Pecks Bad Boys looked like Angels

Comment: In the 1970s and 1980s, the local weekly newspaper “Pioneer Press” held a Nostalgia writing contest each spring, encouraging many older type folk to write down a few remembrances of Scott Valley in yesteryear. This was one of the winners in 1977. I remember my dad being friends with Dick Reichman, likely a brother or other relative to Fred. — Liz Bowen

Published in Pioneer Press

March 30, 1977

By Fred Reichman

Reno, Nev.

Fred Reichman has won the $25 first prize in this year’s Nostalgia Contest. He has asked that the prize be donated to Boy Scout Troop 54 of Ft. Jones.

About 45 years ago there were two boys living in Ft. Jones who would probably make Pecks Bad Boys look like angels. I won’t reveal their names because they are both very much alive and reformed. Since I don’t have the space to relate all of their escapades, I will tell of two that I think the most amusing.

One wintry evening Margaret Branson was hosting some ladies at a bridge party and each of the ladies brought a homemade goodie for refreshments. When the party was well underway, with a nice warm wood fire going in the living room stove, the boys climbed up on the roof and put a board over the top of the chimney.

The smoke soon began to billow out of the stove and fill the room, where the ladies were. They scurried out the nearest exit, the front door, while the boys entered the rear, grabbed what goodies they could carry and departed for parts unknown.

The next episode has to do with a whist parts in the Odd Fellows Hall. It was on a Saturday night just before Christmas and the prizes were to be some live ducks donated by some farmers. I was clerking in Martin Larsen’s store at that time and Martin let the committee store the ducks, which were in a crate, in the warehouse in back of the store until the party was over at which time they would be presented to the winners.

After the party Martin and the committee went to get the ducks and lo and behold they had completely disappeared. After a fruitless search they had to give up and the winners went home sand and empty handed.

Monday morning Al Luce who had a shoe repair shop across the street from Martin’s open his shop as usual and was confronted by a bunch of ducks. I will leave to the imagination what else he was confronted by.

If I wasn’t so lazy and had the ability, I could write a book on the antics of us kids in the old days. I have to end this with one more that wasn’t so amusing, and involved one of the youths mentioned above, but at a little earlier age.

He had evidentially been reading about William Tell and decided to give it a try.  He had his younger sister stand against the back of their barn, placed an apple on her head and was about to shoot at it with his twenty-two rifle, when Bart Mathews came along just in time. Bart took the gun away from him, broke, and then kicked the boy in his rear all the way to the boy’s house.

If this had happened today Bart would probably have been arrested for destruction of property and then sued by the boy’s parents.

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