A Special Man

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since Our Lord wrapped His loving arms around Jack and took him home to Heaven. I’d like to share some fun memories of “Our Jack White”, a Special Man who touched the lives of so many.

When Jack lived in Austin in the 1970ies he became friends with many of the Texas Rangers. Stories flew fast and furiously when they gathered for lunch at a local hamburger joint. Jack had a pair of old, ostrich skin cowboy boots of which he was quite proud. They were covered with patches where they’d been repaired several times. Of course Jack had several other pair but he always wore these. The Rangers would kid Jack and say, “Hey man, you need some new boots!” Jack would reply, “I’m not rich like you Texas Rangers. I can’t afford new ones.” So the Rangers began giving Jack their old pairs of boots. Here’s a picture of Jack with his collection of Texas Ranger Boots along with a few saddles and pairs of chaps he was also given by his Law Enforcement friends!  You may click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

Years later Jack donated the entire collection to The Heritage Museum at Falfurrias, Texas, located by the famous Chisholm Trail. In the five years from 1867 to 1872, more than three million head of cattle were driven up the Chisholm Trail from Texas to Abilene, Kansas. By 1870 thousands of Texas longhorn cattle, Jack’s favorites, were being driven over the Trail to the Union Pacific Railroad in Kansas. Jack would have loved to live during the times of the cattle drives. He worked cattle on a huge ranch as a young man and in his later years often referred to himself as “an ol’ broken down cowboy”!

Soon after Jack and I met in 1990 he acquired a loft studio in an old industrial building. It was huge; almost 6000 square feet and the ceilings were 18 feet high. The north wall of the loft was lined with 10 foot tall windows, perfect lighting for an artist’s studio. We loved living and working there, talk about feeling like a “Real” artist! Jack was very inventive with building our easels, they were old pallets. While we were there Jack designed a line of denim jackets for a showroom in the Dallas Trade Mart. He painted 10 to 12 a day! NOW, how’s that for productive????? Makes me feel a bit guilty!

I had never traveled until I met Jack, so he introduced me to the world! Here we are in Cancun. Jack called this our “Caribbean Mafia” picture, he definitely looks Mafioso! 

Me, the tree and the Tower of Pisa are all leaning! This was a fun trip we took in 2004 with some dear friends, Pat and Gary Gerber. We traveled through Spain, France, Italy, Corsica, Greece and Croatia. Jack manned the camera, taking reference photos, so I could sketch to my heart’s content.

Our FIRST cruise! We were living in Las Vegas when Jack surprised me one day by driving up to a wig shop. Looking at him quizzically I asked, “Why are we stopping here?” He turned and grinned, “Let’s make you a redhead!” It certainly shocked our friends on the ship when we showed up at the Captain’s dinner with my new “RED DO”! That little wig brought a lot of smiles over the years, many people didn’t recognize me as “Jack’s new red headed lady”!

We loved going on cruises, especially ones that stopped in a different destination every day. We weren’t big on endless days at sea, we wanted to discover new places! Capt’n Jack at the helm of the “Royal Clipper”, sailing from Bequia to Grenada in the Caribbean.

And, last but not least……bet you didn’t know it but Jack was an official Admiral in the Texas Navy! In 2006 he was commissioned by Governor Rick Perry and given control of the Texas Coast from Corpus Christi to Brownsville. How’s that for an Ol’ Broken Down Cowboy? The official ceremony was on the deck of the battleship, U.S.S. Lexington, anchored in the Corpus Christi Harbor.

I want to thank all of you for being with me this year, your love and friendship has made this new path in my life easier. As anyone who has lost a loved one knows, there are certainly days that are tough. But it’s amazing how much it has helped knowing all of you hold me close in your hearts. And when those pesky blues descend you know what I’ve learned? Gratitude drives Saditide away! Instead of focusing on the loss I concentrate on the fact I’m so blessed to have spent 26 years with Jack. Not only did he teach me to paint, more importantly he gave me the gift of showing me how to live a full and Christ centered life. What a wonderful example he was for all of us! And how comforting to know we’ll all be together again in Heaven for eternity. With Appreciative HUGS,

25 Responses to “A Special Man”

  1. Ed Mac Says:

    Dear Mikki. Absolutely love the memories you shared. Miss ole Jack. I count it a privilege to have known and met him. Thank you!

  2. Joseph Murray Says:

    Mikki ! How lucky Jack was to have a woman like you for his wife ! It always takes two people to make a marriage work and you both did it very well. I miss Jack’s Critiques of my paintings . He helped me a lot during my formative painting years. You hopefully have a couple of my paintings in your possession . Later,
    Joseph Murray
    Wayuga Art Studio
    Jefferson, Iowa
    “Where serenity is a way of life”

  3. Peggy and Leon Says:

    Thanks for sharing this about our generous Jack.
    Loved your story Mikki.

