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Carl Michael Fischer

Carl was born at the end of World War I and the beginning of the '20s, a decade that for the Fischers would offer a grab at the brass ring, the good life that so many enjoyed prior to the Crash of '29. For Carl, it was a childhood of prosperity and social status, but one that revolved around illicit nightclubbing and the glamour of horse racing. He was not taught conformity to the norms, but a life style of risk-taking amid the excesses of the time. He witnessed his father's and brothers' struggle with alcoholism and his mother's challenges in coping with their absences and unpredictable habits.

Yet Carl was a bright and spirited child, as depicted in the early photo (c.1919) with a characteristic sparkle in his eyes. He resembled his mother, Elizabeth, and showed Mursener physical traits in height, features, and coloring. The youngest of three sons, Carl spent more time with his mother and was influenced by her sense of humor and joie de vivre. Carl was stricken with a dangerous case of scarlet fever as a youth that sorely tested his health and well being, and may have compromised his immune system longterm.

When the Depression caused the loss of the Louis Fischer home on Prospect St. and reduced their income to near poverty, Carl helped Elizabeth garden and tend to their bee hives. The fresh produce and honey Carl sold door-to-door in a Red Flyer wagon.

All through his youth, Carl was fashionably and expensively dressed and appeared to be proud to show off his outfits to advantage. He was favored with dramatic good looks: dark brown, almost black, thick hair and corn flower, bright, blue eyes. His sense of style and privilege was part of his self presentation, qualities that would serve him well through the sometimes dire circumstances that would confront him.