1. ...from Johnson City, Tennessee The Radio Caper by Sam Miller
While I have many fond memories of my childhood with Kim Walters, from playing baseball in his backyard to jealously admiring the perfectly detailed airplane models hanging by fish line from his bedroom ceiling, there is one series of events that Kim and I still laugh about - The Radio Caper.
One bright and sunny summer day, Kim and I were at my home on Highland Road in Johnson City. The timeframe had to be in the late '50's or just into the '60's. He and I hatched a plan to create a mock AM radio awards show featuring Rocky Stump, a widely-known radio voice at the time. I can still see the gleam in Kim's eyes as we wrote the script and planned every detail of the "Award." We waited for darkness and set our plan into motion. Of course as I remember it, Kim was a sneaky leader, and I was just the innocent follower.
Back in the old days with rotary dialing, there was no way to tell who was calling on the telephone. Most everyone eagerly answered all calls. After all, who in their right mind would even think of making a fake call awarding a prize to completely unsuspecting and trusting people? Well, Kim Walters would and did along with his henchman, me.
Kim was the main brains and enthusiastic aider and abettor in the scheme, and we quickly had a script, featured award, and place and time for our winners to claim their "award." Kim and I were familiar with how Johnson City was laid out and carefully went through the phone book (yes - printed out and everything) and selected our victims based on their neighborhood. In my deepest and most professional voice, I acted as Rocky Stump, and we proceeded to call at least 50 different potential winners.
Here is basically the script as best as I can recall: "Hello, is this _____? Well, congratulations! This is Rocky Stump from WJCW 910 Radio and you have just been randomly selected as the winner of our contest. Yes, today your telephone number is your lucky number! Your prize is a brand new AM-FM Clock Radio, completely free of charge. You are live on the air now. Do you have anything to say to our listening audience? Fine. Fine. We are so happy for you as well. Now listen carefully because here is how you claim your prize. Be at London Hardware Store in Johnson City tomorrow between the hours of 12 and 1 pm. Bring a small slip of paper with the name, Rocky Stump, I repeat, Rocky Stump, written on it. Go to the cashier, hand them the slip of paper, tell them your name and claim your prize. Do you have any questions? Fine. Fine. We'll see you tomorrow and again, congratulations!"
The more Kim and I practiced, the better we became and so we set about to arrive at London Hardware Store in downtown Johnson City at 11:45 am to witness how successful our acting careers actually were. Near noon, we acted like regular shoppers and took up a position behind some tall counter displays with a clear view of the checkout register. We tried to act like we were interested in hammers, pliers and screwdrivers, but our eyes were glued to the cashier.
True to instructions, our winners began arriving at noon. They shyly walked up to the cashier, handed him a piece of paper, said their name and asked for their AM-FM Clock Radio. After the third or fourth person did the same thing, Kim and I were laughing so hard, Kim was afraid we were making too much noise and was certain we would be outed as the perpetrators of this hoax. I mean, who else would be having so much fun and laughing so hard at the expense of the victims? Well, Kim Walters for one and me for the other.
Heeding the advice of Kim to hastily vacate the store before we actually rolled in the aisles with laughter, we left the store as casually as we could while trying to wipe the grins off our faces. When we left, the store was abnormally crowded with people carrying small slips of paper with the name Rocky Stump. It was so bad, the Radio Station put out an announcement advising the whole city that the contest was fake.
Oh Kim, I can't believe your wickedness!
It's been almost 50 years since the Radio Caper, but what a memory! Love you, Man!
2. The University of Tennessee - By Art Beattie Tribute to Kim Walters
I met Kim when I lived with Phil Anderson (The Doc) at Clinch Towers apartments in Knoxville. I was a sophomore at UT and Kim was a graduating senior or just beginning his MBA course work. Phil and I lived next door to Russell King who was a law student at UT.
Kim was a friendly, outgoing person who was welcoming to everyone. He loved having people gather at his place to listen to music, have a beer and generally just hang out. There were all kinds of characters - his roommate at the time, Scott - better known as Scott Boy, Mary Ann Fuzek - another neighbor that lived door to Kim and Scott, Tom Pridgen - a friend of Kim's from Kingsport, Jody Kincheloe - another friend of Kim's, Phil and myself. There were others, but my memory fails me at this time.
Kim has always been a Renaissance Man - defined as a cultured man who was knowledgeable, educated and proficient in a wide range of fields. Kim has always been a guy who saw more than the surface of things. Kim always looked beyond the obvious to let us all know there was more to the story. This applied to music, art, science and business. The best example of this was Kim's theory about why the Moody Blues band broke up. He attributed the break up to a disagreement among band members on the use of electronic/artificial music vs man-made instruments. Several former Moody' Blue's band members joined together to put out an album that used only man-made instruments vs electronic/artificial sounds. Made sense at the time - but that was the way Kim worked. Kim's insights helped me to look beyond the surface of things. Km was also a big fan of the Dutch artist MC Escher who was famous for his architectural images and drawings. I consider this another great example of looking beyond the surface of things to understand what lies beyond the surface.
