Shirley Kirk of Joplin shows off her Charlie Brown tree containing a single red glass ornament symbolic of the blood and passion of Christ. The simplicity of the tree made from a kit she purchased at a local Walgreen's appealed to Kirk who said she came from Neck City, MO, where she recalls during World War II days a Christmas tree was created by sticking an evergreen branch in a bucket of rocks and decorating it with a paper chain. She said she was just a "small town girl." That reminded her of how "life was so simple back then" and how different it is today.
Kirk was born in 1937 when the old English name "Shirley" (translating to "bright meadow") was nearing its height of popularity. Those who popularized the name include actress/ambassador Shirley Temple Black, actresses Shirley Booth and Shirley MacLaine and politician Shirley Chisholm.
Kirk ascribes to the motto, "Shirls just want to have fun," popularized by members of the Shirley Club, founded by a woman named Shirley Brown in Perth, Australia and now currently attracting members named "Shirley" in the US from five states.
(photo by Vince Rosati)