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Knight & Day
The gallant Karl Kindt fights for chivalry (and he's available for birthday parties, too)
BY BYRON KERMAN
Byron.Kerman@riverfronttimes.com

 

 

Karl Kindt tells stories from within a full suit of armor
Details: 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 23. Visit www.knightforhire.com or call 314-291-7570 for more on the free fun.
Where: St. Louis County Library, Bridgeton Trails Branch, 3455 McKelvey Road
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When Karl Kindt straps on his 82-pound, custom-made steel suit of armor and sword, he's not just performing for the kiddies at a library or birthday party. He actually believes that he's a bona fide modern-day knight, charged to do good.

He says he's "promoting chivalry and protecting folks as best I can." That might include rescuing maidens from evil warlords, or, circa 2003, chasing away someone who looks like a child-snatcher in a public park.

Kindt says that he approached a shady-looking fellow in a park after one of his many presentations for children, and in a triumph for chivalry, the bloke ran away. Of course, the sight of a grown man in a suit of armor and sword striding forth from the tire swing could upset anyone, so who knows.

Regardless, Sir Karl is your man for entertaining programs for schools, Scouts and even weddings (he once gave away a bride). He does a gig for churches in which he holds forth about the "armor of God" and such. You may have seen him riding a huge, white Percheron horse named "Freckles" in the VP Parade, too.

Kindt was inspired by a visit to the former German battleground where his father was killed in WWII. He says he vowed then to take up his own struggle for good, so he commissioned a craftsman to fashion a copy of a sixteenth-century suit of armor for him, to the tune of $4,800. The information-services coordinator for an area law firm then recited an ancient oath, and took out a classified ad in the newspaper in 1995: "Would-be knight for hire. Have armor, will travel."

When Kindt isn't acting righteous, he can be pretty funny. He does a stunt where he slices through a watermelon with his sword that's downright Gallagher-like. According to his Web site, the gag is part of a fable with the moral "be angry but sin not."

riverfronttimes.com | originally published: July 23, 2003

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