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  • Do you know this man? I do – he became a good friend of mine in the mid-80’s. He lived in New York City at the time, and I got to know him through mutual friends. We became very good friends ourselves for a number of years, before we each gravitated into other directions, as often happens. I had just thought about him recently, and now, all this talk of shoes, boots, and barefeet has put me in a mind to recall my good friend Kenny King.

    Kenny had an unusal story to tell about his past, an unusual claim to fame, if you will. He had been, and I am not making this up, the notorious "Baltimore Foot Stomper"... in the 1981 John Waters film "Polyester". Kenny wasn't really an actor, per se, but he had run with an artsy crowd in New York City when he was younger, that included a number of actors. When Waters was making that particular film, someone suggested that Kenny would be perfect for the role of the Foot Stomper. So he was forever immortalized in celluloid as the Baltimore Foot Stomper.
  • In the movie, his character, Dexter Fishpaw, is part of a very dysfunctional family. It’s about a suburban housewife whose world falls apart when her pornographer husband admits he's serially unfaithful to her, her daughter gets pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who's been breaking local women's feet. He runs around Baltimore, going up to complete strangers on street corners, and stomps on their feet for no apparent reason.

    It's actually a pretty hilarious movie, a classic John Waters off-beat, off-color comedy, if you've ever seen one of his flicks (he also did "Hairspray", among other unusual movies, mostly all based in Baltimore, for some odd reason).

    As my friend and mentee Sheree likes to say – “You know some of the most interesting people, Pete.” She’s right – I’ve known a few characters in my life. Kenny was certainly one of them!
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