From the start Jack Kirkeby’s interests have been of the West. He grew up in an era of strong Western stories and movies. Later in life, then, his writings would be of the West. Jack’s motto, “Look behind you, there’s no one there,” is his way of reminding folks to accept personal responsibility for their successes and failures as adults. His principal characters embody this theme in their actions on the easily turned pages of his books. He has written two full length novels, and is well into his third.
Before he was twelve years old, Jack Kirkeby had lived in a plethora of homes and places as the product of fractured family conditions. Very early on this gave the author a desire to succeed and foster something more. Ultimately a sense of personal responsibility and gritty determination oozed from the tall, six foot, four inch young man.
In 1933 he entered Hollywood High School, where he joined the ROTC. In 1935, mother and son Jack moved to Lake Geneva Wisconsin where he finished high school, graduating in June of 1936. Then it was on to live with his brother in Chicago where he worked through the depression years while he continued his education attending after-hours college classes.
On June 9th of 1941 Jack enlisted in the United States Army Air Force, and served in the Pacific theater for two years as an enlisted man, later returning to America where he entered officer training.
In December, 1943, the author worked as a service manager for an appliance and radio firm while he continued his education. He eventually entered the aerospace industry. His job with Northrop Corporation, later Northrop Grumman, included Quality Control, Contract Administration and Configuration Management. His duties included customer and government quality control issues, contract interpretation and technical writing.
Jack has attended and earned credits at several colleges, including Oklahoma A&M, Saddleback Junior College, Long Beach State and Fullerton Junior College. He currently lives in Mission Viejo, California, where he remains active in his community and works tirelessly on his next novel. In addition to his novels, Jack also writes poetry expressing his views and giving us glimpses of his values. Here’s an example--
Today is now
Full and rich
Unlike any other
Not to be wasted
For tomorrow it is gone
Tomorrow is promise
Different from today
What will it bring?
Trust and respect it
For what it can be
Where to find Jack Kirkeby online
Death on Portal Mesa
By Jack Kirkeby
Published: April 5, 2013.
Mystery and love abound in Death on Portal Mesa—the electrifying tale of a young rancher investigating his father’s death and battling the mob to save his ranch and his small community in 1950s rural Wyoming.
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