The Daily Pulse:

Dale Watermulder, RIP

We will miss our friend Dale Watermulder, who died last Thursday at age 74. He was the Knox County librarian best known as the captain of the record and movie department on the second floor of Lawson McGhee, the library's main branch on Church Street. He worked up there for 22 years, until his retirement in 2004. He actually started the library's impressive video collection, with the help of the Friends of the Library, as well as its CD and audiobook collections.

Dale helped me on several stories over the years, both those having to do with interesting old films--Dale made a mysterious cameo in my story about Knoxville's only film noir, A Woman in Hiding, a movie I probably never would have heard of unless he told me about it--and those having to do with the complicated workings of the library system.

He was also a help to me personally, for the decade or two that I never went home on a Friday without a movie for the family. My daughter can thank Dale for the fact that Meet Me In St. Louis is one of her all-time favorite films. She was just 5 when Dale told me he was sure it would be her favorite. She's watched it a few hundred times since.

Originally form Michigan, Dale was a record-store clerk in Ann Arbor before he moved here in 1977, first working for the library's Fountain City branch.

Dale was also a longtime double-bassist for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, a recognizable figure over on the right, the tall guy with white hair. He retired from the library almost 10 years ago, but had a hard time staying away from the place. In recent years, I ran into him frequently as a fellow patron, and he nearly always had some interesting insight. He was a gentle soul with a healthy perspective on the world and all its strangeness.

There will be a service this Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Metropolitan Community Church.

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