His name is Warren Joseph Tucker but everybody calls him "The Tuck" and he likes that.
"It's my nickname and I'm known as The Tuck everywhere I go," he said. He is 64 and was born in Providence, R.I.
"My dad was Warren Franklin Tucker. He owned and operated his own catering business when he wasn't making booze in the bathtub ... He sold a lot of that stuff. "Dad died from cancer in 1966 at the age of 63. My mom Mildred was a legal secretary who worked for Gov. Pastorie in Rhode Island. Mom passed away in 1990 from congestive heart failure. She was 84 years old."
The Tuck has been married to Judy for 39 years. She's 57 and was born in Las Vegas.
"She's a native Nevadan," said The Tuck. "Her dad Edward was an ironworker and he worked on the Boulder Dam. He was 67 when he died from liver disease. I was with him when he died. That was 30 years ago. He was a nice guy."
Judy's mom Lettie passed away from cancer at age 74 and she's the reason Judy and The Tuck came to Nevada.
"We came to take care of her," he said. "That was 18 years ago."
The Tuck and Judy have two sons. Warren Joseph Tucker III is 36 and lives in Carson City with his wife Luann.
"He owns and operates American Painting Company," said his father. "He's a painting contractor. Luann is a physical therapist in Carson City."
Son Brian is 34 and a Carson High School graduate who played football for the school.
"He played with Matt Williams before Matt went to baseball full time," said The Tuck. "He's single, a playboy and he's looking. He lives in Carson and works for Carson Valley Movers. Judy is the office manager there."
The Tuck did have some sad news to tell about their daughter Kimberly.
"She passed away two years ago this November at Carson-Tahoe Hospital from liver and kidney complications," he said slowly. "She was only 36 years old."
Both the Tuck and Judy each have seven siblings. The Tuck is the only male and is "number six of eight" in the family.
"All my sisters except Carolyn are alive and all live in Providence," he said with a smile. "Judy is the youngest of eight. She had four brothers and three sisters. All her sisters and her brother Hayward are still alive. All live in Southern California."
The Tuck is a graduate of St. Mary's grammar school and the LaSalle Academy in Providence. He once was an exercise rider and racehorse jockey at Narragansett race track.
"Then I got too heavy and joined the U.S. Marines," he said happily. "I served from 1954 to 1956 and then went back to Rhode Island and worked for a year for the New Haven/Hartford Railroad before I came west and settled in El Monte, Calif."
HE KNEW THE STARS
In 1959 The Tuck went to work for U.P.S. That's when The Tuck met and knew a "ton of celebrities" because his area was Hollywood.
"I met and knew Frank Sinatra, Loretta Young, Joan Crawford, Liberace - I used to have coffee and donuts with him every Saturday - Jim Arness and over 100 stars of those days," said The Tuck. "I was a U.P.S. man for 15 years and I dated Bette Davis daughter - also named Bette - and a few others like Tuesday Weld and Tina Louise before I met Judy."
He and Judy met in 1960 in Arcadia, Calif.
"It was at a dance hall," said The Tuck with a big grin on his face. "I asked her to dance, we jitterbugged well and a year later we got married at the Dunes hotel in Las Vegas. It was a nice wedding."
When Judy and The Tuck first came here, they bought 1 3/4 acres in Mound House and lived in their mobile home there. Two years later it burned down in the big Mound House fire.
"That fire was started by a couple of teenagers playing with matches," recalled The Tuck. "Luckily, we were well insured. We used the insurance money to buy this home in Carson City and we've been here 16 years now."
THE TUCK & THE PEARL
The Tuck and I both met Chuck Pearl - better known as The Pearl - back in 1992. Some of you may remember a couple of these columns we did with The Pearl in the past few years and I've been a guest on his "Sportstalk with The Pearl" TV show on Carson Access Television more than once. The Tuck is a regular on the show.
"I first met The Pearl through Joe Ellison's old TV show," said The Tuck. "Now I'm a regular on The Pearl's TV show. He's my best friend and we pal around together. We play the horses together."
Sportstalk with The Pearl is a one-hour show that airs every Friday on CAT-10 at 9 p.m. Repeats on Saturday and Sunday (see The Tuck this morning if it's not too late) on channel 26 at 9 a.m. It's taped in the Steak House at the Carson Nugget.
The Tuck and I met back in the early 1980s. When he first came to this area, The Tuck worked for two years at Eagle Valley Children's Home as their maintenance supervisor before working at Cactus Jack's four years (1983-87) as superintendant of maintenance. I used to play poker at CJ's and that's when we met. We've been friends ever since. The Tuck is retired now.
By the way, The Tuck is an "avid bettor" who spends "a lot of time" at the Carson Station Sportsbook.
"I bet horses, baseball, football, basketball, hockey and boxing," he said with a laugh. "You name it, I'll bet on it."
Speaking of boxing, The Tuck knew many "name fighters" over the years and was friends with Rocky Marciano and Willie Pep, among others.
"I was an amateur boxer and was 18-0 with 16 KOs," he said proudly. "I sparred with Willie Pep all the time. Rocky trained at the same gym and we got to be good friends. I used to run with him in the mornings. It broke my heart when he died."
I asked The Tuck why he stopped boxing, considering the excellent record he had.
"I lost a few teeth," he laughed. "But a hand injury that didn't heal right ended my career."
A NOTRE DAME NUT
"I've been one since I was a baby," said the Tuck cheerfully. "My first cousin Ron Coleman played right tackle for Notre Dame in the early 1940s and my first cousin Arnold Tucker played tailback for Army. They played against each other all the time."
The Tuck then showed me some of his N.D. collection, including a "never worn" Notre Dame jacket that was given to him by Kim Bacon, the daughter of former San Jose State Coach Don Riggs.
"Don was my good buddy in Carson City," said The Tuck. "He passed away in 1995 from melanoma cancer. Kim said he wanted me to have it and that's how I got it."
HIS FAVORITE SHOW
On our Street Talk TV show tonight on CAT-10 we'll air The Tuck's favorite show, featuring Juliet Prowse.
"I love Juliet Prowse," he said, smiling. "And I love that show you did with her."
The one-hour show features Juliet singing and dancing plus we'll have comedy by Rip Taylor, visit with a real-live Barbie Doll model and have a few surprises too. The show starts at 6 p.m. Repeats Monday at 8 a.m.
ALAN ROGERS is a Nevada Appeal columnist. His message phone is 887-2430, ext. 402.