Kathy Fiscus is the little girl I’m named after. Kathy was three years old when she fell down a well in San Marino, California on April 8, 1949. Friends, neighbors and strangers worked for more than 48 hours to rescue her, but when they finally reached her it was discovered that she had most likely died within a short time after the fall. Her rescue attempt was the first live television & radio coverage of an event, with KTLA reporter Stan Chambers (shown in the center of the photo below holding a microphone) there throughout the ordeal.
My mom was so upset by Kathy’s death that she decided that if she ever had a little girl she’d name her Kathy. Three years later I was born… and mom named me Kathy, just as she had said she would. I wonder how many other little girls were named Kathy in honor of her?
After Kathy’s death the well was capped and the field where it’s located is now part of San Marino High School.
Among the tributes to Kathy was a song written and recorded by Jimmie Osborne titled The Death of Little Kathy Fiscus, which sold over a million copies. You can hear it here on YouTube.