What Matters to Ken

Ken Cooley and his wife of 37 years, Sydney, have been residents of Rancho Cordova since 1977. Their two sons are married and live and work in Rancho Cordova.

Bryce, who is married to Bethany, is a Youth Pastor in the community. His brother, Philip, has returned to school for post-graduate studies and is in seminary. Philip and his wife Katherine have one child, Charlotte.

When his sons graduated from high school, Ken took each of them on a Father/Son trip into our great mountain range to the east to illustrate for them a lesson - the wagon road is the road of life.

Ken believes the history of California, specifically the lessons about hard work, about perseverance that overcomes every obstacle, and the preciousness of time – speaks directly to the challenges Californians and California face today.

For earlier generations of Californians, the rigors faced by pioneer California settlers on their difficult climb over the Sierra Nevada mountains was a matter of personal knowledge. The mountains could only be conquered by everyone working together with an urgency based on fear that as the days grew shorter and colder, snow might begin to fall at any time. For pioneers on the California trail, time was not something that could be wasted.

Ken sees the reclaiming of this heritage as vital to our time. Accordingly, Ken’s favorite state building is not the Capitol but rather the state’s 1st office building that is across the street. On the granite above its entry, earlier Californians inscribed a message to posterity:

“BRING ME MEN TO MATCH MY MOUNTAINS”. In our day we understand this as an appeal for people – men and women – to match our mountains.

What a great message to today from early California!