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In Memory of Paul Charles Larkin

Paul was born in Wichita Falls, TX on December 8, 1949, while our Dad was stationed there. We weren't there long and Dad was transferred to Amarillo where we lived for four years. We moved to Albuquerque, NM where we lived for five years. Dad was stationed at Manzano AFB during this time, although he served TDY one year in Galena, Alaska during those five years. We then were transferred to Moses Lake, WA, for 13 months and then transferred to Denver where we lived for four years. Then onto Ft. Worth for a year (Dad was TDY three months to Guam) and then transferred to Yokota AFB in Japan where he served for three years. During the tour at Yokota Paul attended and graduated Johnson High.

Paul was a photo journalist and lived in Aspen, CO, Boulder, CO, Santa Fe, NM, Taos, NM, and Monterrey, CA. He was most notable for his work in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as well as for his photos of the shuttle Challenger explosion. He took pictures of the initial family responses of the explosion allowing the prints to be published once and then he destroyed the negatives. The negatives were destroyed because of his concern for the families having to see their own reactions over and over. His most notable photos of the explosion were of the pieces and smoke of the shuttle spiraling downward. Paul was published in many places and also wrote articles and supplied photos of the Central America conflict to Soldier of Fortune magazine.

Paul was murdered on June 26, 1998, in Monterrey, California. The best description of Paul is a saying my father found when we were preparing for Paul's memorial service. We prepared a photograph that Paul had taken of himself and had the saying inserted at the bottom of the picture. The saying is, "I am not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land." Paul loved photography, travel, ideals, and people and often gave of himself without recognition. There was one trip he took with our parents in Colorado. They had stopped to eat a meal and in the restaurant was a young woman. The young woman had no coat. When Paul and my parents left the restaurant, my mother asked Paul if he had forgotten his coat. As it turned out, Paul had given his coat to the young woman. This is the best witness of Paul's kind and caring nature.

Alice Bickel



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