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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Friends Say Beloved Hawthorne Bridge Musician "Working" Kirk Reeves Has Died

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Kirk Reeves
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Friends of beloved Portlander Kirk Reeves tell the Mercury that he has died. Many Portlanders know Reeves, 56, as "that guy who plays trumpet on the Hawthorne Bridge", but Workin' Kirk played gigs around town after moving here from Boston in the early nineties.

The man was a cheerful Portland institution. Since at least 2007, Reeves has often occupied a chunk of sidewalk on the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge, wearing a Mickey Mouse hat, white suit, and entertaining commuters with constant trumpeting.

A Street Roots profile of Reeves summed up his presence in the city:

Even if you don’t know him, you know him. He of the white tuxedo, the Mickey Mouse hat, planted next to a pull cart full of toys and gadgets that defy graceful description — and a cornet, the top prop in his menagerie, a mere sampling of what he has at home. In a flourish, Reeves pops open a large expandable ball, swings it around in a circle or two, and then collapses it back to the size of a soccer ball. It’s a signature move. The wow-them-in-10-seconds opener to an act that includes a 4-second puppet show for the kids, a miniature magic trick and an optional three-toss juggle finale. All of this squeezed in between the on-ramp serenade he gives drivers as they creep into Hawthorne’s rush-hour traffic.

The cause of Reeve's death is unconfirmed, but he had posted on his Twitter feed last year that he was sick and in the hospital. The medical examiner's office could not comment on Reeves—in all cases, death notices are not made public until someone in the family can be contacted.

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