Meet the Outdoors Man: Joe King
By Ron RiceSo about a month ago, I was introduced to a gentleman by the name of Joe King. I’d heard the name before, but it was in a rushed conversation about African-Americans and their involvement in regards to hunting, fishing and archery. So when a conversation came around this time, with a face attached to the name, I was actually blown away that Joe King is... African-American. Yes, I said it!I didn't even know that we went hunting or did archery. Fishing, yeah, but the others, I had no clue and I know that I am not alone. I know...bruh, wake up!So, I sat down with this man who, if you ever met Joe King, is the living embodiment of "old school"!You WILL use your full name.You WILL use a firm handshake.You WILL have direct eye contact.And you WILL speak only when spoken to. “Lol!”
There was a refreshing familiarity of growing up with the men of my community who taught you how to act and be in the presence of adults, at every teachable opportunity. I sat in silence and respect as he shared how he grew up in the Watkins Park area, playing and fishing in the White River as a young boy, as his love for the outdoors took the spotlight in our conversation. He then proceeded to tell me how he had formed a hunting/fishing/archery club called, The Dirty Dozen, and it's the only one in Indianapolis that is black owned. The facility where he runs his programs is located at the corner of 39th and Keystone.When I visited, I was blown away by what I saw. Trophies, pictures of trips they took outside the midwest and even in other countries! Personalized artwork canvassing the walls and so much more. What got me the most was this 5ft high, 40ft long fishing tank where teacher and students can walk up a set of stairs to practice fishing techniques while an audience can watch the skillful artwork of baiting and snagging the aquatic inhabitants.YOU HAVE TO GO THERE!!! Even writing this now has me like a 6 year old child opening a Christmas present! It's SOOO worth it.