some time to disconnect and decompress and I guess take it all in and, and you know, we, we didn’t get that there. As we had posted on out of anger, I, I did a post on Twitter about a reporter who showed up uninvited and. A cameraman out the road and I mean, just we were paranoid. Anytime any car got anywhere within a half mile of our house, we were all going straight inside and pulling curtains.

I mean, we were paranoid for the next two months. Um, we did an article with our, the state newspaper there, Desiree. But she was very courteous in trying to reach out [00:33:00] through a third party who we, you know, who knew us well. And, uh, she, she handled it very professionally. Um, we were reluctant, but we granted that one interview because of how professionally she handled it.

It was, did well. , but, um, everybody we knew had some kind of connection to Kevin. We, we couldn’t go to the bank. We couldn’t go to the grocery store without constant triggers and reminders and, you know, people expressing sympathy nonstop. As, as the lady who was working, I think it was the lady who was working on the audiobook, said to us sometimes so much, too much sympathy just in itself becomes exhausting.

and it kind of does, um, at some point you, you just need to feel a little hint of something normal. I mean, nothing’s actually normal, but, and it never will be [00:34:00] again. But every now and then you kind of need some things to feel normal. People treat you normal and you know, with, so yeah, there’s. . I know Kevin posts a lot on Twitter with, uh, pet bottle, baby Goat Chester that he kept, um, little bitty runt of a goat

Yeah. Uh, so I mean, the lady here who’s taking care of Chester and some of his animals, she knows about him. Um, a total of of three people here actually do, and it’s not that we don’t wanna talk about it, and it’s just. People are treating us like nothing happened. And so it’s not in our face like nonstop.

Um, so it’s only on a need to know basis, you know, that we’ve been telling people for right now, just so we have a little bit of disconnect time to feel like maybe there will be a new normal or [00:35:00] something. I don’t know. Um, But yeah, guarding our privacy in that regard is, has been a real big priority. Um, and you know, we’re obviously, like I said, we’re clearly not ashamed at all.

Uh, it’s just a matter of we don’t want it in our pace 24 7. You can’t try to recover. You can’t try to, to do anything or move on. If it is, you really can’t.

Aaron Olson: Yeah. Well, I so appreciate you taking the time outta your day and outta your life to come and talk with me about Kevin and the amazing life he lived and the inspiration that he left behind in his book.

And I’m stoked that he recorded the audio book. Cause I had messaged him on Twitter and I’ve published an audio book and I was like, Hey, you want, you need help with that? And so I’m glad you found someone that can help you out get it produced. And that’ll be fun to hear.

Billy Cooper: Yeah. Yeah. We’re, like I said, I don’t think we’ll be able to listen to it, but we’re really excited that it is getting done.

You know, anything that helps carry forward either the principles that he [00:36:00] stood for or the projects he was working on, we’re, we’re gonna keep doing the best we can. Um, we can’t keep, obviously, doc for project he had as. Way, way beyond us. And, and we emotionally just couldn’t stay there. But we’ve, we bought a new farm where we’re going to be doing regenerative agriculture.

But we’re gonna very much try to make it a Paso Solar educational camp where kids can come and they can learn about past solar construction. Cause I know he, he obsessed about that. They can learn about regenerative farming. I’m sure at some point we’ll be a little more, obviously we do that, we’ll be a lot more public about where we are and more people around here will start to know.

But that’ll be after we’ve had more time to settle in and, you know, become more of a part of the community here. But, um, so yeah, we’re, we’re gonna be trying to carry it on in a way that we want to really direct it in a way that tries to help [00:37:00] inspire other kids and see that there’s a lot of hands on.

Real things they can do, not just, you know, protest or get angry about, you know, damage to the environment or whatever, you know? Yeah. They can start businesses and use capitalism for good, and they can do hands-on projects. They don’t have to rely on politicians to hopefully do something about the environment.

They can do things themselves. . So to try to keep up that inspirational side of things. That’s very much a focus with the new farm here. And, and what we plan to build and work, work towards. Yeah.

Aaron Olson: Yeah. We’ll keep in touch with me and I’ll, I’m, I’ll be following you on Twitter and, and looking forward to find out what happens next or where you guys go next.

But, uh, thanks again for taking the time outta your day and for coming on the call with. All right. Thank

Billy Cooper: you for having me. You have a good day. You too. Bye.[00:38:00]

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