Posted by: droopymcjackass | October 9, 2008

How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Ora L. and Love the B.J. King

Indiana University’s IDS, front page:
Wildurmuth Name Change Hangs in the Balance

Overcome with emotion… or just knowing a ripe, overhanging fruit when I see one; I quickly drank 6 beers and shot this little ditty to the editor:

Re: Wildurmuth Name Change Hangs in the Balance

Reading today’s IDS, I would also like to throw my lot in with those who are exasperated and appalled by Indiana University’s willingness to have their good name and buildings associated with the racist segregationist (is there any other kind?) Ora L. Wildemuth, but have decided to do one better than most of the outraged masses and suggest a new patronage for the former IU Fieldhouse: that of tragically overlooked civil rights activist and IU alumnus Bertram James King.

Mr. King (known as B.J. to his friends), graduated from IU Law School, and was overheard to remark that everything he did was cum laude.  As a defense attorney, known for his private practice, he had a nearly perfect acquital rate, meaning he got almost all of his clients off.  Due to increasing pressure from the F.B.I. and other political insiders, he nearly lost his license, but by deftly maneuvering into and probing a back-door channel, his clientele practically geysered.

His time at IU was also of note and he surrounded himself with many extracurricular activities.  An accomplished sportsman and avid golfer, he was well known among the lads on campus, and quite a few of the ladies.  Eventually playing to a four handicap, he attributed his skill to the flick of his wrist upon the shaft of the club.  Well-versed in the waltz, tango, cha-cha, and rhumba, he never neglected the balls, or any of the other dances, IU offered.

But if there is any one thing that distinguishes Bertram James King, and brings him into stark contrast with Ora L. Wildemuth, it is his character and beliefs.
He believed in including all people; regardless of race, sex, gender, or creed into the fight for justice.  He was also one of the first civil rights activists to include Asian-American rights into his worldview (or “swallowing the yellow tide” as some of his peers disparagingly called it).  He was also incredibly religious; he was, in fact, training to be a minister before turning to law.  One would very often find him on his knees, in a state of reflection.  It is common knowledge that Mr. Wildermuth was somewhat of a cunning linguist when it came to writing his judicial opinions, but he couldn’t hold a candle to Mr. King, who was gifted with one of the most divine, almost dainty, silver tongues.  His glory days were before the computer age, so most of his arguments and motions were dictated to his secretary (who was male), and Mr. King would sometimes go at it all night to the point where he thought he had lockjaw.

He died during the age of 69.

“Your heart is where your head is.”  – Bertram James King


  1. Hilarious. I’ve always laughed at that sign, and now I have a less childish reason for continuing to do so.

    Fix your broken link, or make it a link at all for that matter.

  2. well played, sir.

    I’ve passed that sign hundreds of times. Even on the coldest, and earliest of winter mornings, and it never fails to give me a chuckle… I can’t believe it’s a real name. It sounds like a joke from Airplane or National Lampoon!

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