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Hawthorne Trumpet Player 'Working' Kirk Reeves Dies

"Working" Kirk Reeves

“Working” Kirk Reeves

Joanne Zuhl/Street Roots

A man known as “Working”  Kirk Reeves, who spent hours playing his trumpet at one of Portland’s busiest bridgeheads, died over the weekend.

Reeves was familiar to drivers headed east across the Hawthorne Bridge. He perched in a white suit, often with outlandish hats, in all kinds of weather, playing his trumpet and doing magic tricks for change.

Allan Kalik gave Reeves trumpet lessons for the better part of a decade. He says it was obvious that Reeves had a hard life. He was on and off the streets. Kalik recalled Reeves pointing to a large scar on his neck and telling the story of how he was roughed up and slashed. But Kalik said Reeves reported making a good living some days, and taking a lot of joy from working on the bridge.

“Honestly I think a lot of times he had fun, he really enjoyed making people smile,” Kalik said. “He loved the kids, loved the look on the kids’ faces when he’d pull a rabbit out of a hat.”

Reeves talked about complications from diabetes in emails to his fan network. He was going blind and had a toe amputated.

The state medical examiner’s office is asking for help identifying who his family members might be. The office is holding details about the death until they can talk to Reeves’ family.

Finding Reeves’ Family

Anyone with information about Kirk’s family is asked to provide it to the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office, 971-673-8220.

Click here to view memorial details on Facebook.

working kirk reeves hawthorne trumpet player

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