Webster adjunct Karl Kindt
III admits his passion is funny to most people.
Kindt is a knight, with shining armor, swords,
chain mail and all.
"People today are
skeptical about it. They laugh," Kindt said. "It's
kind of a funny thing to have a knight around
Kindt, 57, has taught mostly
computer classes at Webster, while also working at
Lewis Rice, a law firm in St. Louis, as
information services coordinator. He's been at
each place for 14 years.
Kindt became a
knight about eight years ago, and has visited over
300 schools and served 10,000 people as far away
as Kansas, New York and Texas.
Kindt became a knight, his life story was
interesting. His father, as a 21-year-old
machine-gunner, was killed during combat in World
War II in Gadheim, Germany. Before his father
died, he wrote a letter to "the new one," his
unborn son. He gave the letter to a friend and
enough money for the friend to buy a dozen roses
if he were to die in battle. The roses and letter
were to be delivered the day "the new one" was
Karl Kindt II died April 12, 1945.
Karl III was born July 8.
"I thought of my
father as a knight in shining armor who had, like
the knights of old, fought a dragon of evil to
defend my mother and myself and lost his life in
the conflict," Kindt writes on his Web site
The letter stoked a
fire inside him. He yearned to know and understand
where his father fought and died, but no one in
his family knew. Kindt knew where his father's
unit fought, but that was a very large area.
In 1995, Kindt located a man via the
Internet who knew where his father died. He then
went to Germany to visit the towns his father had
seen 50 years earlier.
"I stood on the
very spot where my father's blood was shed that
you and I may live free," Kindt said. "I will
never need the photograph I took of that place to
remember it for it is emblazoned on my
Kindt also visited the cemetery in
St. Avold, France where his father is buried. In
that cemetery was a statue of King Arthur, amidst
more than 10,000 American graves. It was there
that Kindt first got the idea to become a knight.
Upon returning to the United States, Kindt
seriously weighed the idea, praying for guidance.
Kindt said many people don't understand that when
America broke free from Great Britain, we retained
the right to knight people. "They think the term
knight means you must have been bestowed by
royalty," Kindt said. "When you say you're a
knight, they say, "What king has dubbed
After he made the decision, he had a
suit of armor made to draw attention to his cause
as a knight - a person dedicated to the cause of
truth and justice. The armor cost $4,763.17 and
required 212 measurements.
measurements were necessary in duplicating Kindt's
body so he'd have maximum flexibility. Kindt said
most people confuse the 80-pound battle armor -
what he wears - with jousting armor, which is more
rigid and heavier. Kindt's battle armor is
comfortable enough that he can run in
"You gotta watch your weight,
especially around your waist," Kindt said. "It was
designed when you were a certain size. It has no
It takes Kindt 15 minutes to put
his armor on, which is an exact copy of 15th
century armor. He wears thick leather clothing to
prevent pinching and he must get up at least
two-and-a-half hours early to drink plenty of
fluids to clear his system out before getting into
Along with the armor, Kindt also
carries an Australian-made shield and medieval
weapons, including a sword, throwing ax and
While there used to be
hundreds and thousands of knights in the Middle
Ages, now Kindt estimates there are only about a
thousand. That hasn't slowed his demand. He earned
$350 for a Six Flags commercial and charges about
$200-$350 for schools and $125 for birthday
parties and weddings, depending on where they are.
He also donates time to the Shriners and other
"I always tell people I look a
lot better with the visor down," Kindt said. "They
usually don't disagree."