Kim was a finance student as UT and so was I - so I used Kim as a reference source to address my lack of understanding of things. He was always helpful and made things sound so simple. He was in certain respects a "Yoda" teaching in his own way his view of the world.
In college Kim was quite an athlete. We played basketball, football, and occasionally a round of gold. He was a voracious competitor and was quick to suggest plays that would crush whomever we were playing against. He made it fun - even when we got beat.
And then there were the water balloons. From our perch above Clinch Avenue we had a perfect spot to hit unsuspecting cars traveling up and down that street. I think all that ended when a law student (former Vandy lineman) who resided on a floor above us was hit by a volley of water balloons and he was looking for the culprits - that he never found. I'm not saying who was responsible.
Kim has been a great inspiration to me in a lot of ways. His love for life and for friends he could laugh and kid around with. His insights on the world around him caused all of us to think beyond ourselves and the larger purpose of our existence. I know Kim dearly loves Karen and his children - he speaks of them often. His pride is boundless - each of you have brought great joy to his life.
We have spent a little more time together in recent years as he would travel back east to visit family and friends. Good to see and understand his sense of humor again. Angie and I enjoyed our time with him very much.
Kim has a kind heart and loves life. I think the words from a Neil Young song express our wishes for Kim best:
Long may you run Long may you run Although these changes have come With your chrome heart shining In the sun Long may you run
3. University of Tennessee - By Bob Wheat The Water Balloon Incident
During down time, our gang of graduate and law school students living at Clinch Towers Apartments would amuse ourselves by throwing water balloons from the upper floor balconies at unsuspecting vehicles as they sped by the apartments along Clinch Avenue late at night. Rule number one for not getting caught at this stress-relieving activity was to only throw balloons at cars traveling East on Clinch Avenue, so that they would be behind the building and screened from view by the time they realized what had happened. One fateful night around midnight, all of us were out throwing balloons except for Kim, who was in his apartment diligently studying for something - possibly a mid-term exam.
This was a slow night and targets were few and far between. Suddenly a white car came driving down Clinch Avenue heading West, the wrong way for sake of a "safe: throw. Out of boredom and with a complete lack of judgment, Kim's roommate Phil "Doc" Anderson let fly with a direct hit on a Knoxville Police car! The car stopped briefly, and then with tires smoking and blue lights flashing accelerated rapidly. In no time, it had circled the block and stopped right in front of the apartments.
Meanwhile we had all run and taken refuge in Kim's apartment. Doc was hiding in back and the rest of us formed a guilty circle of light conversation in the living room trying to ignore the obvious. Suddenly, two angry policeman were pounding on the door. When we opened it, they read us the riot act explaining how they had received several reports of water balloons being thrown and hoses being squirted at cars from this apartment building. Some days the street looked like a rainbow from all the balloons thrown the night before.
When we tried to deny involvement, they only got more upset. Then one of the officers pointed to Kim, the only innocent party there (that night anyway), who had been inside studying the whole time. The officer specifically identified Kim saying, "I know I saw you out there throwing water balloons" and offered him an overnight stay at the city jail. So much for his mid-term or whatever!
After of lot of fast talking, Kim was able to stay at his own apartment... but it was a close call. Doc, the actual guilty party, never came out of the back bedroom.
Our July 4th Celebration by Bob Wheat
After being on the waitlist for months, I moved into Clinch Towers following Spring quarter of 1973. The former tenant and his mover/buddy were having trouble clearing everything out, so I helped them by buying the first piece of furniture for my new place - a waterbed mattress that wasn't draining fast enough surrounded by a home-made frame of 2x12s. The agreed price was $20 cash, which they promptly spent on a cold case of Budweiser to finish the move.
The lifestyle at Clinch Towers was a bit different from the uptight, sterile atmosphere of the married and graduate student apartments I left. As I fell into step with the change and got to know Kim and the gang a little better, I began to really enjoy life at UT and to look for every opportunity to have a good time. Leaving aside the time I was encouraged to drink my sorrows away with Ripple wine after breaking up with Carol - and spent the following two days trying to decide if I was going to live or die from the hangover, Kim usually knew how to have fun. So when he suggested fireworks for the 4th of July, it was only natural that Kim, Russell and I piled into a car and headed to the next county where fireworks were still legally sold in Tennessee.
