Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembering Cory

Wow. This is a hard post to start. It hurts to refer to a friend in the past tense.

Cory Jenkins was such a great guy. I first met Cory working with him in the Chemistry Central Stockroom at BYU. That was a fun job, and Cory was one of my favorite people to work with. He was a goofy guy, and always happy. Well, he was pretty miserable when his allergies acted up, but would still make the most of things.

He also worked for Lecture Prep., setting up all of the classroom demonstrations that the Chemistry professors use to spice up their lectures. Here's my favorite Cory memory: I was working at the stockroom, and Cory comes streaking in with a panicked look on his face. He grabs the green Merck index off of the shelf and searches the pages for a few minutes. He finds what he's looking for, lets out a sigh of relief, and only then tells me what is up. While working in the lecture prep room one day he had noticed a big bottle of Methylene Blue. For those of you not familiar with this gem of a chemical, it turns your pee blue if you eat it. I guess seeing this big bottle of pee-color-changing potential was too much for him to resist. He opened the bottle, got a scoop of it out, and then ate it. That is when the panic set in. In his own words, Methylene Blue is "OH, so bitter!" It was only then that he wondered about how safe it was to eat. Thus the panicked rushing into the stockroom to check the entry in the Merck Index.

The funniest part of this whole story is that this whole episode didn't scare him off at all. Rather, it made his scientific brain kick in, thinking of ways to mask the taste, alternative methods of ingestion (like putting it in gelatin capsules), and finding the minimum effective dose for effective pee coloring. He was going to use himself as a test subjects, as well as a few volunteer classmates. I'm not sure what came of all of the plans. I think he gave up after a few rounds. It's still pretty funny. There are still blue fingerprints on the Methylene Blue page of the Merck Index in the Chemistry Central Stockroom. Good times!

Cory graduated and I never saw him again. He moved away and got married. He went to PA school, and decided that he could get some good experience in the Army. His daughter was born a month before he was deployed.

Capt. Cory J. Jenkins, 30, of Arizona, died Aug. 25, 2009 in southern Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.
Since Cory was from Mesa, I thought I'd go pay my respects. It is Memorial day, after all. I went to a florists shop a few blocks from my house to pick up some flowers to take. Funny how its appropriate to take a guy flowers after he's dead, but kind of weird otherwise. Anyways, she was running a little low on red, white, and blue flowers, but she had a few left. I told her what I wanted to spend, and she put together a really nice bouquet. I have a feeling she gave me a bargain. Sometimes people are great. I'm definitely going to her next time I need some flowers.

It breaks my heart that a guy that was only over there to help people was lost to us. And that he was only 30 years old. He was such a great guy. My heart breaks for his family.

Here's a nice tribute I found on YouTube.

I count myself lucky to have known such a great guy... We'll miss you Cory!


  1. What a beautiful tribute, Karen. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Ok, I was a little misty eyed when I was reading your post. THEN, I watched the video (which is wonderful) and the tears flowed. I was bawling. Thanks for sharing the wonderful tributes of someone who fought for us. It is a great way to remember him.

  3. Thanks, Karen. Cory was one in a billion. I still have a hard time thinking about him and his family. I guess I'm pretty sheltered in that Cory is the only person I knew that lost his life in battle. One person is enough, though.

  4. Who can watch a video like that without balling? I'm sorry for your loss! (I knew some friends that put methylene blue in brownies at a fire side and oh yes it worked!)

  5. Thanks for the good cry. You performed true service in finding and honoring Cory on Memorial Day.

  6. Tear Jerker!!! Do you still keep in touch with his widow?

    Weston and his friends (he says it was his friends) put the methyline blue in the punch at a stake YMYW dance. The stake YW pres pee'd blue and saw RED. She did not have a sense of humor. She wouldn't serve punch anymore at the dances - only water!

  7. I've never actually met Cory's widow. They got married a couple of years after he moved out of Utah, and I never got the chance. I do wish her the best, though!