Last Updated: 02/10/2015
Last Review: 02/10/2015
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Growing up as a basketball-loving kid on Syracuse's West Side, my basketball gods came in all shapes, sizes and colors. And Tuckie wasn't so much a god to me. He was a legend. A long, lean, and left-handed scoring/rebounding Parochial League legend. Little did I know that, years later, as I was writing my book about the 1967 All City Basketball Game (and how that last unofficial city championship would serve as something of the unofficial tipping point that separated the Syracuse of then and the Syracuse of now) Tuckie would, indeed, become a part of that story.
Well, over the course of two years' worth of research, I not only got to know old Tuke, but he became, unexpectedly, one of my dearest friends. Even though I lived hundreds of miles west of him, in Chicago, we talked many times and, often, for hours on end. His humanity was so real and so palpable that, I swear, I could have warmed my hands on it. The last time I saw Tukie was about six months before he passed. I was back in Syracuse doing even more research, so I stopped by his house to say hello. That was the time he said, "Let me show you something." He then hauled his oxygen tank into his bedroom behind him and returned moments later with something in his left hand. As he handed it to me, he said, "I keep this on the nightstand by my bed." I opened my fingers and looked down. It was his St. Lucy's class ring, dated 1968.
Though, sadly, Tukie didn't live to see "Floor Burns" published, I did get read to him what I had written about him. He seemed pleased and (predictably) humbled. And I'd like to think that those few accounts of his basketball greatness as a skinny high school junior that I was able to capture in writing, a part of Tukie will continue to live on long after the rest of us who miss him are gone.
My condolences to the entire Chisholm family. And Tukie, Godspeed, my friend, and put in a good word for the rest of us up there, will you? You fought the good fight and, believe me, the world is a slightly colder place without you in it.
~ M.C. Antil - September 21, 2020
To Ricky and the entire Chisolm family,
Tuckie worked with me and my company after he retired from the Airline industry. I also played basketball against Tuckie in high school.
Tuckie was just a giant of a man who left our world way too early. I am so lucky to have had him touch my life.
I am sure when family and friends think of Tuckie in the future the thoughts of him will always bring a twinkle to their eyes a warmth to their heart and a smile to their lips. You were the best Tuckie!!
~ Tom Niland - September 16, 2020
My deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Tuckie. Bobby and Rickie, I have so many great memories of your home and your family. Miss Onetha and your grandmother always made me feel welcome when I'd spend the night, there. My prayers for Tuckie's soul, and for all his loved ones. Tuckie, you are deeply missed, my old friend.
~ Dan McNally - September 16, 2020
MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO THE ENTIRE CHISHOLM FAMILIES, I HAD A GREAT TIME PLAYING BASKETBALL WITH TUCKIE AT ST. LUCY'S, HE WAS AN OUTSTANDING KID WITH A BIG HEART AND LOTS OF INTESTINAL FORTITUDE...MAY TUCKIE R.I.P.
~ John ONeill - September 16, 2020
To the Family of Tookie Chisholm
We were saddened to hear that Tookie transitioned. We remember a lot of memories but especially our childhood on Renwick Place.
Please know "The Family" is in our thoughts and prayers and accept our deepest sympathy.
Gregory Owens and Emma (Sister) Owens
~ Emma Owens - September 13, 2020
Ricky I am so sorry to hear about Tuckie , even though I haven't seen him in years I remember all the fun we used to have.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this most difficult time.
~ Ro Bartolo - September 13, 2020
Dear Ricky and Family,
Very sorry for your loss. May your beautiful memories and the love and support of Family and Friends help comfort you.
~ Christy Cua Cadaret - September 13, 2020
You introduced me to jazz music in your parent's basement. The times we listened to Monk and Coltrane, Mingus and Yardbird records were never forgotten and remain as a great memory. I remember the day, and the surprised look on your parents face, when we popped up from the basement for a snack. I speak of it to my wife to this day and I have a big smile on my face as I write this. Those were different times, but they were the best.
~ Richard Isaacs - September 13, 2020
I remember Tuckie from St. Lucy's. He was a Junior when I graduated.
I used to walk with him after school from Gifford St. to dowtown where I would catch my bus to the South side.
I also remember Sister Mary Lucy scolding him and Carolene Hammonds for horsing around in the hall between classes.
Great guy and an asset to the basketball team.
My condoleces and sincere sympathy to his family.
~ Jim Long - September 12, 2020
Here’s what you need to know.
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