When July 4th arrived, we partied as usual until it got dark. Then the fireworks started in more ways than one. We had bought several bricks of the loudest you could get at the time and began throwing a steady stream of singles punctuated with rocket fire. That was not enough "bang" for us so we started throwing entire strings of 25 or 50 at a time. Moving on, we started using a steel trash can to get an echo effect to the blasts, and then discovered that the solid brick wall by the pool sent a nice fifty-round echo towards campus., Finally, we found that the absolute best echo, or "bang for the buck," came from setting off strings between the brick wall on the North end of the building and the two-story house next door - great echo effects!
However, the older gentleman living there did not share our enthusiasm for fireworks on the 4th of July. He confronted us once or twice, so we started using our familiar hit and run tactics - toss the firecrackers and duck into an apartment. Then we would send out a scout to watch and when the man went back inside, toss out more firecrackers.
This worked great until an innocent party arrived for his date with my upstairs neighbor Vicky. Vicky had a part-time waitress gig where she wore a UT cheerleader's outfit on game days, and she usually alternated her dates between UT football players, a local night club owner, and her UT professors in search of a better grade.
Usually one of Vicky's dates could have handled most situations, but after being harassed for a couple of hours by our firecracker barrage, the man next door was armed with a pistol and out for blood. He confronted her date, who had no idea what was going on, threatened him with the pistol and demanded that he stop throwing the firecrackers at once - or else. According to Vicky, he was quite startled by the angry man cussing and waving a gun in his face, and this put quite a "damper" on her date that night!
We also received some threats from the hippies across the street with a 12-gauge shotgun the following day. Another great idea Kim!!!
The Camping Trip by Bob Wheat
On another occasion after graduation, Kim and I decided take an overnight hike up Mt. Le Conte for a weekend stay. My-ex, Carol, and Mary Ann, another of our Clinch Towers gang, decided to go along with us. So with four fully-loaded backpacks we headed to the check-in station only to find that all reservations for the Mt. Le Conte shelter, or any other shelter within a reasonable one-day's hiking distance (7-10 miles up and down winding and rocky mountain trails) had been taken for the weekend. The closest open shelter was some 16 to 18 miles away, which was much too far for our tender feet to hike and climb that day.
Not to be denied our weekend getaway and with frozen hamburgers and bacon thawing in our backpacks, Kim and I made the executive decision to go anyway and take our chances getting a place to sleep on a first-come first-served basis. The wilderness shelters at that time were primitive, three-sided log structures, with wire stretched on log frames along the back wall to hold 12 sleeping bags on 2 rows. We also decided to go for a closer shelter, only 2-1/2 miles from the nearest parking area and following a stream along the back trail figuring that it was likely four folks wouldn't show up at that shelter.
We were among the first ones there and called squatters' rights on four prime spots. As the day wore on, the shelter slowly filled, and sure enough everyone showed up. Fortunately, the late comers had tents or tarps with them and ended up sleeping under those on the ground that night so all was well. We got up the next morning and noticed the tent and tarp guys were already gone.
Kim was leisurely cooking our fresh bacon for breakfast, and the four of us were enjoying nature at its finest when we heard someone excited exclaim, "Hey, look! Here come the Rangers!"
The National Park Rangers were stone-faced and all business. They were asking to see everyone's camping permit to make sure we were authorized to spend the night there. Kim and I looked at each other in panic but were caught dead to rights. Whatever explanation we came up with at the time didn't work. The Rangers issued us a citation to federal court in Charlotte, NC, and told us to stop cooking, pack up and follow them out of the park. We slowly began doing as told, faced with the prospect of a forced-march with two irate Rangers back to our car.
I guess the sight of a ruined breakfast and the two girls crying must have softened them up some because they finally went on their way telling us to just finish packing and leave without delay. Of course, by the time we walked out, Kim had us all laughing about the whole incident, and we took a picture of Km and me holding the ticket as evidence of our expensive hike in the Smoky Mountains. That ticket Kim and I split was more than the equivalent of a month's rent for either one of us - and more than enough to have rented a nice chalet in Gatlinburg for the weekend!
The Clinch Towers Effect by Bob Wheat
After finishing law school and passing the bar exam, my first real world job was with a "big eight" public accounting firm. These firms were known to be very "straight-laced" organizations with strict dress and conduct codes. I was assigned one of their rising-star CPAs, Les Wagner, who had been with the firm for two years, to be my couch and to help train me during the first year. One of our early assignments was to audit the University of Chattanooga Foundation, which had merged into the UT system. The records were now kept on campus in Knoxville, and I found myself back on campus at good old UT.
