John Nieubuurt Jr. (Part one)

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    J Nieubuurt
    Participant

    Part One
    John Nieubuurt Jr. (pronounced “knee-burt”) was born and raised in Orland Park, Illinois (just outside of Chicago). He grew up with his parents (John and Joyce) a brother and three sisters. His father died when John was around 12 years old. In his youth he attended Carl Sandburg High school in Orland Park. He thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie that sports offered and was quite the competitor in both wrestling and football. He would often fondly recall his younger years stating, “Hey, diddle-diddle, here comes Nieubuurt right up the middle!”.

    After high school he worked in a factory outside of Chicago. Then he moved on to painting residential buildings for a local company. He hated it. Looking for a new life he loaded up his El Camino, grabbed his beagle, and headed out west sometime in the mid 1970’s. After a short stay with family in Oregon he somehow found himself in Nevada where his car broke down.

    He worked a series of jobs, including a bellhop at the Ormsby House (Carson City Nevada) where he had the good fortune of meeting John Wayne (who was quite the tipper apparently). After a time he found his way into painting once again, working for a contractor named Ben. Although he didn’t really like the work he did enjoy the money.

    I’m not too certain on the details of what happened during this time of his life.I do know that he started his own company, played quite a few sports (including Softball and windsurfing), and was married and later divorced.

    In the early 1980’s my father met my mother. Now, there is quite a bit of speculation on what really happened but this is what he told me. “Yeah J… I walked into that store, saw your mom and knew I had to give it a shot. I walked up to the counter and said, ‘congratulations!’ she said, ‘for what?’ I gave her a smile and said, ‘You won a date with me!'”

  • #151 Reply

    J Nieubuurt
    Participant

    A few extra memories that have bubbled up since I wrote this last one.

    -My dad would often note that he wasn’t particularly fond of his own father (to put it lightly). He’d retell stories of how his father was a drinker who’d take his kids to the bar and sometimes throw beer bottles at him and his siblings. On the day of John Nieubuurt Sr.’s funeral my dad was upset that he had to go. On that same day he had a football game to play and was more upset that he would have to miss the game than at the death of his own father. I always found this fascinating because he turned out to be such a stellar father himself.

    – He said that he’d only ever driven drunk one time in his life. This was apparently before he got married for the first time. He said that although he only had to go about a mile down the road he was absolutely terrified after he’d gotten home. “Yeah. I only ever did it that one time. I was too scared after that. And I didn’t want to have to clean up the car again.”

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