For North Tonawanda native Karl M. Kindt III, wearing a suit of armor is a way of life.

Kindt, who has lived in St. Louis for the past 20 years, is a knight. He dons his armor and travels to talk with various groups, including school students. But Kindt is not merely playing dress-up. His inspiration comes from his past.

Kindt’s father died in battle in World War II. Before he died, he wrote a letter to his unborn son, which has inspired him throughout life. Kindt’s stepfather, John Prescott, always taught him to honor the memory of his natural father.

Prescott would tell Kindt tales of knights as a child. Kindt always thought of his father and other soldiers as knights. When Kindt visited his father’s grave in France, he was inspired to become a knight himself.

Kindt, who also works as a media technologist, will be visiting his hometown during Thanksgiving weekend. For more information, visit his Web site at www.knight forhire.com.

QUESTION: How did you become a knight?

ANSWER: The idea came to me when I went to visit my father’s grave. I thought, “There must be a way an American can become a knight.” I got a suit of armor. I am a would-be knight for hire, I have armor and I will travel.

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Q: As a knight in modern times, what do you do?

A: For instance, if I go to a public school, I explain to students what a knight is. I’ll tell them a little bit about my father. I usually tell them hilarious tales that have good morals to them. Once in a while, I’m an armed guard.

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Q: Where did you get your suit of armor?

A: I had a suit of armor constructed in replication of a suit I saw in Scotland. When you ride a horse or walk or run in armor, it has to be very specific.

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Q: How does your family feel about you being a knight?

A: I have three granddaughters, and they often go out with me as my princesses. I also have two sons and my wife. I get a lot of support.

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Q: What kind of impact do you feel you make as a modern-day knight?

A: I have gotten a lot of e-mails from men and boys who would like to be knights. My emphasis is not on weapons, though I may cut a watermelon or pumpkin in half with my sword. Weapons are not really a good thing to have in the world.

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Q: Will you be making any knight appearances in North Tonawanda this weekend?

A: I don’t have any actual knight assignments this time. I hope to discuss appearing at Starpoint.

Contact reporter Phil Dzikiyat 693-1000, ext. 114.

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