Remembering Charles Kuralt

I promised earlier to write about the other Christmas gifts I received this year, so I'll say a few words about the book I gave myself entitled "Remembering Charles Kuralt" by Ralph Grizzle with a forward by Edward M. Yoder, Jr.(2001)

It was an unplanned gift since I knew nothing about the existence of the book until I was browsing in the book store one day looking for maps of the Middle East. It's funny how some things come to your attention. Here I am in the middle of hundreds if not thousands of books and all of a sudden, I see a familiar face on the cover of one of the books. There's old Charles Kuralt standing in the middle of what appears to be a grassy field with his sun glasses high on his forehead looking at something being filmed by his camera man. CK has an inexpensive looking short sleeved shirt on ( I wouldn't have it any other way ) and seems to be engrossed in looking at whatever is being filmed. I liked the photograph even though it was not CK in his element. CK was a people person and the cover of the book made it appear that he might have been on a safari or something similar. I will, however, forgive the designers of the cover because the photograph of CK was vintage CK, partially bald head, protruding mid section and all. CK always impressed me as a person that I would enjoy having a beer with even though he was a scotch drinker.

The book is not a biography even though a lot of biographical material is included. It is a series of reflections by people who knew CK, some of whom you will recognize and others who will probably be new to you. At least they were new to me. Other than Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney, the only person interviewed that I remember is Fred Powledge who was at Carolina during the same period that I was. CK left Carolina the same year I enrolled. Should that tell me something?

I was not aware of the fact that CK began his journalistic career at such an early age. He actually did a radio broadcast of a Charlotte Hornets baseball game when he was 13 years old. He also had his own radio show in Charlotte when he was 14. There are many things about CK that are similar to my background and many of his experiences, I can relate to. His description of life in eastern North Carolina where he was born brings back a lot of memories for me, some pleasant, some not so pleasant. Cropping tobacco, drinking from a dipper, outside toilets, dinner bells, battery powered radios on which WPTF was the principal station listened to and The News and Observer are a few that I recall. Oh, and barbecue. How could I forget.

I'm not trying to make this article a book report. I'm trying to give you some general notion of what the book is about in case you want to pursue the matter further and read the book.

One thing is not mentioned in the book and I'm glad. No mention was made of the life CK apparently lived near the end with a person outside his marriage. I don't know much about the subject and, quite frankly, I don't want to know. I'm sure there are two sides to it but I had just as soon that the matter stay out of the public spotlight. He's not here to give his side of the story.

So, did RamFanatic enjoy reading the book about his hero Charles Kuralt. You bet he did and it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of you would enjoy reading it also.