Tuesday, March 28, 2017

In Memory of Byron Miller

Byron Miller, long-time principal at Northeast Nodaway, farmer, hustler, puzzlemaker, and locksmith passed away earlier this month. People like him do not come around very often.

He was a constant presence in the community well after he put in his 30 years and retired as the principal. He left his mark at Northeast, where he taught the kids jump-roping tricks as they were growing up. Many folks had the theory that was instrumental in the development of all the strong teams Northeast had over the years, given that quick feet are necessary for strong defensive play.

Mr. Miller was one of the most clairvoyant human beings around; he could guess your birthday within three days. Naturally, he would guess Wednesday, which is within three days of any day of the week.

He won countless quarters (he collected quarters from all 50 states) in bets over races that he ran. He would bet that he could run a race with you. The trick was, he never said anything about winning – just that he would run the race.

And then there were the puzzles that bedeviled plenty of folks in the area. When Northwest Implement was on the east side of Maryville, he left this lockbox for people to try to open. Try as they might, nobody at the place could do it, and everyone thought he was putting one over on them. The problem with that theory was, he would come in and flick the contraption open with one twist of the hand. “Would I do something like that,” he would ask as everyone in the background was nodding their heads that he would.

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