After completing the audit early, I suggested that we go over to the strip where we met up with my ex, Carol, for a few beers. Now in the proper mood to party, Carol and I headed straight over to Kim's apartment for a visit, taking my coach and new friend Les along for the ride. Gracious as always, Kim welcomed us all in, cranked up the stereo, and began passing around the usual party favors we enjoyed. A typical Clinch Towers party ensued. As more people gathered in the apartment, Kim entertained us with stories of our days at UT, complete with a water balloon demonstration for Les, who was fully participating in all the activities, having ditched his suit and tie and succumbed to the "Clinch Towers Effect."
On our drive back to Chattanooga, my red-faced coach tried to explain to me that this was certainly not the way we were supposed to behave while out of town on business representing the firm, but I still got to enjoy one more great time at Kim's apartment.
4. University of Tennessee - By Don Gosnell aka "The Goose" The Birth of Kamikaze Goose
It was our junior year at UT and the first year that Kim and I roomed together in Reese Hall. One day Kim came to me with an idea. He was going to start a comic strip.
Now, I was skeptical, but Kim seemed really excited about the idea. He explained that the strip would be named "The Adventures of Kamikaze Goose." The hero would be a goose with a real social conscience, flying around looking for environmental hazards to clean up which bringing the perpetrators to justice. I believe that Kim said something about having it published daily in the campus newspaper, The Daily Beacon. My skepticism continued to climb.
After discussing the idea for a while longer we focused doing the first sketches of Kamikaze Goose. It didn't take long, and I can still draw this pollution-fighting hero from memory.
Alas, the comic strip never materialized, but I gained a nickname for life, thanks to Kim.
The Great Clinch Towers Spaghetti Supper by Don Gosnell aka The Goose
When our senior year rolled around, Kim and I wanted to live off campus, and so we finally ended up with an apartment in Clinch Towers. Soon thereafter, Kim suggested that we do something to meet more of our neighbors. His idea was to host a spaghetti supper after one of the home football games.
Planning began, with me offering to be in charge of the cooking and Kim taking the lead on getting the word out. I found a recipe for the sauce and Kim went to work publicizing the event.
On the chosen Saturday, I got up early to start cooking. I let the sauce simmer while we went off to the game. After the game, we headed back to get everything ready.
All of a sudden, there was a BIG CROWD in the apartment and we were serving up spaghetti as fast as we could. We had to start sending folks to other apartments just to have somewhere to sit down and eat! t was a rousing success!
Looking at this crowd, it struck me that while I knew very few of them, all of them seemed to know Kim! The became a common theme over time, and highlights what I think is one of Kim's best qualities. He has always been so outgoing and friendly and the kind of person to whom everyone can relate. As a result, he has friends in many locations and in many different walks of life and is admired by each one.
The Best Birthday Ever by Don Gosnell aka The Goose
One time in the early '80's, I was working for a software company and we were showing our products at a conference in San Diego. I brought Katie with me and after the conference, we headed north up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), bound for San Francisco.
It was a great trip, but it was about to get even better. We finally arrived at Kim and Karen's house on Friday for the weekend. Kim asked us if we had ever heard of the Bay to Breakers Race. We said no, and he proceeded to tell us that he was running in the face that year and it was being held early the next day. This was not a normal 10K race like the Peachtree Road Race here in Atlanta. Oh no. It was more like a rolling party with participants encouraged to wear outlandish costumes (or nothing at all) and to generally just throw inhibition to the wind while running through San Francisco, ending up in the Presidio area, as I recall.
Coincidentally, that Saturday was also my birthday, so I thought watching the race would be a great way to celebrate. So we got up early and Karen, Katie and I found a good spot from which to view the race.
It certainly lived up to the hype! My favorite runners were the 'centipedes' who would run as a group connected by ropes or other apparatus. We cheered when we saw Kim and celebrated his success when he completed the race. But the fun had just begun.
Kim and Karen spent the rest of the day showing us around San Francisco. Katie tried calamari for the first time at Fisherman's Wharf. We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and took pictures from the Marin County side. We had fantastic dim sum in Chinatown, a totally new (and delicious) experience for us. We explored all the famous sites downtown. To cap off the day, we ate at a great Italian restaurant for dinner.
Through it all, Kim and Karen were the perfect hosts, and that day range as my most favorite birthday ever, and one that I will never forget!
5. University of Tennessee - By Mary Ann Fuzek Thank You So Much
Thank you for being a wonderful friend and human being. Thinking of you every day. I have attached a letter with more "thank you's." Love you dear friend.
Thank you for being an excellent human being. An honest, ethical, kind, intelligent, polite, down-to-earth, caring man. An exceptional son, husband and father. A lifetime friend who stayed in touch with friends and family. An MBA businessman and a lifelong learner. Curious about our universe. Respectful and Respected.
