Jack Lucks

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Jacks Lucks introducing his 1989 video "Annetta Valley & Western Railroad."


From Chaski.org:

Jack Emrick Lucks
Jericho & Eagle Lake R.R.
Saturday, April 14, 2007 saw the passing of a beloved friend, Jack Emrick Lucks. Personally, I feel very fortunate to have know a man like Jack. He had a vast and endless knowledge of so many things and I would never tire of listening to what he had to talk about.
Everything that Jack involved himself in became a study. I remember when he acquired his video camera. He fussed over every detail of operating the camera. I thought maybe his camera would become his new hobby. He carried his camera everywhere. Then he would fuss over every detail of the editing process and talk about the little tricks he learned, fading in and out of scenes, adding text, and voice-over narration. My, how we all began to appreciate the videos by Jack Lucks. They became quite a hot commodity among members and non-members of the hobby.
If you had the time to get to know Jack you would learn that there was so much more to the man than just his twenty five years in the hobby and his videos. He was always quick with a laugh and even quicker to help someone. He volunteered frequently to help work on the Annetta Valley & Western Railroad. Jack would come out before a meet and do track work. He always made sure that the switches were in good operating order. I am not just paying lip service to the work he did on the railroad. He would come out in the heat and the relentless sun. It didn’t matter when you scheduled a meet you were always working on the track in the most miserable conditions available (and this is supposed to be a hobby?). He would get down in the dirt and the fire ants, armed only with his sun hat and red bandanna and he would work all day long.
I always felt a special attachment to Jack. When we had our hobby shop in Fort Worth, Jack built a beautiful HO and HOn3 layout for the store. The track design was fairly simple. However, the truly exquisite features of the layout were the scenery and the hand built trestles. Jack built every bit of the layout by himself. Jack taught me how to do the scenery and ballast the track and much to my chagrin it was a heck of a lot harder than he made it look. Jack was truly a master and had a deft touch. I think maybe that defines who Jack really was. He was a master of so many things and yet always added an artist’s touch.
Back in December of 2006 we had a small function out at the track and Jack came out. It was a beautiful sunny day with a slight, but crisp breeze. I observed Jack milling about taking in the day, nothing unusual. Later, he came over and sat down next to me over by the engine house. We chatted about various things for the better part of an hour. He mentioned, as he had to some others in the club, that he was not able to see very well and it was a concern for him as far as running his locomotive. His primary concern was seeing the water in the site glass. He also mentioned some swelling in one of his feet and that he was going to the doctor to have it checked out. There wasn’t anything unusual about our visit that I felt at the time. He milled about a little more, then left. Some time passed and I learned that Jack was making arrangements to pass on his locomotive and cars. Again I didn’t think much about it, because that was Jack; he was extremely thorough. Then word came that he was in the hospital and his prognosis was not very encouraging. Jack returned to his home with Hospice care and my Dad and I planned to go visit him on Saturday afternoon. Looking back now I realize that maybe Jack knew his time was drawing near.
The more I think about it, maybe Jack came out to the track on that beautiful December day to have one last look around. Recalling our relaxed visit outside the shop I realized that it did not have the same tone as had so many of our visits in the past. At first, I regretted not being able to get by his house to see him. Now, however, I cherish our conversation and visit on that beautiful day in December. Just the two of us appreciating the company of the other and the splendor of a beautiful day. That’s the way I think Jack wanted it and I’m glad because that’s the way I want to remember Jack.
Jack did not want a service of any kind. This was typically Jack. He just didn’t want any body making a fuss over him. Jack was a great man, but ever so humble. He was not one for honors and accolades.
Jack Lucks impacted the lives of so many in this hobby. He spent many years traveling about the country on rambles going to different tracks and meeting so many people. He was a member of Southwestern Live Steamers and Houston Area Live Steamers. Every man can be defined by the friends they have and everyone was Jack’s friend.
My deepest sympathy and condolences go out to Shirley, Jack’s wife of sixty six years! I pray that she and her daughters find comfort at this time of loss and grief. I would also like to offer my prayers to the Stamey’s, Jack and Shirley’s neighbors for more than thirty years. As many of you know Tom Stamey was Jack’s “partner-in-crime” for many many years. They created their own brand of excitement at train meets which they almost always attended together. Personally, I will miss Jack Emrick Lucks. We will all miss Jack. The hobby has lost one of its greatest ambassadors. He was a great man.
On behalf of the Annetta Valley and Western Railroad,
Michael McGrath

Lucks Bridge

From Browning Railroad:

During the spring and summer of 1991, construction was tarted on the two spillway bridges, and the south spillway trestle bridge was completed first to allow the use of the tractor to dump base material on the dam. In July of 1991 the north spillway bridge was started. This bridge is known as Lucks Bridge, named for Jack Lucks who unfortunately fell off the side of the bridge, breaking his arm but not damaging the bridge. Jack did all the engineering work, and set the grade of the bridge on a 1% climb from the dam. A single main line of track was laid between the two bridges, and the track was opened to the end of Lucks Bridge in September of 1991.

From David Hannah III:

While rebuilding the North spillway dam bridge Jack Lucks fell off the side! He was putting down 2x4 flats on I-beams, which were 30 feet long, a 60 foot long bridge. Jack stepped on a 2x4 not attached, fell off the side, cracked his arm, and had to have a cast. So Hannah named it Lucks Bridge.



Jack Lucks documents several meets throughout the years. Here is a sample of his excellent videography.

Comanche & Indian Gap

Annetta Valley & Western Railroad