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The roaster becomes the roasted; Happy birthday Rodney Rebel!

By the roastees of Chick Nielson.

Maddie Spencer: I guess ‘ol Chick knew my grandpa, Roger Holland. Grandpa was known for appreciating old, ugly rocks. No wonder he liked ‘ol Chick.

Dealie Reese: I have many wonderful memories of geocaching with my good buddy Clint. Happy birthday old friend, I’ve given you enough of a hard time over the years ... and you already know what I think about your looks!

Ol’ Clint, Chick, Rodney Rebel - whatever you choose to call him - with his signature match stick hanging from his lip. Happy 90th birthday old friend! We love you! Photo submitted by Son-in-law John Manea.

Larry Sorensen: Rodney is just an Old Crankcase who’s main bearings have run dry and are putting out a lot of smoke and noise. Add another quart and maybe you’ll get another 10,000 miles Clint. Happy Birthday.

Karsten Josie: Ya know, some old things we dig up are valuable treasures, and some are other things like fossils and dirt ... what category do you fit under Rodney? Some people have faces that only their mother could love. Your mom took one look at you and said, “no thanks!” Remember when you were a kid and your dad had to tie a pork chop around your neck to get the dog to play with you? What, you don’t remember?? Holy smokes Rodney, you really are old! In all seriousness, I’ve got to know many people in my life, and Clint, you are one of the best! May you have a wonderful birthday. I wish more people who read this column knew how wonderful of a friend you are! (Don’t worry, we’ll keep your secret!)

Mike Noel: Clint told me he found a new restaurant called Karma. I said let me see the menu. Clint said there is no menu. You just get what you deserve. In Clint’s case it was Rigor Mortis Tortoise and Road Toad ala mode.

Byard and Carol Kershaw: Clint was a tail gunner on a B-29 in the Korean War. That explains why Clint never knows where he’s going but he always knows where he’s been. Clint fancies himself as quite a cook. I think his main course is OK, but I don’t like the dessert that he makes. A great big bowl of heartburn. Clint makes fun of Carol Kershaw’s cooking. But little does he know that Byard does most of the cooking. Byard taught Clint everything that he knows about cooking, except for the desserts.

Kim Jones: One day the Babe told me that there is always a weirdo on every bus, but Clint said he could never find one on his bus ... wake up, it was always you Clint! You’ve chewed more wood than a beaver! Happy Birthday - We love you!

Son-In-Law John Meanea: Clint consistently transforms his yard into a festive wonderland during the holiday season. When I invited my family over to admire Clint’s Halloween decorations, we were all in awe of the incredibly realistic skeleton. However, our amazement quickly turned to shock when we realized that it wasn’t merely a decoration; Old Bones Clint had actually staked himself into his lawn!

Dillworth Perkins: I’ve known Clint for at least 35 years. He seems to be a cranky old man, but well, he is the nicest man I know. That must be why he always finishes in last place! I wish him a happy 90th birthday and many more to come!

Brooke Knighton: You’ll have to forgive Chick if you see him driving down the wrong side of the road … old boy can hardly see through the wrinkles these days. Despite looking (and smelling) like an old prune, we sure love our Rodney Rebel.

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Cleve Bushnell: Halloween is Clint’s favorite holiday because it is the only time that he can go out into public without a mask. Clint is so old that when he went to an antique auction, four people bid on him. Clint is so old that when he goes to a restaurant and orders a three-minute egg, they make him pay in advance. Clint has to let us know when he is taking a nap, so that we don’t accidentally bury him. Clint was so ugly that his mother didn’t have morning sickness until after he was born.

Nicole Colby: That Chick Nielsen. He’s so old that … I hear he is being studied by the Paleo Lab Group this week. They say that red dirt runs in his veins. Maybe Lower Jurassic Moenave and Kayenta Formation-style dirt. Regardless, better get back in to see me soon, Mr. Nielsen!

Arlyn Hafen: When Chick was a young man, living in St. George and attending college in Cedar, he carpooled with my brother and a few other people to class each day. One morning when it was Chick’s turn to drive, he ended up driving his car up a power pole guy-wire. With the front of his car pointed skyward, and the rear bumper firmly holding the car in place at the base of the wire, Chick prayed to have his life spared ... You can stop praying now old man Chick!