I am thankful that you were my neighbor at Clinch Towers Apartments. You were everyone's favorite at Clnch Towers! If you opened your front door, pretty soon your living room was full of people! Everybody wanted to be around you, the one and only true real Hunga Dunga! "YEWW, YEWW, YEWW, YEWW"... Here are a few random memories from those days: group sharing a grill, hiking the Smokies, water balloons (UH OH!), carefree Summer days, "Oh goody, doughnuts!" you and The Doc (Phil Anderson) snatching strawberries off of my plate at Morrison's Cafeteria, and later on, the 1982 World's Fair.
Thank you for all the fun times and laughs!
Thank you for the annual Christmas cards with photos of your beautiful and handsome family, and the furry ones, too.
Thank you for a lifetime of friendship. I thank God for allowing me to know you. This "Thank You" card said, "I am the right card to give Kim." I am praying for your comfort and peace, and that you will be surrounded by your loving family. I love you, my dear friend. One life well-lived... many lives touched. Love, Mary Ann Fuzek
6. University of Tennessee, Knoxville - By Phyllis (Wapnick) Rosenberg Fond Memories of Kim/Hunga Dunga/Edwin/the B.E.
I met Kim as my downstairs neighbor while I lived in Clinch Towers, an apartment building off campus at the Big Orange, aka UT Knoxville. I was a sophomore at the time, and lived in that apartment until my graduation in June of '75. Kim was a bit ahead of me in school, a few years older than I. SO many college memories are from my time at Clinch Towers, and the best of the best include Kim!
I moved in with my childhood friend, also a UT student, Susan Simon; Kim and Steve Scott lived on the floor below us, with Phil Anderson up the hall as well as Mary Ann Fuzek. (I also had my beloved 2 parakeets, inherited from Jolyn, who had been my roommate in the dorm the 2 preceding years. The keets' names were Walter and Cronkite.)
Upon meeting these neighborly characters, all students of admirable majors, such as business, finance, psychology, education, and pre-med, little did we know of the myriad of unplanned adventures that would pursue during the 2 short years Susan and I lived there, from the fall of '73 until the spring of '75!
The best part of living in The Towers was when Kim and Steve had us all come and hang out in their apartment, which happened on a very frequent basis. There was a mutual understanding that, when the stereo was playing and the bong was being passed, the bean bag chair and headphones would be Kim's, as he was titled Hunga Dunga (HD), the grand pooka of the place!
This all important "chair" was referred to as HD's "throne," though he graciously shared it, but only after he had first dibs (especially when Zeppelin's "A Whole Lotta Love" was on and the headphones, along with enhancement from whatever was in the bond that night, totally blew our kids when it reached the part with separation of sound that went right through our heads from one side to the other!! Same for the Moody Blues on headphones). Hunga Dunga got the chance to nestle into the bean bag chair and to become one with the haunting, classic sound that brought him to a state of euphoria, then happily passed on the rites to the rest of us, who had been listening to same through the air.
So many mellow and outrageously fun nights were enjoyed in that apartment, and Kim was surely a host extraordinaire!!
Now sometimes (actually, more than sometimes) we'd tire of just getting stoned and drunk and listening to music, so that's when our (VERY DANGEROUS... I now can't even believe we did this!!) interest turned to throwing water balloons off the balcony, and ONTO PASSING CARS ON THE STREET BELOW.
Oh, man, sometimes our water-filled bombs hit the street (those were usually mine!), sometimes the car's roof (SCORE!), sometimes the car's hood (Woo Hoooo!), sometimes the trunk (JUST MADE IT!), and yes, sometimes the windshield (YOWWWWZAAAA!!)!
t was crazy addicting, and, after tossing our balloons, we'd all scurry back not the guys' apartment and lock the door. Once or twice, irate (and terrified!) drivers would knock on the door demanding to find the people who bombed their car, and we'd play innocent, trying with all our power not to totally crack up and lose it.
Kim, did we ever actually cause an accident?? Those nights were such hilarious and adrenaline-filled ways to bond and to live dangerously while getting through the demands of college stuff. What fun, crazy, and whacky times we had!
Then there was the time my parents were due to arrive from Atlanta for a weekend visit to Knoxville. I expected them mid-afternoon. Steve and Kim decided to come upstairs for a morning visit, and, soon afterwards, out came the joints, while we laughed, partied, and really smoked up the place.
For some reason, Susan pulled the living room curtains open to look outside, and hollered, "Phyllis, your parents just pulled up!! They're here! SHIT! Your parents are here!!"
Oy vey and Mama Mia, we opened all the windows, dumped out and hid the ashtrays, turned on the fans, waved our arms around like crazy people to wave off the smoke (yeah, right!!), and sprayed air freshener (cough, cough!!) all over the place in an absolute panic!
