Our Wedding Day: August 30, 2003

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All about Kirk

 
 

by Kathy, His Mom

KathyKirk's Inglewood birth in late-January, six weeks ahead of schedule, presaged his style of living – he had goals to achieve and wanted to get an early start.

As an infant, nothing held him back. He was walking at nine months, talking shortly afterwards, and soon running the lives of both sets of grandparents. He was a happy baby who bulked up on Gerber’s Blueberry Buckle.

His feet and his mind were continuously racing. When we would read him a story, he wouldn’t let us finish it. Before we could get to the last word, he would shout out the ending.

He seemed to grow up fast, and started cruising for chicks at the tender age of six with his best friend Brian, ten years his senior. To compete for his attention, I started coloring my hair. Thirteen years later, Kirk was best man at Brian’s wedding.

He reacted warily to the first day of kindergarten, forcing me to sit out in the car during school in case he needed me. But when he discovered that his teacher was a cute blonde, Kirk informed me that I could stay home from now on.

Learning was an adventure from that very first day. He loved to read, got good grades, and discovered that his favorite subject was history. He could not get enough of books; so we bought them, and we borrowed them, from the library, from family, or from friends. And he sought out stories, especially enjoying first hand accounts from people who had lived through important historical events.

Sadly, in the August following Kirk’s sixth birthday, his father James passed away. This loss is partly responsible for making Kirk what he is today, a sensitive, caring young man, protective of those he loves and mature beyond his years.

His love of reading followed him into his teenage years, and although he maintained outstanding grades, school was becoming less consuming than before. He developed an interest in karate, an ideal mental and physical outlet for him. Kirk excelled at the sport, earning his black belt while testing against an ex-Navy SEAL. As a sophomore he was a karate instructor, but demonstrating balance, he participated in the Academic Decathlon as well.

In his final high school year, Kirk competed in track and field and played varsity football, while maintaining his academic and outside interests. During the senior awards ceremony, Kirk and another student were posted as attendants on either side of the auditorium stage to increase the efficiency of the event. The many awards the two received ranged from certificates for outstanding citizenship to gold watches to college scholarships. The audience seemed amused as the awards stacked up on the stage.

Kirk graduated in the top twelve, out of 655, in his class, the largest graduating class in the history of Leuzinger High School.

At El Camino College, Kirk concentrated on firefighting and emergency technology classes, taking all the available classes in firefighter training. In addition, he took classes at oil refineries offered by the National Fire Protection Association. He worked as a volunteer at the Anaheim Fire Department, and took EMT training at El Camino and at the Southern California Regional Occupational Center, becoming a certified emergency medical technician. He was an Explorer with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and worked full time for an ambulance service.

At age twenty, after testing at various fire departments, scoring in the high 90’s to 100, and finding no firefighter positions available, Kirk applied to the LAPD on the advice of a friend.

The rest is history. He was hired, and in my opinion, this was the best thing that could have ever happened, because it was at the LAPD that he met Cathy!

 


© 2003, Larry Riggs, All Rights Reserved