May 12-02

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2002: May: May 12-02
Remembering a mother's son    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Chris Harris

Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 08:54 am:

Late last summer a small photo of Jimmy McNickle showed up on one of the Pasty Cam discussions... and Chris Harris sent this larger one to remember Jim's passing around this time in 1989. Jimmy was one of the colorful local figures in the Copper Country, a man who had lost his eyesight in the war in the early 70's. Chris recalls him as someone everyone knew, a kind and caring neighbor. Perhaps some of his fishing buddies can tell us more about Jimmy.

I just looked back through "This week in year's past" and see that we have never had a shot of mothers on Mother's Day. If you're a regular to the Pasty Cam, perhaps you saw my own mom last fall. Happy Mother's Day, Mama.

Training butterflies

By Mac on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 10:05 am:

How cool to check my Pastycam today and see Pud. He was definitely a colorful fella. And he was blind, but that man could see more than most of us put together! What a great guy he was. I spent many an hour with him. Partying, talking, cruising...whatever....and had a great time, everytime! His death left a hole in a lot of hearts, but his life touched so many, and made us all much better people for it! He was well loved by many. Thank you so much for putting that man on here.


By Carol Belanger on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 10:38 am:

yeah, I remember Pud. Had many good conversations with him in the 400 Club and Post 90 Legion. Brings back alot of memories.

By Mary-Lake Linden on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 11:51 am:

Yes sirree!! Pud was a character. Here's a story (and it's not a "fish story" either!!) to prove what a character he was.....Pud and a friend from Lake Linden (who I'll keep nameless!!)were in Copper Harbor and Pud decided he wanted to drive home!! Remember now, for those folks who didn't know Pud, he was blind, anyway, Pud drives home with his friend telling him turn a little to your left, now to your right, etc.....OH MY GOODNESS!! They get to Bootjack and an off duty State Trooper spots them. He tells them the next time I see you doing something like this, I'll throw you both in jail!! That was Pud....he enjoyed living life!!

By Debbie Lake Linden on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 12:41 pm:

Pud was fantastic. He is someone that when you think of have to smile...Who ever started this....Thank You......You have brought back some very nice memories of a man that is never going to be forgotten......
Miss ya Pud

By me on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 01:44 pm:

Well, then Pud and the nameless one from Lake Linden did it again, cause I was there....and it wasn't a "little to your left/right"..there was a different saying we had for Pud's driving and keeping it on the road! What a ride!!! What a wonderful man!

By carol belanger down here in TX on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 02:50 pm:

yeah, i remember being told about Pud's driving back from Copper Harbor. I have had my own experience driving with Pud from the 400 to Hubbell.

By MK on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 03:02 pm:

I have to say, never have I laughed so hard at a message from the K-cam notes. Its hard enough for someone to drive the curvy, winding roads from C.H. let alone a blind man. Thanks for the laugh!!!!

By Bonnie Erkkila Hartman on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 05:25 pm:

I remember one night at the Legion when he was buying everyone a shot. The trick was you had to drink it out of his eye, which he removed. As you downed the shot he would say, "Here's looking at you!" I tried to move out of the line when it was my turn. He quickly blocked my exit, and before I knew it I had downed the shot.

By D. Utzman on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 06:40 am:

I went to Suomi College with Jim. I can remember going on shopping trips in Hancock for that special date. He used to be a blast to go shopping with. And of course, we would have to stop at the Midway for a bit of liquid libation after the shopping. Sure have a lot of fond memories of him. If more people were like him, what a wonderful world this would be. Miss you alot, Jim.

By JimR, GR Mich on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 09:02 am:

These are great stories! I'm still chuckling about the shots in the bar. Being the tight wad in my family, I just hope the bar cut him a good rate on a shots from a glass eye....

By CHRIS HARRIS, Redford MI. on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 11:42 am:

Well, nice to see the responses from so many people!
The story of the drive from Copper Harbor to The Bootjack camp is a little blown out of porportion though. It was my father,(Paul"Highgloss"Harris) who let Pud drive from L.L. hill to the camp. Unfortunatley, they were pretty "pie eyed". So Jim knew when they had gone too far when he felt the gravel road past Dreamland!
Oh what great memories of a great man!We all have a certain place in our hearts today, weather you knew him from Lindells, or Jim's Pizza, or just walking through town whistling tunes.
Charlie, I cannot thank you enough for this!
Jim, "See you in the funny papers!".

By Mary - Lake Linden on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 02:56 pm:

Don't want to argue with you about the driving bit, but it wasn't your father I was talking was someone maybe you just hadn't heard that story yet!! :) I'd put the person's name, but I don't want to be putting his name without his permission. Uh, and they didn't go to a camp....they went to Dreamland, that's where the trooper caught up with them!

By me on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 04:41 pm:

And when I was there during the ride, we were coming from Copper Harbor, and on the LacLaBelle side, Pud was driving...On St Patrick's it was snowing and slippery...and he drove us almost to the Gay Bar! No troopers involved in that ride either! :p

By Kevin G on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 09:43 pm:

I remember playing cards with him and he would read the brail on the cards as he dealt them out to the players as definite unfair advantage that he made sure we knew he had! Playing hearts and “he shot the moon” to take all of the tricks by listening to the cards as we called them out on every play. I remember him lifting his shirt and he made his belly dance like big waves rolling in on Lake Superior. He never had enough music, I remember taking him to record stores and fingering thru piles of albums for who knows what. I miss my cousin, I’m glad he is a part of me.

By julie, notre dame IN on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 02:45 pm:

I was a waitress at Jim's pizza in Lake Linden and Jim would come in regularly with a guy who's name I can't recall (on crutches). What a hoot those two were drinking from bottomless cups of coffee! I was surprised to see his picture and saddened to hear of his death. Well Jim, next time I have a Guiness, I'll raise it to you for many good laughs.

