The ‘Big Man’ and a ‘Beast’

As I write this, it’s two days before Thanksgiving, and whomever coined the phrase “the calm before the storm” must have had some insight into the Tucker household prior to the holiday weekend. We evolve from very quiet, empty-nester living into a whirlwind of chaos and mess-making with our sons, Maxwell and Jackson, and also this year a frat bro of Jackson’s from Virginia named Parker. Throw in girlfriends visiting along with an assortment of high school friends, and you start to form the picture: Take-out food, beer cans, and snacks, along with articles of clothing “just dropped and frozen in time.” I don’t need a Ph.D. in forensics to determine what has gone on while I was out. The evidence will be overwhelming. And, can you really watch too many ballgames over the long weekend? I will let you know.

Photo provided by Courtney Tenbarge

Please take the time to read “In Memoriam” on page 20.  I’d met Howard only a few times — he didn’t strike me as a man wanting to be called Mr. Nevins often, or ever — but based on the conversations with those who knew him best, I wish it had been more. Passion and sheer force of will can combine to do great things for neighbors and the community. What a life resume.



Photo provided by Jordan Ambrose

University of Southern Indiana junior and swimmer Jordan Ambrose is a “beast.” The 20-year-old knows that in the triathlon world she inhabits, that term is an extreme compliment for hardcore, tough-as-nails competitor — meaning, you do all the work required, and then some. Jordan just competed in her second Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, in two years. She finished in the 18-24 age group in 13 hours, two minutes, and nine seconds on a very difficult course during a long day. Jordan first qualified in 2021 for the World Championship in her first Ironman event in Chattanooga, a difficult task at best. I knew who Jordan was coming up in the ranks in local club swimming and then competing for F.J. Reitz High School. I even cycled 115 miles with her on a training ride in 2021, just prior to her qualifying for the World Championship. (I remember that ride too well.) Congratulations, Jordan … you are indeed a beast.


Photo provided by Frank W. Patton Jr.

I will try — ahem — to be as polite as possible here. Mr. Frank W. Patton Jr. knows, well, almost everyone in the community. Frank is retiring from his business, Frank Jr.’s Catering, at the end of the year. If Frank is your friend, then you have a truly great friend. Frank has been terrific to our family and our office staff since we started Tucker Publishing Group. We have “enjoyed” many of Frank Jr.’s barbecue dinners, and I find his ribs and (award-winning, he tells me) mac ‘n cheese (three trophies, he says) to be fairly tolerable. Both of his sons have interned for us, and after spending time with them, we definitely know Frank’s wife Roxane must be really wise. A long-suffering Miami Dolphins fan, you would think Frank Jr. played on the 50th anniversary undefeated Dolphins team. Enjoy your retirement, Frank. Now we can go to some basketball games, and I can further explain the game to you. We all wish you well, Big Man.


As always, I look forward to hearing from most of you.

Todd A. Tucker, President

Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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