Big Kenny Continues Search for Friend in Haiti
In a recent heart-wrenching interview with CMT Insider, Big Kenny shared moments from his recent trip to Haiti, where he searched for a dear friend, Walt Ratterman, who is missing after the earthquake that devastated the country last month.
The day prior to the earthquake, Big Kenny received an e-mail from Walt, who was working in Haiti. Walt was staying at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince when the quake hit, and the building crumbled from the tremors.
"His e-mail said, 'Kenny, I've been thinking a lot about you lately. Looking forward to seeing you. Thinking a lot about life. I've come to the conclusion that other than family being first and foremost, I figure the most important things in life are helping other people and music. I guess that's why you and I met up.'"
That night, Big Kenny played a gig and found out about the Haiti tragedy upon arriving at the airport to fly home. "I saw the news on the airport CNN," he says. "I called his wife and said, 'Is Walt OK?' She hadn't heard from him."
Big Kenny says the scene of the Hotel Montana was sadly similar to another horrific event in recent years. "[It] looks like what was left of the Twin Towers after 9/11."
Big Kenny still has hope that Walt has survived the disaster, although he does realize each day that passes, chances become less likely.
"They maintained what we call search and rescue up until the week-two point," he explains. "And history tells us that's about as long as anybody is yet to survive. But I am still pretty sure that Walt is going to come walking up to me anywhere now ... any minute ... and he'll tap me on the shoulder, look me right in the eye [and] go, 'You look like you could use a little help.' And I'll go, 'You son of a b---- ... yeah! Grab a hammer.'"