Once again we lower our heads in honour of another of our fallen angels. Many of you will remember Kirk Hurley from the golden era of gay square dancing in the 1990s. Kirk discovered Chesapeake Squares and made it his adopted family. For many years he served on its board and was a moving force behind the Baltimore club hosting Crack the Crab, the IAGSDC 2000 Convention.
Kirk was as passionate about square dancing as he was about history, law and politics. He served as parliamentarian for Chesapeake Squares board meetings (sometimes to the annoyance of its members) and relished the Democratic process. Kirk threw himself full throttle into everything he involved himself with. Pass the Ocean, Hon! in Rehoboth Beach was never so grand as when he served as committee chair in the 1990s. With four callers and dancing in both the convention center and the fire house, the decorations, food and revelry were truly over the top as PTOH reached its peak attendance of over 300 registrants.
In more recent years Kirk made his home in Marlborough, Massachusetts where he remained passionately involved in politics serving as chair of the Marlborough Democratic City Committee. Though he had drifted away from dancing over the years, he remained in contact with many of his old square dance friends. Ett McAtee describes Kirk on his FaceBook page as "all about the genteel way of things". I cannot think of a more apt framing of this kind soul who cared so deeply about his fellow inhabitants of our planet. I laugh openly now as I hear him saying deadpan the words "Beam me up, Scotty", followed by a deep belly laugh after we danced together. Well, Captain Kirk, now you have reached the stars. Have no fear, the rest of the Star Fleet is just behind you. Hold fast, old friend.
Deepest condolences to Kirk's family and friends,
Scott Macleod, President Chesapeake Squares
Kirk is fondly remembered for what he called "The Midnight Cotillion" which was the moonshine tip at Crack the Crab 2000 IAGSDC convention in a time when we had to be very "careful" about the tip with the venue personnel, in this case, the Baltimore Convention Center. We all wore dainty white gloves for the tip! RIP, Captain Kirk!
- Ett McAtee
At the San Diego Convention, during the Grand March we passed a pool with a fountain of a dolphin and Kirk, camera ever at the ready, asked if anyone would climb on the dolphin for a photo. I have long-enough legs so I got on the dolphin for Kirk to take the photo. The next year, in Phoenix, he came to me early in the convention to say he'd found a wonderful piece of statuary to take another photo of me. We did that and so it became a "thing". I don't remember all of the poses I did for him, but I do remember spending a couple of hours in hot muggy Atlanta as he and Rick Hawes took photos of me on various pieces of art. The last one he took was of both Barry and I on an animal (horse?, mule?, camel?) in Salt Lake City. I'll always treasure those times, even though I don't have any of the photos.
- Pam Clasper