Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Al King -Tuskegee Airman (Black History Month)

Our daughter Lisa, and son-in-law Jerry Hagler, are visiting us in The Villages, FL. Today we toured our Eisenhower Recreation Center, which celebrates the brave American heroes who served in World War II and other conflicts.

One of the exhibits of special interest to us honors the late Al King, an Original Tuskegee Airman (Class of 1943) who we met personally several years ago. The exhibit includes a photo of Al with his airplane and wartime buddies as well as his image on the cover of a local magazine. It was especially appropriate to pay special attention to these photos since February is Black History Month.

The material was contributed by Al King's wife, Brigitte, who was our first water aerobics instructor when Vi and I came to The Villages in 2003. Brigitte led the group, called "Brigitte's Critters" at the Savannah Recreation Center Sports Pool. The name comes from the animal noises we make during part of the exercises.

A few years later she married Al, and he would come to classes and observe from his seat on the pool deck, sometimes shaking his cane at Brigitte in playful anger when she purposefully said or did anything even slightly risqué!

Brigitte gave up leadership of the class several years ago, but it still meets for an hour six mornings a week under the leadership of a few women volunteers who follow almost the same sequence of exercise moves that Brigitte originated. We "Critters" still make animal noises! (Although the printed schedule says the class starts at 9AM it actually begins five to ten minutes early, a tradition for pool activities in The Villages. I'm usually there on Thursday mornings.)

Ira Glickstein