A Jack of Many Trades
For a hobby, Jack learned to make stained glass and . before long, was asked to teach classes on the art. Between Burns Lake and Smithers, Jack (together with his wife, Jenny, and sometimes with help from his students) has done windows for 6 churches, doing over a dozen various sizes, many with "memorial themes" commissioned by locals for deceased persons.
A window Jack made - located in the Burn's Lake Catholic Church
The largest project was a 7-foot round window for the Burn's Lake Catholic Church. "You have no idea how big that is!" he recalls. "It would fit in this kitchen, just barely."

They also work with kitchen cabinets, make jewellery boxes and other ornamental treasures. But not so much anymore. When a short fall from a ladder required back surgery, Jack's childhood bout with polio returned (called "post polio") and he now finds it difficult to work more than 6 hours a day. Everything becomes physically taxing, "...like chronic fatigue syndrome," says Jack. It's a degenerative disease that will only get worse with time. "I get tired of being tired, but there's no sense getting angry about it." Some days are better than others and if he pushes himself too hard, his body makes him pay for it the following day.

A Reliv Int. nutritional supplement Jack takes, and now sells, has helped with his migraines but nothing will stop his body from eventually "caving in."

Jack, feeding the cows
As a result, Jack has cut his work hours back and will now hold down the couch when his body tells him to. He still accepts jewellery to work on, but only if there's no rush to get it back. Jack will never run out of work but he adds, "...what I have has to be preciously kept because its all I've got."

(May 28, 2002)


Used with the kind permission of Highway 16 Magazine