It was 40 years ago tomorrow that a Wichita State University football plane crashed into the side of a Colorado mountain, killing 31 people, including players, the head coach, and the athletic director.
K-P-T-S Channel 8’s excellent documentary on the crash -- ‘Black & Gold: Remembering the W-S-U Plane Crash’ -- will air tonight at 9 p-m and Sunday at 7 p-m. If you haven’t seen it, you are in for a deeply moving experience.
I was a rookie radio reporter on October 2nd, 1970 … sent to Henry Levitt Arena to try and get some comments. I interviewed Mal Kimmel’s wife, who did not know at the time that her husband had died in the crash.
The university and the athletes’ response to this tragedy is a compelling story, worthy of a great Hollywood film script. But no one’s ever done that. The annual observance is pretty low-key, as friends and family members gather at the memorial on the campus.
For this community, October 2nd will always be a special day for remembering the crash … and the friends we lost.
Our thought for today is from Oscar Wilde:
“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.”