Western Faces: Single father doesn’t mind ‘Psycho’ moniker

Jesse Osbourne

Kevin Cowles won’t mind if you call him by his nickname “Psycho.” After all, he does enjoy spending time in a cemetery near his home.

But whatever you call him, you can’t call him a deadbeat dad, a coworker said.

A building services attendant at Keen Hall, Cowles is raising his two sons by himself after going through a divorce.

“We couldn’t get along,” he said of his former wife. “That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

After the divorce, Cowles gained custody of their children, 4-year-old Patrick and 3-year-old Brandon.

“They’re mine, she can’t take ’em,” he said. “She can see ’em when she wants to.”

Brandon started preschool this year, and Patrick is in his second year of preschool. Cowles said both enjoy school.

“There’s a lot of paperwork when they first start,” he said. “Everything has to have their name and address. Name and address over and over. I wish you could put it on one sheet and be done.”

Talking about his children made Cowles remember his own childhood.

“Life was great,” he said. “We lived in the country near the woods. I loved climbing trees and hangin’ out with nature. I still like the woods.”

Cowles’ parents still own “a nice piece of land” in Edmonson County with a lot of trees and a creek in the front yard.

But now he prefers the quiet of cemeteries.

“Cemeteries are the best,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll go to the top of the hill to the cemetery and sit in the dark and listen to nature.”

Cowles said he enjoys being at the cemetery because “it’s just peaceful.”

Kaye Holder, area coordinator for Housing and Residence Life, said Cowles is “crazy” and “a big cut-up.” She quickly added that he is “really sharp” and “never complains.”

Because of that, people at work like him.

“He’s real easygoing and will do any-thing you ask him,” she said. “He’ll go out of his way for you.”

Cowles said cleaning up after residents at Keen hasn’t been too bad.

“They’re a pretty clean bunch this year, so far,” he said.

His job includes mopping bathroom floors, wiping down kitchens and cleaning trash chutes.

“I like the people I work with,” he said. “But I don’t like the actual work part of it, having to do it every day.”

Holder, one of Cowles’ supervisors, said he can run any kind of equipment she asks him to.

“He can scrub, strip, buff,” she said. “He can do it all.”

But she said the things Cowles does off the job impresses her the most.

“He raises two sons by himself,” she said. “That says a lot right there.”

Kim Haynes, a BSA at Barnes-Campbell Hall and a former coworker of Cowles, agrees with Holder.

“He loves those kids,” she said. “To take on two of them by himself, you can’t call him a deadbeat dad.”

Reach Jesse Osbourne at [email protected]