(Curator’s note: This is a story from Joanna (Babbitt) Mashler, who grew up with Kirk/Jack. Thanks for sharing, Joanna.)
I have so many memories of Kirk but this is the one that I want to share.
While I was growing up Kirk lived across the fence and across the street from me. He was 366 days older than me so they always sang to us for our birthdays together in Primary at church. The first time that Kirk rescued me was I think when I was 8-9 and he was 10-11. I used to walk home from school every day, and this particular day there were a couple of boys a year older than me that were teasing and making fun of me. I was on my way up the hill, in abject misery from these jerks, and Kirk drove up on his ATV/4 wheeler and offered me a ride home. Over the next 9 years this became a habit. Many a time I was stranded or in trouble Kirk would show up on whatever his vehicle was at the moment and take me home, telling me jokes and making sure I was all right. He was my knight in shining armor, and every time I’ve been in trouble or stranded over the years in whatever corner of the world I’m in, I’ve half expected to see him drive up in his truck Legion or on his Harley to take care of me and take me home. I don’t think he ever knew how much his acts of kindness and generosity of spirit meant in my life, and he probably wouldn’t even remember most of them because they were simply part of who he was. Even though I haven’t been in contact with him since his marriage, I’ve never forgotten him, and he has never stopped being a positive influence in my life.