Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Remembering Karl King

Because today is the 62nd anniversary of VE-Day, I thought I'd do a post to say thanks to the sacrifices of the men and women who endured those years. I thought I'd point out that we need to appreciate those folks while they're here, talk to them and learn their stories because they are passing into history. So I did a little Googling around trying to find some information about an old friend and sort-of-Fort-Worth legend Karl King, a guy who lived through some of the worst of that time. I interviewed Karl a few years ago for a story I wrote and never sold that you can read here. I had been out of touch and hadn't spoken to him for a few years. Unfortunately, I found out today that Karl passed away on July 25, 2005.

You can read Karl's obit if you like. Let me just summarize it for you: He dropped out of Dallas' Bryan Adams High School at 14 and joined the Marines to escape the Great Depression. He served in China and survived the fall of Bataan by swimming two-and-a-half miles to the island fortress of Corregidor, where a month later he became a prisoner of war at age 16. He survived a hellish three-and-half year prison camp experience with many scars but remarkably little bitterness. He became a Fort Worth radio journalist and was among the first to report the JFK Assassination (his oral history is on file at the Sixth Floor Museum.) After he retired, he went back to school and received a bachelor's degree from TCU in 1980. He had curious mind and was an avid reader of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and he especially liked Emerson's essay on self-reliance.

Karl was a fantastic guy and I'm glad to have known him. Rest in peace, Karl.

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