Bicycle Jack is gone, but he will never be forgotten

Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 04:38 PM.

Around 6 p.m. each day, Jack would take his bikes back inside or to the porch.

Jack was a native of Virginia who moved to Michigan as an adult. He lived there until he retired from a paper box company. At retirement, he brought his wife, Norma, back to her native Florida in 1988. Norma was an artist whose paintings adorn their walls.

Jack's art was tinkering and working with his hands to fix things — something he learned to do as a kid helping his dad in the garage and the machine shop his father ran.

Jack began fixing up bikes when he found some that had been dumped down the road a piece from his Mack Bayou house. He gathered them all up and took them home, fixed them up good as new, and sold them. Most went for around $40. But if you needed a bike and didn't have the $40, he would give it to you.

"He loved making sure everyone had a bike," said Patty Hall, who bought three from him.

The Halls lived down Mack Bayou and passed Bicycle Jack's house every day. Patty became friends with him and took him pizza every Thursday, and would sit on his porch with him and chat while he ate.

"He was very humble. He told me he got the nickname 'Jack' while working in Michigan," she said. "He kept a list of cars he owned and how much he paid for them. Everyone will remember him sitting on the porch in a chair waiting for someone to stop. Some people just stopped to talk."

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