1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


More Memories of Karl Ray
Barry Worrell 09

When John McCurdy sent me the article on Karl Fitzgerald, it took a moment to realize who he was talking about.  I remembered when Karl came to Alderson and entered school, and naturally it was Jim Jones who introduced us, for Jim lived across the road from the Fitzgerald house.

John story doesn't surprise me a bit. I don't think I had ever encountered a character such as Karl. He was always saying something or doing something that would literally stop you for a moment to scratch your head and then usually laugh.

Jim, Karl, and I went to someone's house for a get together, which usually meant just sitting around. We began fooling with a recorder that was there and Karl started the machine, picked up the mic and a newspaper, and started reading into the mic. He was doing OK until he got stuck on the word 'horrible". He couldn't get the whole word out and just kept saying "hor, hor, hor". I guess Karl must have thought it sounded like he was saying "whore", and he put his hand over his mouth and put down the mic. We all had a good laugh over that.

The best story about Karl was when he came to the Alpine Theater to see Jim and me while we were working there one Saturday. After spending some time with Jim he came upstairs to the projection booth and visited with me. He soon disappeared and in a few minutes both Jim and I heard a commotion from the people who were watching the movie. I came from the projection booth and looked over into the audience. There was Karl hanging from the railing, dangling over the people below. Jim was standing below him telling him to come down. I don't remember if he continued on downward with our help, or if we pulled him up from the top.

After Karl was married, Jim and I went to see him somewhere around Charleston. He was living on a farm back in the country. We had to ford a lot of creeks and unpaved roads to get there. Karl seemed much more subdued than I had ever seen him. That was the last time I ever saw Karl and I was sadden when I heard he had passed away. But I'm glad I got to know him for just a short time.