Hey Spike! remembers a Summit County recycling pioneer | SummitDaily.com

Hey Spike! remembers a Summit County recycling pioneer

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He would have just turned 60 back in January. And it’s been 26 years since he and Steve Fields died in that Nov. 21, 1985 avalanche up near Breckenridge.

A third generation Coloradan from the potato farming community of Center in the San Luis Valley, Tim McClure had a big impact on our quality of life in Summit County.

Thankfully, Tim’s efforts continue today. And tonight you can help mark his resourceful ways by attending the Tim McClure Memorial Benefit, 6:30-10 p.m. at the Maggie in Breckenridge.

The event provides funding for the High Country Conservation Center, formerly known as Summit Recycling Project (SRP). The annual benefit supports the center’s general operating budget and resource conservation programs.

Tim and your scribe became friends back in our college days, when we attended gatherings of the radical student power and ant-war movement’s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). We were activists – still are.

Tim was a student at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley, where he was the student body vice president, meeting then-gov. Dick Lamm, and becoming involved in politics like his fellow Irish Catholic idols, The Kennedys. Later on, Tim visited Ted in his US Senate office and had their photo taken.

Spike was attending Adams State in Alamosa, not far from where Tim grew up. That was our link.

It was at UNC, Tim met fourth generation Centennial-stater Nancy West, now Ira Redner’s wife. Her family had a ranch over near Estes Park.

“I was the first girl Tim met who wasn’t a foo-foo type,” Nancy says in our Thursday phone chat.

It was Boulder native Judy Collins singing about a boy from “southern Colorado,” that had Nancy knowing Tim was the guy – her guy.

Nancy introduced Tim to XC skiing, leaving him far behind in her tracks the first time in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Later, Tim would become a fierce telemark racing competitor and distance runner, all the while trying to get the recycling effort to stay alive.

It was his crusade and he was bound and determined to make it a success. It is.

Tim had a Main Street office way up in the Purple Building, which also housed the Now Colorado admin offices where he handled its HOA biz.

When in Frisco, Tim would pop into our TEN MILE TIMES offices, oftentimes with sidekick Timmy Tucker, who was a painter, snowshoveler and “rassler,” and we’d go for runs at excitable boy paces for distances we would not recall.

Here’s another Tim and Timmy story:

Spike was coming back from getting the newspaper printed in Denver, and just going into the westbound bore of the Eisenhower and Johnson Tunnels, where that slight curve bends to the right, and there stopped cold, was an old Saab 99 – those Two Tims inside.

Pulling right over and into their lane, then backing up in the SUV real quick, Spike jumps out, grabs a tow strap and yells at them to hook on “before someone hits us all from behind.”

The maneuver worked, and we all got out to the westside safely, where those two coasted downhill to be closer to home and to fix the four-banger.

In a bit of irony, this year’s memorial benefit falls on March 4, the 22nd wedding anniversary of Nancy and Ira.

They have two sons: Benny, an avid golfer – under the tutelage of Breck pro Erroll Miller – attending the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs; and Aaron, a Summit High School senior.

Ira is a builder and Nancy, with a degree in biology, helps run the Colorado Mountain College Nursing Program.

“I have the best job anyone could ask for,” Nancy says.


Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years.

Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com

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