Wednesday, March 25, 2009

From a co-worker at AT&T

"Linda and family, We do not know eachother but I feel compelled to share my memories of Jack. Jack and I became friends when he began his employment with AT&T. He was placed in a cube at the top of my row. Jack's desk was a tribute to his family, filled with pictures of his wife and children. He also had a few glass blocks stacked neatly on his desk. Curiously, he never told of their significance but he proudly displayed them like they were made of gold. I had no idea of their symbolism for the future. It was evident from the day he moved to his cube that he was a character! He spent hours noisily arranging the shelving to his specifications and arranging his boxes of tea in specific order. Within a few days, we were talking like we were old friends. Jack was so open about his childhood, his family and his life. We shared a love of sweets and talked about our favorite bakeries, cakes and cookies. Jack always had a story to share about his Irish heritage or his mother and the sentences always began in an Irish accent and started with "My Irish mother used to say..."A while ago, Jack's department moved him to another location in the building and I didn't get to see him as often. When we would cross paths in the lunch room or the hallway, he always made me feel like he was as excited to see me as I was to see him. Occasionally, he would come by my desk to say hi or share a story. Recently, I had nicknamed him "Hijack". One day while passing in the hall, I called out a greeting "Hi Jack!" and without skipping a beat he turned to me and smiled and said "Don't call me that at the airport!". I almost fell over with laughter. He had an uncanny ability to make people smile. This is what I will miss the most about him. My heart breaks with the knowledge that his children will grow up without him but I hope it gives them strength to know that their father could touch a strangers heart so deeply. He was funny and silly and magical and wonderful. If there is one thing I have learned from Jack it is this: To some, a friendship may look , on the outside, like it is built of glass blocks. But to someone on the inside, those blocks are pure gold. Thank you "Hijack" for our golden friendship, no matter how brief. Stephanie Saltzgiver"

Classic Jack stuff. (BTW, he was Scottish, not Irish. No matter.) Yes, he was quiet the character, even at home.

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