Mike Klingman: The Passing of a Friend

Mike Klingman (l), Tim Carter, Garry Lambrev, 2009

This past year brought the sad news of the passing of a good friend. Mike Klingman and I were friends in Peoples Temple. Whether it was our closeness in age or cultural background, we always got along famously.

Mike didn’t go to Jonestown – he was working in the Bay Area on November 18 – but he lost his wife Martha and his daughter April on that tragic day. After I returned from Jonestown, Mike reached out to reconnect with me, and our friendship lasted until his passing.

Mike was a brilliant man, humble and kind. He had great compassion and empathy for those less privileged. He loved to write, and was immersed in several different projects upon his passing. He also loved film noir movies, and attended the annual Film Noir festival in San Francisco with his good friend Mike Cartmell.

More recently, when his mother’s health began to fail, Mike decided to move back to Indiana to assist in her care. He missed the Bay Area enormously, but family came first.

One of my fondest memories of Mike was spending several hours in the DeYoung museum in San Francisco where we viewed and discussed art. Perhaps because I’m more aware of my own mortality these days, my memories seem more profound, and I feel his passing more deeply.

I miss you, Mike. Hopefully I’ll catch you on the flip side, whenever that may be. Rest in peace, brother.

(Jonestown survivor Tim Carter is a regular contributor to the jonestown reportHis other article in this edition of the jonestown report is Jonestown: A Conundrum. His previous stories may be found here.)