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Friday, October 4, 2013

A Few Remembrances from the Class of 1965

From Arlene (Weisenberg) Crumrine: "I ran into him at the airport several years ago and he remembered me by name.  Blew my mind."  

From Peter Hildre:  (Pete was the engineer in charge of the 2004 street reconstruction project in Mike's neighborhood.)  "When we began working with the Upper Evergreen Avenue street reconstruction project in 2004, Mike requested that I meet with him at his home located on this street. He told me he knew all about surveying as he worked in that field in his younger years and wanted to be assured we weren’t going to screw things up.  I’m not a surveyor, but I was able to convince Mike our crew was quite good at this profession and that I would report back to him as the project proceeded.  We had a nice and long discussion.  I didn’t have him as a teacher, but I could see what it must have been like.  He became one of our best supporters during the course of the project.  I’ll miss him."

From Linda (Lehman) Lucero:  "Mr. Kirk did his best to teach me algebra.  One day I was not paying attention and he threw a piece of chalk at me, which embarrassed me and made me mad.  Promptly, I went home and made a voodoo doll, put a small heart on it and stuck pins into the heart.  Early the next morning I put the voodoo doll on his classroom door.  Unfortunately, I made the voodoo doll out of  the same material I had made a dress and wore to school.  Clever girl I was!  Mr. Kirk never confronted me nor did he turn me in.  Mr. Kirk also attended my wedding and sent me a gift.  I have always had such warm memories of Mr. Kirk.  He made every effort to educate me, and keep me focused.  It was in my adulthood that I was able to truly appreciate him and understand that he really cared.  [After hearing he was very ill...] I wrote to Mr. Kirk to tell him this story, and tell him how much I appreciated him.  Unfortunately, I mailed it the morning he passed.  It was returned to me.  I was so sad that I never told him how much he influenced me and how I appreciated him."

From Diane (Dabney) Parham:  "I was hoping that he would still be around for our 50th. Sorry to hear about his passing, but hope that he knew how much an impression he made on his students. I had a similar memory to Linda's, only mine was getting a chalkboard eraser thrown at me! Good thing I could duck fast."

From Maxine (Paddock) Richert:  "Whenever I went to Foodland on a Saturday morning, Mike Kirk was usually there talking to folks (former students and their parents) in the aisles. It reminded me of the time my parents and siblings hiked out to scope out the future Herbert and Eagle River bridges which my father's construction company would build the next summer.  Rev. Walter Soboleff and his good friend Mike Kirk were along. Mike proceeded to talk my mom's head off which prompted my 9-year-old sister Anna to say "remember Mom, you're married to Daddy."

From Gail (Parke) Roust:  "I'll always remember Mike as a guy of exceptionally quick-wittedness and as a terrific teacher who entertained us with his endless silly little jokes.  And he never failed to ask, "tell me exactly what it is you don't understand," in response to anyone who shrugged and said, "I just don't get it..." to a several-step algebra problem he'd just explained on the blackboard.  Drove some nuts, but it generally worked!  He'd patiently go through whatever was on the blackboard, step by step until he hit that student's brick wall.  If his re-explanation didn't take, someone would be with him after school that day!  We can much appreciate Mike for helping us end up as a pretty smart Class of '65. And I don't think I ever saw another teacher who could so speedily move his motor legs to go after a misbehaver in the hallway.  Mike was also a hunting buddy of my dad's (bet several of you didn't know he was a hunter)--and always a friendly neighbor.  Whenever he came home, he greeted us neighborhood kids playing near his very long stairway to "the crow's nest" house--high above the one he more recently occupied, also on Evergreen Avenue.  He later moved to the old Berggren house down at street level a few lots away."

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