You Don’t Know Jack? The man, the myth, the Franklin legend

Whether he’s walking along the streets of downtown Franklin, greeting everyone he sees, or volunteering at the Historic Artcraft Theater, Jack Wood is everywhere.

But the one place you can’t find him?

His own home.

With a few knocks on the front door of his Franklin home, it was clear that 81-year-old Jack was out on the town again.

On a daily basis, Jack visits area businesses along the Jefferson Street strip. He’s not there to shop but simply to talk to his neighbors.

Joanna Ryan, a KORN Country 100.3 radio show host, first met Jack when she started working for the station three years ago.

“I was filling in on the morning show, to start and was told by people already working for KORN that Jack just walks into our building whenever, which is great,” Ryan said. “It’s just to say, ‘Hey!’ Everyone treats him like the uncle you see at Christmas that you actually like.”

The local station adores Jack so much that he became an integral part of their Friday morning road show, which airs each week live from the Franklin McDonald’s at the Interstate-65 exit.

And Sean McAuliffe said he fits right in with the show’s hosts.

McAuliffe, Franklin’s KORN Country market manager, became acquainted with Jack after he started picking him up every Friday morning for the show.

On the brief car ride, Jack would tell stories him of his childhood.

“He really is an intelligent guy,” McAuliffe said. “He loves to have a conversation and he’s just fun to be around. As far as being on the morning show, he fits it. He is the community. And every Friday morning, he’s there for the community show.”

Everybody does love Jack, which is why Brian Alvey, of Franklin, created a Facebook page to honor the Franklin star.

The page, called “Franklin loves Jack Wood,” currently has 563 likes.

Several people have taken to the page’s wall to share their fondest memories of Jack.

“Franklin, Indiana loves their most iconic and favorite citizen, the officially unofficial ambassador of the Historic town of Franklin, Mr. Jack Wood,” the page says.

One woman wrote, “I have known this man almost my whole [life.] It’s nice running in to him. I always find out something new about my father that I didn’t get to know before his death. Thanks, Jack, for everything you have told me.”

Others have shared photos of themselves with Jack, calling him “a great guy.”

A bench, which reads “Jack Wood: Friendship Bench,” sits in front of Frank’s Guitar Shop on Jefferson Street.

“He’s just like the mayor of Franklin,” McAuliffe said. “Everybody loves Jack.”

About Shelby Mullis 26 Articles
Shelby Mullis is the copy chief of The Franklin. She is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com and teaches English as a second language to Chinese students overseas. Shelby enjoys exploring, writing, eating potatoes and admiring local weatherman Chuck Lofton.

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