In Memory

Niles McTucker

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25/09/14 11:37 PM #1    

Mark Steele

I first met Niles when I was about nine years old when we were fishing some ponds by Kutras.  He was trying to get 75 bluegill for a fishfry he was having, maybe a cub scout thing.  I helped him reach his 75 fish goal and we were fishing friends.  When I got to high school Niles was a big guy and there was somewhat of an unwritten rule that the really big strong guys couldn't be friends with the skinny guys. Shortly after graduation I was driving home from a job I had in Chester and Niles was hitchhiking.  I recognized him and  picked him up and we decided to take the dirt road from Chester to Viola then back to Redding. We had an absolutely great time talking like we had been friends forever. We were both big kids on that trip . I never saw him again,but we started out as friends and ended as such. 

26/09/14 09:11 PM #2    

Sharman Young

I remember Niles in first grade. He ate pencils. I would see his pencils lying around the class in various locations. I was always amused and somewhat concerned that he was eating pencils and viewed them as testaments to something of which I did not know. (Did they contain real lead in those days?) They were gnawed and short and inevitably shouted out, "Niles's pencil". 

I am presently filling in for a first grade teacher on maternity leave. If I were to see a student chew pencils like Niles did, I would refer them for counseling. I hope Niles got some kind of help back then. I never knew him well, but I knew him well enough to like him. I wonder about him now. As teachers we worry about the kids that "slip through the cracks" without getting the attention they deserve. Is that what happened to Niles?

27/09/14 12:18 PM #3    

Steve Gunner

Niles was my neighbor during the 60's in the Kutras tract, about a block away, although I met him years before when I lived on East Street. We caught fish and frogs, tadpoles, snakes, lizards around the ponds at Kutras and Turtle Bay. Niles was into music too, and often came over when the Warlox were jamming at my house. The last time I saw him was December 1993, in the lounge at the motel by the Civic Auditorium.... what was the name? He seemed in good spirits, the same Niles I always knew. RIP bro.

30/09/14 10:28 PM #4    

Marilyn Oliver (Lagier)

I was quite interested in Sharman's story about Niles and the pencils for my recollection of Niles also involved putting something in his mouth.  Niles was in my kindergarten class at Cypress School.  I remember that he swallowed a quarter one morning and it kind of got stuck in his throat.  All the kids were gathered around him and the teacher came over and gave Niles a Hostess cupcake to eat--the chocolate one with the white squiggles on top--hoping that it would push the quarter down into his stomach.  It obviously worked and Niles was none the worse for wear.  I was fascinated by the cupcake as we were not allowed to buy or eat them in our family.  It is strange how there are certain memories that just stick with you and never leave (yet we can't find our car keys!) and Niles and the quarter will be with me forever.

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