Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Remembering Kyle Foulks 1935-2010

(ABOVE: From 2008. Julie Chin, Kyle Foulks and myself at Cleveland HS. Mr. Foulks lobbied for KJRH to present a Weather Safety Tour show in his hometown. It worked! This pic was taken after a live broadcast. )

The KJRH weather team recently lost a weather photographer. I lost a friend.

75 year old Kyle Foulks died this month in Cleveland, OK. You might remember his name as we showed his weather pictures on TV.

I well remember one of his last images from this past Winter: an icy river flow of the Arkansas River where the water actually froze near Cleveland!

Kyle and I got to know each other over the years. I discovered that we both loved bicycling.

After his career in the US Navy he worked with cycling race teams and Cannondale bicycles in California. He also spoke of the joy of simply riding his bike to work-- I can imagine him cruising the beach in style!

His death was a shock to us at KJRH. Personally, I felt guilty that I didn't know he was in poor health.

After his military funeral, his widow and son John invited me to dinner and her house. I actually hadn't met her before, but she treated me like I was family. 

She hugged me and told me that I was one of Kyle's favorite meteorologists. I was beyond flattered!

She also added that the family wanted to give me something of his. My eyes filled with water.

I followed his wife to their home after the funeral and lunch. Their home is beautiful house overlooking the country side on the edge of town. An American flag hung on a pole in the front yard.

I walked up the drive way. Kyle's widow and John stood in front of the garage. They told me that Kyle had a wish, something he wanted to give me.

I certainly wasn't expecting anything-- maybe some of his favorite weather pictures if I had to guess!

I was speechless when they opened the garage door.

(ABOVE: At the family's request, I followed them to their home after the funeral. They presented me Kyle's custom bicycle.)

Kyle's top-of-the-line Cannondale cruiser bicycle was parked in front of me. (The original registration decals from California are still on the bike!)

John said that his father wanted to "fix up his bike and present it to George!" before he died.

Kyle planned on bringing the bike to KJRH, but his health denied him the chance. So the family honored his wish and presented me with it.

This is the probably the most emotional moment I've had in my 15 year TV career. Thank you Kyle. I hear your voice. I miss you, friend.


  1. What a beautiful story George. My eyes have filled up with tears and I have a lump in my throat. He sounds like an amazing friend and is watching over you now.

  2. George, he spoke of you and the TV station all the time. As I reflect on my dad's life, he was a giving person. He did the same for me with a mountain bike I nick-named "Bigfoot." It is blue and has the big knobby tires on it.

    I am glad I was able to fulfill one of his last wishes, as his son it was an honor. Enjoy the bike.

    Thank you for your kind words.

    John Foulks

  3. Hi George, Upon my visit with my boys in May I saw the Bike in the garage. Knowing he wasn't riding anymore, I said "Nice bike dad. Didn't know you still had one." He said I'm cleaning it up to give it to George. That's the way he was. Glad I had a chance to meet you.
    Now about bikes:
    My dad always made sure that I had custom skates and rollerblades made by a shop in Venice Beach and one day he showed up with matching Trek mountain bikes. We spent weekends riding those for miles, stopping for lunch, and heading home. We even did a 26 mile ride in Costa Mesa for the fun of it. My husband agreed to spend top dollar on our bikes and we ride with our boys all over Northern Ca.
    Now about Cameras:
    Thought you might find this amuzing. My dad always had a camera with us and I have pictures of my childhood because of him. When John and I were going through dads pictures we found a common theme. Pictures taken of my dad, in the 40's, 50's and 60's he often had a camera in his hand or around his neck. Many of the family photos of the same time period have a note on the back from his mom stating that Kyle was taking the picture that is why he is not in it. He then taught me with the old 35mm manual focus when I was about 6 and have had a camera in my hand since. Alice gave me dad's camera before I left Cleveland and in dad's honor I caught some shots of lightning.
    Thanks for the story you posted.
    Heather McGivney, Kyle's daughter