Kurt's youth and military service

Kurt was raised in Carmel, the son of Julian and Dorothy von Meier. He attended Carmel High School, where he showed interest in acting and sports. Judging from the comments in his high school yearbook, he was popular. Kurt's father died suddenly when Kurt was twelve year old. Julian had been in the restaurant business, and through that Kurt was exposed to food and cooking at an early age, an interest which remained for the rest of his life. Below you will see a variety of photographs and documents found in scrapbooks Kurt tucked away in one of his cardboard storage boxes.

The ears are characteristically Kurt's.

The ears are characteristically Kurt's.

Kurt looks about eight or nine years old in this photo, but is unmistakable.

Kurt looks about eight or nine years old in this photo, but is unmistakable.

Here's Kurt at 14 accepting a "handsome prize" as an award for selling ads in the "Spectator".

Here's Kurt at 14 accepting a "handsome prize" as an award for selling ads in the "Spectator".

His high school senior photo as it appeared in the 1952 Carmel High School yearbook,  El Padre.

His high school senior photo as it appeared in the 1952 Carmel High School yearbook, El Padre.

Kurt loved to act in High School, a talent he brought to his teaching later in life, much to the pleasure and amusement of his students.

Kurt loved to act in High School, a talent he brought to his teaching later in life, much to the pleasure and amusement of his students.

Here's Kurt as a sophomore; he decided to fulfill his two-year military service in the Naval Reserve after his sophomore year, and then return to the university to complete his degree.

Here's Kurt as a sophomore; he decided to fulfill his two-year military service in the Naval Reserve after his sophomore year, and then return to the university to complete his degree.

Here he is in uniform.

Here he is in uniform.

And here's Kurt on the beach in Hawaii wearing his "whites."

And here's Kurt on the beach in Hawaii wearing his "whites."

Induction into to the Sacred Order of the Golden Dragon is predicated upon a sailor crossing the International Date Line; here's the certificate Kurt received in 1955.

Induction into to the Sacred Order of the Golden Dragon is predicated upon a sailor crossing the International Date Line; here's the certificate Kurt received in 1955.

Kurt looks to be about four years old here, and to his right is his father Julian von Meier.  By all accounts, Julian was a sportsman who loved to fish. In this photo, Kurt is not sharing the joy of the moment; to the contrary, he's looking at the fish with an expression of sadness and concern. Julian died suddenly of meningitis when Kurt was eleven years old, and though he never spoke in depth about his reasons, later in life Kurt didn't eat fish.

Kurt looks to be about four years old here, and to his right is his father Julian von Meier.  By all accounts, Julian was a sportsman who loved to fish. In this photo, Kurt is not sharing the joy of the moment; to the contrary, he's looking at the fish with an expression of sadness and concern. Julian died suddenly of meningitis when Kurt was eleven years old, and though he never spoke in depth about his reasons, later in life Kurt didn't eat fish.

After two years in the Navy, Kurt returned to UC Berkeley, and received his degree. 

After two years in the Navy, Kurt returned to UC Berkeley, and received his degree.