A young boy’s best pal — Erling Kindem — dead at 91

It’s hard to say for sure why Boyd Huppert’s story of Emmett and Erling struck such a nerve with most of us when it first aired a few years ago.

Sure, the story of a three-year-old boy striking up a close friendship with an 80-something neighbor was a great human interest story. But there’s still something more there; something unspoken in all the attention it received.

Maybe it was because we identified with the quiet old-timer who turned out to have a heart of gold. Maybe it was the idea that some sentimentalities men have are never uttered. Maybe it’s the idea that we long for the innocence we had when we were three. I don’t know.

It’s going to lead to a different story now. It’s the story of how a young boy learns a lesson. Our old friends die.

Erling Kindem, World War II vet, good neighbor, best friend, has died, KARE 11 reports.

  • Gary F

    First you cry, then tears end with a smile, then overtime you just smile.

    Tough days ahead for the little feller and his parents. I hope them the best.

  • Anna

    There are quite a few elder care centers in the U.S. that have either preschools or day cares on the same property.

    The very young and the very old have unique affinities. Very young children are not judgmental and the very old welcome the social attachment a very young child can provide especially when family lives some distance away. Their natural curiosity makes it a match made in heaven.

    Children can provide a bright spot in what can be a very lonely existence.

    Condolences to Erling’s family and friends, especially Emmett.

  • essjayok

    When I heard the news, I re-watched the original video of Emmett and Erling. And I sobbed. It really does touch something so undeniably human in me…RIP Erling and may Emmett cherish the memories forever.