"You could probably say [my illness started] about the time I started running the ads in the RFT," Kalk says. "That was clearly abnormal."
Kalk and Stewart quickly forged a friendship that extended well beyond normal doctor-patient boundaries. On September 28, 2006, Kalk says he crashed his Honda Accord and couldn't remember where he left the vehicle. He then reported the car stolen and asked Stewart to try to locate it for him.
"I had NyQuil, and I was driving with a 102-degree fever," Kalk recounts. "Instead of staying home and not working, I tried to drive to work. I basically had a problem where I hit tires against curb and left it at a gas station. Then the car got towed away. Jim was able to find the car."
Kalk celebrated the incident by placing an ad in Riverfront Times in October 2006. The poster for the movie Dude, Where's My Car? was altered to include his and Stewart's faces over those of the actors.
That's supposed to be Kalk wearing the jacket and Stewart with the steering wheel.
Court documents reveal that Kalk was in dire financial straits. A detailed income report he submitted to the court during the divorce shows his practice lost more than $90,000 in 2006. One of his biggest expenses, $56,000, was advertising...
In 2007 and 2008 collection agencies and medical-billing companies hounded him about his credit-card debt and unpaid bills. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations contacted him several times regarding back pay he owed to his employees, and the Internal Revenue Service garnished his wages after he failed to pay his taxes...
Kalk filed for bankruptcy on April 15, 2009, claiming more than $1.1 million in liabilities and just $300 in total assets, in the form of a used TV set.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.