By JEFF LANKFORD
Monday afternoon and I am sitting in E. Lawson King's outer office. I pick up a LIFE magazine and read until King comes out to show me to the inner sanctum.
It is plush: I sit on a black simulated-leather couch, and there is red carpet on the floor, expensive-looking wood paneling and a huge desk.
King looks forty-ish in a crew cut, gray suit and muted blue tie. His feet plop on the desk. I notice his big ears.
The interview begins as King shows me a "Dethrone King" poster, which he said was a part of the Crossen March. He tells me he doesn't mind the anti-King student attitude.
He explains his job as being that of a "legal advisor" to various Fayette County agencies. King is Fayette County Attorney. He illustrates his advisory duties by telling about the time the Probate Judge called on him to render a "legal opinion. "
Some preacher wanted to change his name to Jesus Christ, King says. The Probate Judge wanted an opinion, so King told him:
"If he (the preacher) can go down here to the reservoir and walk across the water, let him change his name. "
Jeff Lank ford is a free lance writer.
King explains nearly all of his points by telling little stories. Most of them aren't very funny, but I smile anyway because I think he means well.
King started his life story next, and told most of it before it got boring and I changed the subject. He came to Lexington in 1954 on a football scholarship to the University of Kentucky. He got an electrical engineering degree, then went to law school.
King is from Pike County, and he returned there after receiving his law degree. He came back to Lexington in 1962 to set up a law practice.
King was appointed assistant county attorney in July, 1964, and he took great pains to explain that it was not a political appointment. He was then merely "interested" in politics.
The mountain background of his Pike County home shows in King's conversation, mostly because he talks about it a lot.
"I'm a mountain boy, " says King. "I know what people are, and I accept what they are. I have no pretensions that you can change people. People do what they want to do.
"I think mountain people are closer
knit, familywise and neighborwise. "
King feels his family is important to him. "I am of the opinion, " he says, "that for the next 14 or 15 years I have to devote every minute that I have to my children. "
Perhaps the strong sense of being a "family man" has made Lawson King especially sensitive to obscenity.
A few years ago the Students for a Democratic Society held a national convention in Lexington. King heard about a "secret meeting" at UK in Sunday school class and went over directly afterwards to check things out -- and was shocked.
" People were saying 'fuck' and 'motherfuck' in the Student Center, " King said. "I think that the word 'fuck' is the most obscene word in the English language. " I wondered what he thought about the act but didn't ask.
"And there was a guy trying to make some girl with his hand down her pants right there in the Student Union, " King added. His outrage at these goings-on resulted in a full-scale Grand Jury investigation. The Grand Jury issued a report which castigated UK for allowing the convention.
A Crusade Against Pornography is also a part of King's life. King