By another me on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 04:32 pm:

The guy on crutches was Jim "Reda--" Stevens!! Sorry I can't fill in the blanks on his know, family site and all... :)

By David H. St.Clair Shores Mi. on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 09:00 pm:

I met Pud thru Kathy S. She had a flat tire,Pud jacked the car up, took tire off & put the spare on for her.I also heard her talk of the shots from his eye.

By Fish have rights on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 08:20 am:

Alas, they don't. But they should.

Love this website but is it really necessary to show dead animals here?

By Frenchy - Topeka, KS on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 10:18 am:

I'm sure la poisson lived a long and happy life.

By class of '68 on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 07:50 pm:

RE: "Is it really necessary to show dead animals here"?....
Well, yeah, but,
...ONLY when they are in the company of an equally DEAD MAN...
We'll all be joining them what's your point???
If you "respect wilderness and wild animals"...Well, take a hint...They don't respect YOU and will never cut you any's a predatory universe and all our humanistic good intentions can only amount to a "caretaker" mentality....(and the human race is way too young for that to be an effective strategy)..
Jim may not have been your idea of the brightest bulb on the local chandelier...but he conducted himself with grace, dignity and a special sort of courage.
"Driving while blind" was the least of his accomplishments....try it sometime. See how far you get. It's a Zen thing...
Oh, how he would have laughed at that, and laughed again...
Class of '68

By Jim R. on Saturday, May 18, 2002 - 06:46 pm:

I went to Suomi with Jim and he really educated me. For example, the time I brought him to the SDC, which had just opened and he wanted to pick out his seat for his season's tickets for the Tech hockey games. He would listen to Bob Olson at the game and that was how he watched it.

By Patrick McNickle, Ft. Mitchell, KY on Monday, May 20, 2002 - 10:46 pm:

How wonderful it is to read your stories about Jimmy. I was also facinated with his glass eye (though never old enough to drink a shot from it)! I used to ask him to show it to me quite often when I was a kid.

As for the more colorful stories about Jimmy, we're just scratching the surface. He truly was one of a kind and I miss him dearly.

By kathy erkkila ptaszek on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 07:48 pm:

I fondly remember Pickles as the best dancer on the floor at the Lake Linden Teen Center. That boy had the moves.

By Mary Cruickshank Peed on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 06:12 pm:

It's nice to see all the memories of Jimmy. I have some to add. He was probably the closest thing to a father my younger sisters knew. My parents were divorced when Allison was 10 months old and Betsie was almost 3. Jimmy (and Red) were their male role models. They spent a lot of time with my 4 younger sisters. Jimmy helped my sister, Dawn, get into and graduate from Suomi. He was prouder of her than our father was.

Allison once told him 'You know, Jimmy, if you take your eyes to my grandpa he'll fix them, he can fix anything.' He teased my grandfather about it for years.

He, my mother and Red spent a lot of years fishing-- the other fishermen used to call them 'The Blind, The Cripple and The Crazy' -- they all thought that was very funny.

Man, you didn't want to get into a snowball fight with him, either-- he never missed-- he could hear you moving around, and if he caught you, you could be sure to be buried in a snow bank.

I believe his acceptance of his handicap taught all of us something about handling things with grace.
He had been a football star in HS, and was in college. He could have avoided service and Vietnam, but he didn't. He was only there about 6 weeks when he stepped on a landmine and was blinded.
I remember when he came home. He and Neil Issacson and Mel Tatro were all wounded about the same time. The 3 of them used to sneak out of the VA hospital, Mel navigating, Jimmy and Neil 'driving' Mel's wheelchair.
He had been a very handsome man, when he came home from Vietnam, at first, he had lost a chunk of his scull and have been shaved bald from the surgery to remove the shrapnel. He had a nasty scar along his nose, up and around the side of his forehead and he looked like heck. You could see his heart beating in his brain. He spent one of his days 'out' visiting my mom and cousins. He talked my mom into taking him to a CCR concert in Detroit. She spent the entire time worried that someone would hit him on the head and kill him. (He had a plate put in a little while later).

After I joined the Navy, he popped down to visit me in Chicago (to get a new eye made). He dragged me all over heck. He had gone to the blind school at the Hines VA hospital and knew all the bars in the area and he dragged me to every seedy one. I was sure he would going to get me killed, but everyone liked and respected him :)

We all miss him a lot. My sister Dawn is pregnant and due in July. If it's a boy, his name is James Allen.

By Laure' Paquette Weberg Minneapolis, MN on Thursday, June 6, 2002 - 05:54 pm:

What a wonderful link this is to "home". After being gone for so many years, it's wonderful to see pictures of places I haven't been to in ages. I am so looking forward to being there over the 4th of July! Thanks for this walk down memory lane for me.

And yes, Pud was a peach... the good ones are always taken long before their time !

See ya soon !

By Jeff Carlson on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 09:29 pm:

I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. I was Jim's RA at Suomi my sophmore year 70-71. He broke every rule the school had, but everyone liked him. He once drove Tim Stewart's yellow Falcon out to the Breakers on "spring" (snow and rain) afternoon. Used to walk with him down to Payne's News for a bottle. He will be missed, peace to his memory.

By Katie on Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - 12:26 am:

I'm Sue Cruickshank's oldest granddaughter, and I still remember Jimmy, though he died while I was little. I remember him walkin' up the street to my grandma's house, and going fishing in his boat, with Red bum (what all the kids call him) steering. Mary (above) is my mother. :) We all miss him.

By Faith, NC on Sunday, October 13, 2002 - 05:31 pm:

And, Jim could still dance circles around everyone. It was absolutely amazing, and great fun to be his partner.

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