Kim and Steve evacuated the place, while Susan and I tried to portray a normal, ho-hum Saturday morning, as we heard the knock on the door from Mom and Dad. When they commented on the smell in the place,
Susan and I told them we'd been burning incense... did they buy it? Nothing about it was said again, so we THOUGHT we were off the hook. Don't know if they believed us to this day, as I never wanted to know!
There's so many other memories, like the time my sorority, A E Phi, was having a formal, and I had no boyfriend at the time, so I invited Kim to come with me. He did, all spiffed up in a suit, with his curly hair, rosy cheeks and wire-rimmed glasses!! I had the best date ever!!
What a great guy he is, always the gentleman, the comedian, the down to earth and always reliable friend with whom I can completely be myself. I will always cherish this very special friendship! Friends like Kim are rare, indeed!!
These memories bring other folks to mind who came in and out of our lives those 2 years... Johnny Emmons, Big Jodie and Tom Pridgen, Jeffrey the drug guy, Jolyn, Joni, all with music, laughter and memories...
Hey, Kim, here's a memory for ya... what about Sam and Andy's Deli??? Getting those amazing steamed sub sandwiches and the cheese melted all other the top, late at night? Turkey and swiss was MY go-to! Oh, man, those things melted in my mouth!
And what about driving to Stoney's showed (as we used to call going to Shoney's stoned!!) for hot fudge cake (oh, man, I'm drooling' here!!)??!!
Another memory I'll share from our Clinch Towers days is the time Susan and I learned of Kim's real first name and decided to hound him forever, by using it instead of his preferred "Km." We had known Kim for a year or so, when, once day, he was upstairs in our kitchen, stopping by on his way to paying his rent check to the landlord.
He innocently laid his check on our kitchen counter/table while chatting with us, and there, lo and behold, in the upper left hand corner of the check, my eye caught the name "Edwin Kimball Walters!!" Wait!! Edwin? Kim's name was Edwin? Who knew??!! What a discovery!! I showed Susan, and we just broke out in laughter, hounding hm with "Edwin!! Edwin!! Edwin!!..."
From that day on, until last week when Kim signed a text to me with the name "Kim," he's been none other than Edwin to Susan and myself. I know that we asked him, years later, if it was okay that he's Edwin to us, and he told us that, as long as it was just the two of us doing it, we could continue to call him Edwin, as it was out of affection, and he knew that. A rose by any name... he's always just as sweet!! I always loved my Edwin!
One final memory of those long ago days is the birth of the B.E. Kim had gotten a really short haircut, and his curls were reduced to heathery little wisps on top of his head... Susan and I thought he looked just like a baby bald eagle, with little wispy feather, so we started calling him the B.E. for short (bald eagle).
Oh, how we teased him and played with him, and he took it all with a smile. Edwin... the B.E.... man, he really put up with a lot.... good thing we were so much fun and such good neighbors, I guess. He also has the perfect temperament, to know that we teased him out of love and friendship. We were all so connected, more than just friends and neighbors.... more like family. And I still feel that way, all these years later.
So it's 1976, we're out of UT, and we're working.... me in Atlanta and Kim in TN. I hear from him often by phone, and we have long conversations, mainly focused on whether he should move to the West Coast. He had a girl out there, who was the One, but it was such a drastic move from the Southeast, the only home he knew! We discussed the pros and cons and going out there vs. staying, through and through. Karen, you stole Kim's heart, swept him off his feet, won him over hook, line, and sinker, and from what I can tell, you still do!
He made the move, y'all got married, and he never looked back! UT fan forever, YES, but from his Palo Alto life, the homestead where his marriage to his true love evolved into the place where hs beloved and Addie and Marshall grew up. I am so very happy for the years of joy and success you have enjoyed, Kim, and I am so very happy you picked your life up, traveled across the country, and made the move. What a brave and admirable thing to do, leaving your parents, friends, and Tennessee life style for the girl you loved! Johnson City, TN, boy meets Palo Alto, Cali!! It worked!!
I ended up in northern NJ, having married a New Yorker, and what a surprise it was one day, in the early '80's, before kids, when we pulled up to our house from a trip to the mall, and who was in our driveway, but our Palo Alto friends!! How the heck y'all found the house, without GPS, I'll never know, but, man, it was super surreal to walk you through our home and to spend whatever little time we had, welcoming you to our world and enjoying both of your company. What a treat that was!! As you can see, I never forgot it! Thank you for dropping in! Such a cool and fun thing to do!
I look forward to your family's Christmas card every year, with updated photos of Addie, Marshall, Kim, Karen, (and Karen's mom for many years), the kids' interests, and, of course, the menagerie of pets! Karen, you always have a hand-written update of family happenings, and those cards became my way of remaining in touch with y'all over the distance and over the years... ...until Kim and Marshall came to NJ on their roller coaster trip!!