  4. Rose Herczeg Says:

    Oh Mikki, wish I could give you a hug. Thank you for sharing some of your special moments with Jack. You both were made for each other, there are no coincidences with God. May He bless you and continue to comfort you in the coming years with memories that make you feel like he is still with you. What a blessing to have had a partner like Jack for so many years. I wish I could have met him in person. Lots of love, Rose

  5. Rose Herczeg Says:

    PS You looked really cute as a redhead! 🙂

  6. Mary Goodall Says:

    I recognize the studio in the old industrial building. That is where I met Jack. I was Director of a sheltered workshop for the mentally challenged that was located just below his studio. It took months for me to get up the nerve to show him some of my paintings. He was so helpful. He gave me a signed print of the wood ducks. Just to let you know, Mikki, when we moved into an RV and went to work for The Texas Historical Commission, we did not have room for the print so we donated it to Ft. Parker State Park in Mexia. It is hanging on the registration office wall for all to see. I am so grateful to Jack for his encouragement. I am also very grateful to you for sharing your knowledge.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Mary, how good to hear from you. We loved having you visit the studio and were impressed with your paintings. Thank you for letting me know about your donation of the Wood Ducks to the Ft. Parker State Park. I know Jack is smiling down from Heaven at that! Thank you for your kind words. HUGS, Mikki

  7. Phyllis Snyder Says:

    Thinking of you today with thoughts and prayers. Keep on painting and making videos. You are a wonderful person and great teacher!

  8. Bruce M Pope Says:

    Thank you, Mikki! for the memories

  9. Christopher Newell Says:

    Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. So get back to the easel special lady. Love ❤️ 🤗 hugsf

  10. Ray Dane Says:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories. I thank the Lord for both you and Jack.

  11. Angel Says:

    This is a beautiful tribute to your love story and Jack. You both were heaven sent to so many people. I feel truly blessed by you both even though I didn’t meet Jack…You two are “what love has to do with it”! We can see the real true love for each other shinning through each photo! Yes…Jack is smiling from heaven. Thank you for who you are and all you share.

  12. patriciahinckley Says:

    Warm thoughts and hugs to you my friend. Jack made a huge difference here and you are doing the same. Thank you for your inspiration and diligence.

  13. Diana Fair Says:

    You are a blessing to me. Love your blogs.

  14. Anita Trick Says:

    Thanks for sharing your life.

  15. Hilda Thurman Says:

    God has used you both to pour out blessings to folks like me, (who only know you by way of the internet) and all those who have met you in your life travels. The more we give, the more blessings we receive. Thanks to you and Jack, for the generous sharing of your life and love. Always Thankful.

  16. susanajardine Says:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos and memories of you and Jack. You both complimented each other so beautifully. My husband Neal and I had the pleasure of meeting you both in person, when you conducted a lecture for the San Fernando Valley Art Club, in Encino, CA. It was shortly after 911, when the country stood still and everything came to a halt, including the art market. You were working on your first table top book, I believe, and Jack gave such good marketing information on the gazillion art group websites that were popping up all over the internet. He always was so generous in his advice and gave me some excellent tips and critiques on my first website. I always loved his column, “Heart to Heart” in Professional Artist Magazine. I can only imagine how much you must miss your painting partner, but am certain he is your main Guardian Angel looking after you. Blessings to you and your beautiful memories you’ve shared about Jack. Regards, Susan Alcott Jardine. ❤

  17. artbycheryllynn Says:

    Hugs to you girl! Hard to believe it’s been a year already. You are an inspiration to many, and so was Jack! I still go back a read his stories on Artist web site, and want to have all his books one day! Love following your paintings keep it up!

  18. Debra Hunter Says:

    Thank you Mikki

    This was so uplifting to read! Jack must have been quite a guy!!

    Debra Hunter

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      He was that. I wish you could have met him. Jack was the most generous person I’ve ever met. One of his main goals was to give back to fellow artists, helping them learn to paint and make a living with their art. I can’t fill his shoes but am doing my best to continue Jack’s legacy. HUGS, Mikki

  19. rpillai2012 Says:

    Wonderful pictures and great memories, thank you for sharing!

  20. Lesley Otto Says:

    Thank you for your posts, I do enjoy following your great artworks and thoughts. “God Bless”

  21. Shirley Says:

    Thank you for sharing more of your memories. It gives us an opportunity to know Jack better. I met him at one of your gallery shows but did not have the chance to become acquainted. We only know him through you and his books.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: