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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment April 30, 2016

7/16/2013 1:01:00 PM
Marine's quilt featured at Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show
Jack Poe displayed his first start-to-finish quilt on Saturday. photo by Jim Cornelius
+ click to enlarge
Jack Poe displayed his first start-to-finish quilt on Saturday. photo by Jim Cornelius

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

Jack Poe spent the years 1960 to 1968 as a U.S. Marine conducting missions for his country in hot spots of the world ranging from Vietnam to Central America and a couple of places in Africa.

He can't talk about the missions he was assigned in those years, but they were extremely dangerous.

"When you're hunting somebody, they're hunting you," said the soft-spoken Marine last Saturday as he sat quietly amid the bustle of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.

Wounded twice, his right leg was a little fatigued from walking the show. But Poe's spirits were high, because he had accomplished a personal mission: He had his first start-to-finish quilt on display in "Manland" at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.

Poe had done quilt backs and squares for other quilts, including ones for the Wounded Warrior Project and for Quilts of Valor, but this was his first complete solo effort and he was enjoying the sense of accomplishment.

"It's like setting up a mission," he said with a wry smile. "You have A-Z: How are you going to get there? What's the best route?

The quilt was titled "Jack's Rock" after a secret fishing spot he "claimed" in Idaho. As befits a hard-charging elite warrior, Poe is already pushing for more.

"I can do better," he said.

Quilting started for Poe in 2010 in his home in Vancouver, Washington.

"My wife started learning how to put quilts together herself," he said. "She sews - mostly embroidery. She asked me to help with straight lines."

Poe found he had a knack for the work, just as years before he had developed the capability of making a 1,000-yard shot.

"I said, 'I can do this,'" he recalled. "I went to a couple of shows in Portland and I decided to get myself a machine - a long-arm."

Poe finds quilting soothing and relaxing - something he needs. The years of combat had lingering effects.

"I thought I'd gotten over it, but it came back," he said. "I'd stopped shooting for about 25 years. I'm shooting again."

Quilting and his wife's sewing have taken over his Vancouver home.

"We have a four-bedroom house," Poe said. "As the boys moved out, we took over the rooms.

His eyes twinkled as he noted, "They got the message - and they're all doing pretty good."

After Poe finished his time in the Marine Corps, he went to work for a steel foundry in Portland. Taking a buy-out from that position, he and his former wife started a vocational school for people entering the health care field. Now he is fully retired and devoting himself to his craft.

This is his second visit to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. He and his wife are friends with Bob and Tresa Glatz of Sisters, Jack and Tresa's father being close friends. Poe has stayed with the Glatz' both years, but he's thinking next year he might indulge his love for camping. The thing is, this being the Quilt Show, camp sites are hard to come by and spoken for long in advance.

But that shouldn't be a problem for Jack Poe. He'll make it a mission - and it's sure to be accomplished.

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