Hayden and Brittany Gant: As we have gotten to know Clint over the last several years, we have come to realize him and his old dog Toto have a lot in common. They are both hard of hearing, they like to take naps on the front porch, but the truest thing is: they’re all bark and no bite! They like to put up a tough act but they’re really just big softies. Happy birthday Clint! At least you’re still young at heart!

Ty Gant: Every time I read Chick’s column I’m inspired. It turns out, they really do let just anyone write for a newspaper!

Rhonda Gant: Ol’ Clint sure likes to put up Halloween decorations. Doesn’t he know that nothing he puts up outside the house could be as scary as the old troll that lives inside it?

LoRal Linton: It’s ironic that Clint became a school bus driver, because ever since the sixth grade all of his teachers have told him, I wished you would get lost and never come back. I asked Clint Nelson why he became a school bus driver. His answer was, “To help overcome my greatest fears.” (Driving and Kids!) Clint’s philosophy: if you can’t say something bad about someone, don’t say anything at all.

Dennis Brunner: Everyone is allowed to act stupid once in a while, but Rodney, you’re really abusing the privilege. I didn’t mean to push your buttons Chick, I was just looking for mute. You can’t imagine how much happiness Ol’ Rodney can bring… by leaving the room. Clint is like a software update. Every time I see him, I immediately think “not now.” Rodney is the reason gene pools need lifeguards. I don’t know what makes Clint so dumb, but it’s really doing the job. I look at Chick and think … two billion years of evolution for this? Clint, whoever told you to be yourself … gave you bad advice. When God made you Rodney, you must have been on the bottom of his “to-do” list. I was thinking about Rodney today. It reminded me to take out the trash. Chick just might be why the middle finger was invented in the first place.

Kyle Brunner: Ol’ Crankcase and his gold medals at the senior games? Heck I’d get gold medals too if my opponents were all in wheelchairs. The closest Clint will come to a brainstorm is a light drizzle. Chick Nielsen? I envy everyone who has never met him. If ignorance is bliss, Rodney must be happy all the time. Chick, the people who tolerate you on a daily basis are the real heroes. I’ll never forget the first time we met, Clint. I’m gonna keep trying though. Who gave Rodney Rebel his bus driver’s license, Stevie Wonder? If laughter is the best medicine, your face must be curing the world.

Cody Brunner: Rodney Rebel? What have you ever rebelled against? Common sense? A good time? Mouthwash? Chick has never seen a piece of meat he didn’t like. Of course, I’m talking about when he’s driving. His roadkill exploits would make some of the best hunters in the world blush. If I had a dime for every deer Rodney hit while chauffeuring us on sports trips, I may have been able to buy the bus a new bumper. (You high-centering that bus in Moab still brings me joy to this day.) Rodney got excited when he heard Brooke was into unusual pets. Rodney, she likes critters, not filthy animals like yourself. The only one that could ever match wits with Rodney Rebel is Mike Davis. And by match, I mean there’s no wits between them. Rodney is like a career politician. Nobody likes him and all of his ideas are rotten. I’m not saying you’re not funny, Clint. It’s just that you have bad luck when it comes to thinking. Clint is about as enjoyable as stepping on a cluster of goat heads. The thing is, you can get rid of goat heads; we couldn’t get rid of Clint in the 27 years the Brunners owned the newspaper — and they’re still stuck with him! Wave to Ol’ 200 folks. Or just give him a onefinger salute. The old codger won’t know the difference. (In all seriousness, we all love and appreciate you Rodney. You’re one of a kind, you thorny old goat head. Happy birthday!)

Lyle Heyborne: Clint, you remind me of a dog I once had. He thought he was mean and tuff, but when it came down to it, he was just a puppy. Happy birthday my old and good friend.

Doc Bowman: It’s common knowledge in the medical field that the grumpy people live longer. If that’s the case, Chick is going to live until he is 150 years old!

Neal Brown: If Rodney was such a rebel, he wouldn’t be so scared to hide behind his pen so much.

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