We met at Great Adventure and spent a glorious afternoon, especially considering that I had the chance to meet daredevil Marshall and to see you, Kim, for the 1st time in 30+ years!! Man, that day was a blast! And you looked just the same as when I had last seem you, except for the white hair! You proudly talked about Addie and her love of Idina Menzel, her love of seeing "Wicked" many times over, of her numerous theater trips to NY! Man, that day was a gift, as was your chance to spend time with Big Jodie, one hell of a special, brilliant, and fun loving soul!
Finally, we had a magical evening with you both, Kim and Karen, going to dinner in SF while we were in town between a wedding in Napa and a cruise to Alaska! Oh, man, that was a wonderful chance to catch up and to enjoy our friendship face to face, after so, so many years! I am especially happy that we had that night, Kim and Karen, to have touched one another's lives with good food, wine, laughter, talk of kids, work, and memories, and to feel the warmth of being together. It means so much.
7. University of Tennessee - By Shirley Steinberg
My kids heard stories about all of Joe's (Kincheloe aka Big Jody) friends, but were obsessed about the Hungadunga.
And you know how long Joe's stories were; he would go into detail and of course, the obsession with the Vols was significant. All of my kids were Vol-Savvy, but my Chaim was Joe's protege. He was as obsessed with the Vols. so you know, I know the importance of Saturdays. Joe and Kim would talk all the time during the up and coming games, and Chaim was always aware of this. Through the years, he was like a sidekick who listened in on the grownups, Kim and Joe, about the game. He also only called Kim the Hungadunga.
When Joe died, Kim, of course, was very attentive and supportive. A highlight of Chai's and Joe's relationship was to go to the National Championships in Arizona in '98. A month or two after Joe's death, Chaim received a box from Kim. In it was a Vols helmet, photos, and a letter from Phil Fulmer. The Boach signed the helmet and all the items, and wrote Chaim a beautiful personal letter talking about what Kim had told him about Joe's passion for the Vols. Kim sent me the letter he sent Fulmer which, of course, Chaim cherishes.
While I remember Kim as a funny, dear, brilliant friend of Joe's, my son thought he was a football hero, and we will never forget the sweetness Kim had to go to the time to contact Fulmer and give Chaim such a memory of the only father he ever recognized. My heart aches for the family, losing these dear men at such young ages is tragic and cruel. They should have had decades more Saturday phone calls.
8. University of Tennessee - By Steve Scott
I am writing to share some memories of Kim Walters, who in my opinion is a great guy. I have known Kim since 1973 when we were both students at UT in Knoxville. When I first met Kim, I had just arrived in Knoxville to attend Grad school. We have continued to stay in touch over the years.
When Kim and I first met, we were college roommates who seemed to have very little n common, except for the purpose of sharing the rent in an off-campus apartment (Clinch Towers). But as it turns out, we did have at least one thing in common, a sense of humor. After about a month of merely coexisting, Kim persuaded me to join hm in listening to a phonograph record of Marx Brothers dialogues.
Kim would sit in his big green chair and chuckle at the sound of Groucho's lines in the movie "Animal Crackers." By lifting up the photograph needle and replacing it in groove, we listening to this "absurdist" dialog over and over again (about 20 times that night). Kim gave the same response each time: chuckle-chuckle, belly-laugh, like a big Buddha sitting in a large green recliner chair.
I told my friends from Kingsport that my new roommate and I now had something in common, a bizarre sense of humor. For the most part, this small group of people also faced themselves as comedians. They appreciated Kim's response to the Marx Bros. to such an extent that Kim acquired the nickname of "H.D." Kim was beloved by myself and our friends during this college period of approximately 5 years. "Big Jody" and Teresa, Johnny and Kathy, Tom, Howard, Robert, Mary Ann, Phil, Phyllis and Susan all grew to love him for his kindness, laid-back attitude, and fun-loving spirt.
Kim gave us an education from his repertoire of values. Sports: Of course first and foremost (as everybody knows), Kim's "blood runs Orange." Thus it's not Neyland Stadium, it's Neyland Cathedral. Those are not football uniforms, those are "vestments of Orange." Music: The Moody Blues are not just "singers in a rock 'n' roll band," but Minor Prophets. And they sound even more fantastic with headphones. The ladies upstairs were also listening to the Moodies, the walls were that thin. That's how we met them by asking, "Are you listening to the Moody Blues? We are, too." Fun-Loving Spirit: His small book on "100 Zen Dialogues" inspired more zany humor. His loafers were "cool before tassels were cool." Kim also pioneered the use of water balloons to combat boredom, to make new friends, and for getting into trouble (ask H.D.).
