This week, our schools are celebrating Kabookie Week and Spirit Week. “Kabookie” was the nickname of Jimmy Gerken, an East resident and then staff member with special needs. Jimmy was a friend to just about everyone he ever met. If you attended an East event any time in the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s, you probably saw Jimmy. And if you were really lucky, you got to know him.
One of Jimmy’s most famous quotes is his response to someone who was bullying him about his special needs: “That’s okay," Jimmy said. "I’ll still be your friend.” We’re celebrating kindness and friendship this week in honor of Jimmy. It’s a great week to be a good friend or make a new one.
This story WOOD TV produced will tell you more about Jimmy Gerken’s life and legacy.