Jack Hansen's Wake at Kenyon Hall

Jack Hansen snapped by Joe Weihe, he fellow member of Stowaways in Paradise, which Joe describes as "the last regularly gigging band Jack was in, and his contribution was huge, both musically and personally.  He was a friend and a mentor and we will miss him very much."
Jack Hansen snapped by Joe Weihe, a fellow member of Stowaways in Paradise, which Joe describes as "the last regularly gigging band Jack was in, and his contribution was huge, both musically and personally. He was a friend and a mentor and we will miss him very much."

Tonight, July 31, 2009, Jean and I drove over to West Seattle’s Kenyon Hall to be part of – a small part – of Jack Hansen’s wake – a mix of music, reminiscences and food.  It will not be the last send off for Jack, who played on every Puget Sound shore (and a few on the eastern seaboard as well) and was cherished by many communities as one of this region’s sharing virtuosos.   Another wake is planned for Bellingham, where Jack is remembered for his talents already as a teenager.  I first heard him there in 1969 and then got to know Jack through the Fairhaven community on Bellingham’s south side.  (It is still there.)   Friend Marc Cutler, then of the band Uncle Henry, introduced us.  And Marc is still in Bellingham, or near it, and making music.  We suspect he will be at the Bellingham send off with his guitar.

[please click to enlarge]

A glimpse of this evening's wake.
A glimpse of this evening's wake.

8 thoughts on “Jack Hansen's Wake at Kenyon Hall”

  1. Thank you so much for posting this photo of Jack. He loved his Hawaiian shirts. What a grand fellow he was and a grand time was had by all, around the Mighty Wurlitzer at the old Hoakum Hall. And as his old bandmate, Cliff, said in jocular fashion, Jack likely would have approved if someone had remarked, don’t just lay around, Jack, get up and play. Walk it off. He lived large, in many ways.
    Noel Bourasaw, former neighbor

  2. I’m an old friend of Jack’s. I believe my husband at the time, Ron Schafer, and I provided his first home in Bellingham, 1968, 1021 High Street, when he first arrived from Seattle. We were gathering a tribe to help pay the rent. Jack had no money, but we were happy to welcome him as musician in residence.
    I just got this sad news, and I know it may be too late, but if someone knows the when and where of the Bellingham wake, I’d appreciate hearing.
    Sharron Huffman, old friend
    slhuffman at mac.com

  3. Sharon
    I remember Jack’s home – rather – down in the Fairhaven neighborhood – one of those big box homes that held to the gentle grade that fell to the bay. That would be 1969 – or please correct me. The only thing I know about the Bellingham event is that someone at the wake at Kenyon Hall said there would be a “sing along” in his memory sometime in the future. I suspect you should start tuning to the grapevine up there – or take the initiate and organize. If you do that you may soon find others who have the same idea and intentions.

  4. I returned from playing soldier in the summer of ’66 to live at the Den of Iniquity, and met Jack soon thereafter, so I know he lived there before ’68. He occasionally slept on the old couch Scott Finley and I had in the old bay window front suite at the Den, and at Gail Clements’s pad next door upstairs or Stan Shockey’s place downstairs but I seem to remember that he had a small room somewhere. Gail was sad that she missed the memorial and would like a heads up for the Bellingham event. Too bad the Web still isn’t in the basement of the CCM house. THAT would have been totally appropriate.

  5. Hmmmmmm. I do remember Jack coming up from Seattle and moving in with us, summer ’68, but we had been away from Bellingham for a year and missed a few key events. I suspect Jack was kind of moving back and forth, and I’m sure your memory of him being in B’ham during that earlier time is correct. But he did have a room with us there on High Street and I’m pretty sure he was still there when he got together with Shelly. We stayed in that house less than a year.
    Yes, the Web would be the perfect location.

  6. Years ago I was visiting Stu Herrick’s Folk Store. I had a used TV for sale and ask Stu (who had already bought one TV from me) if he wanted another one. Jack was standing there taking this all in, looks at me and comments “You’re just a used TV to Stu”. Since that day I have not been able to listen to Bill Monroe’s song “I’m just a used to be to you” without laughing at Jack’s observation. Jack, even though your gone, I will never forget you. Thanks for all the great music and your sense of humor.

  7. Just stumbled across this in a search….

    Summer of ’68 would be after Fat Jack broke up in Seattle.

    If you haven’t heard all about Fat Jack, I’m not sure you’d want to. However, in the summer of ’67 they fronted for the Grateful Dead at Eagles (I think it was called), and during that “Fillmore” style event Jack came out alone with his 5-string and played a bluegrass breakdown that simply filled the auditorium. It was the one truly memorable moment of the night.

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