Conclusion: I learned a lot from this guy: 1. Don't take yourself too seriously. 2. Be a VOLS fan through thick and thin, boom and bust, bullish or bearish. 3. Expand your fashion repertoire (anything goes) 4. The Moody Blues were not just a rock 'n' roll band.
Respectfully submitted by: Steve "Guitarzan" Scott AKA Scott Boy (SCO the second)
9. University of Tennessee - By Tom Pridgen My Very Good Friend Kim Walters
It has been several weeks since my good friend Kim Walters passed from this life. Kim's passing had a profound effect on me as it did on several other people. Kim had a real gift for attracting, cultivating, and staying in touch with several friends over his life, a life that was very well lived but was cut too short by a horrible illness. During his life, Kim enriched the lives of many people - especially his family - but also the large group of friends with whom he stayed in touch.
I believe t was the spring of 1973 when I first met Kim. I was a cooperative education student at UT which meant that I split my time half and half between school and work. UT was on a quarter schedule in those days so every other quarter I would live in Knoxville and transition to work assignments on the other quarters. Spring and Fall were school and Summer and Winter were work. Thus, I lived many different places in Knoxville and Kim advertised needing a roommate in Spring 1973. It was by chance that we were both from the Tri-Cities area. Kim and I hit it off well as roommates as we shared many similar traits. We were both very good at procrastinating on our school work and then cramming before important tests. Whenever one of us had a big test, we would often get the help of stimulants which have us short term energy and drive. But we were still procrastinators so we would use the first few hours to delay even further and we would invariably clean up the apartment while the other slept. About 2-3 am we would finally start cramming in a spic and span apartment. The lucky roommate who did not have a test would awake to a spotless apartment!
Kim also would elaborate on grandiose plans he had for the future and talk for hours about how he was going to build so much wealth by financing and then refinancing that he would have infinite power and be able to live a lavish and eccentric lifestyle - yet he would always temper that with how he would start foundations to solve societal problems as well.
I recall once Kim asked me if I would like to play paddle ball with him. I responded, "Sure, let's go!" I knew Kim had played high school football and outweighed me at the time, but I thought there was no way he was as agile and quick as I was. I was way wrong. Kim out maneuvered me and he was amazingly quick for a guy who acted like a cuddly bear much of the time.
It was a short three months that we actually shared an apartment as roommates, but the friendship never ceased and we stayed in close touch during the remainder of our school years. Kim actually lived for a while with another Kingsport native and good friend, Steve Scott. Somewhere during this era was when "The Hunga Dunga" was born. Kim became very fond of listening to a recording of a Groucho Marx routine from the movie "Animal Crackers" where Groucho dictates a letter to his lawyer - the honorable Charles H. Hungadunga of Hungadunga, Hungadunga and McCormick. YouTube link https://www,youtube.com/watch?v=_2LqmcjleMU
Kim would sit in his large recliner and laugh uncontrollably and when it finished, would invariably say "play it again" and would immediately start laughing again. He was ultimately dubbed "The Hunga Dunga" and was well known throughout Clinch Towers apartment building by that moniker.
A few years later, Kim revealed (to his next-door neighbor Mary Ann Fuzek I believe) that his first name was "Edwin" and the middle name Kimball or Kim was bestowed by either his mother or another relative who was fond of the Rudyard Kipling work (The Jungle Book) about the boy named Kim. He was somewhat embarrassed by this so Mary Ann incessantly referred to him as Edwin when he tired of being called The Hunga Dunga.
I thought I would lose touch with Kim after he graduated. I was wrong yet one more time. Kim actually took his first job at Arcata Book Group where he and John Faust both started their careers. Arcata had taken over what was one time called Kingsport Press (always boasted as the largest single bookseller who produced books from cradle to grave - printing and binding at the same facility.) Arcata was headquartered in California and Kim traveled there for business. He became enthralled with California and ultimately made a transfer. I recall going to the airport to see him off and his father taking me to the side and asking me to do what I could to convince him to return. I knew Kim was likely not returning, but did not say that at the time. I thought that Kim was really leaving and we would not hear much from him after the move. I was wrong yet again as Kim made sure he made contact with friends and family in the east. A few years after Kim moved to California, I met my future spouse in Kingsport. She had come to Kingsport from out of state to take a job with Eastman. I went to see her at her apartment and realized I had been there before. It was Kim's old apartment at Broadmoor!
As mentioned, Kim did an exceptional job of keeping in touch. When John Faust recently became ill, Kim was deeply concerned and so wanted to "do something" but those of us close to the situation knew there was very little that could be done. And when my marriage was recently unraveling and Kim learned of his illness, we both leaned on each other quite a bit. We always shared a special bond formed during a long-ago time spent as roommates who both shared a somewhat irreverent sense of humor about the world. Rest well my friend, rest well.