Sorry if I offend the sensibilities of the more liberated with that comment but...this young lady is my friend and I consider her family.
Fourteen years ago I was having one of my after-workout gatherings with karate buddies in a drinking/eating establishment on "the corner" near UVa. Lise Kupke, one of our fledgling students, was there and had brought along her kid sister - Mical Kupke. It was summertime so the first round was a couple of pitchers of water. Then people got their beverages of choice, and we loosened up and chatted very seriously about nothing. Eventually we got around to talking to young Mical, and her sister Lise piped up "Mical studies karate too!" "What style?" I asked. "Taequondo" she said in a soft voice with her head slightly bowed down. One of my assistant instructors, Bryan, was famous for saying rude things just to get a reaction. "That doesn't count" he said. Mical just kept her head down and quietly sipped on her soda.
And then she graduated from high school.
And then she went to UVa.
And then she started in my karate class.
And then she took time off to work in the San Francisco area and live with a sister.
And then she came back to school and did more karate.
And then she took time off for a year to work at an archeological site.
And then she came back to school for a bit and did more karate.
And then she took time off and became a disc jockey. She did the DJ thing on and off for the next decade or so.
And then she decided she wanted to be a doctor. She came back to school and took pre-med courses and of course did more karate. She and a few others came up to Boston and got their shodans together. As I recall, George and Mical hit it off conversation-wise. But Mical did give a bit of a funny look when George mentioned he knew a manager of New Kids On The Block.
Mical did me proud on the shodan exam. She and Joan Robinson tried their damnedest to get male partners to spar with (that's my girls!!). Bobby Bethoney would have nothing to do with it. He put the two of them together. In the sparring match, Mical grabbed one of Joan's kicks and commenced with a takedown. It was something I taught in class one day and Mical made it one of her trademark techniques. As Joan started to go down, Bobby tried to break them apart....until he saw the incredible control that Mical used in executing the technique. He backed away and said "Good!"
Over time, Mical and I became very close friends. She also became very close (through different social circles) with the woman I eventually married. The two of them were weight-lifting and running buddies.
And then Mical got into medical school.
And then she took a year off and did research.
And then she went back to medical school.
And then I left Charlottesville, and Mical helped take over the karate club.
And then Mical graduated from medical school.
I last saw her several years ago. She showed up at the shodan exam for Rich, Ian, and Josh in northern Virginia. She had a very nice young lad with her. She gave me the hug that a daughter gives to her father.
I had not seen Mical for over two years. Then this morning (December 18) I was eating my bucket of cereal and watching the NBC morning news. A reporter was interviewing military personnel congregating at Langley Virginia, ready to head off to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Fox. The reporter goes up to this poised, attractive, and self-assured Captain Mical Kupke and asks her how she feels about being sent overseas for the holidays. "Hey," Mical says with wide-open eyes and a broad smile, "if there's a job to do, I figure I'm the one who should be sent to go do it."
Operation Desert Fox has probably touched a few people who scan these pages. If any friends, relatives, or co-workers are out there in harm's way, rest assured that if anything happens to them they will be in good hands. Captain, Doctor, Shodan, Instructor, Archaeologist, DJ, Researcher and friend Mical Kupke will be there to do a job that only she can do.
And I beam like a proud father. Godspeed, Mical. Love you!