Friday, August 7, 2009

Blast from the Past from Woody ~~ With Embedded Comments

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This classic Blast from the Past report comes from Woody (Walter Jr.) Williamson DHS56. The wreck viewed after 50+ years kinda seems funny but the effects at the time were very serious.

The three "Jeepsters", Billy Beshara, Woody Williamson, and Jack Keene were considered a terror when they were together. They took a Jeep up to White Rocks and ended where no Jeep should be. It took another jeep to get Dr. Heidepriem to the wreck site to administer medical aid.

All the names of those involved in this article provide a real walk down memory lane.

Woody observes that he feels they had a Guardian Angel watching over them on this adventure! He also added he likes this article and feels memories keep us young!

Additional Comment from Woody 8-8-2009:

Only one more comment on this one and I will let it be history. As I was running for help in pitch blackness, I did a major head Butt in Seth Bullock's head stone. After recovering from that, I was more concerned in getting my butt kicked from my Dad, as I was told not to get into that Jeep with Jack Keene under any circumstances, with Jack being all of 14 at the time. Later that night , when I dreaded the private time with my Dad, his only comment was. "Well I guess you have suffered enough for one night and hopefully a lesson learned. - Woody

Comment 1 of 2 from Bill Beshara DHS55 8-8-2009:

How well I remember this 1951 event. The newspaper did not report that the only reason I went on the Jeep trip is because they kept calling me chicken. I wanted out at the Mt. Moriah cemetery. Woody and Jack bailed out at the top, and I went down with the Jeep. Except for Woody pissing his pants, they came out without a scratch. I spent 3 months in the St. Joseph's Hospital. The Jeep was a WWII original and painted Army green. .

The risky trip was really scary as it was completely dark. The road up was steep and rutted. At the top Jack (the driver) took a quick left towards Two Bit. The Jeep nearly tipped over backwards. In a short distance the incline met the crest of the top of the ridge. The Jeep quickly pitched forward and down into the 75 foot deep gully. Jack and Woody jumped out on the ridge. I free fell separate from the Jeep. On the way down I split my head open on a rock outcropping. I then landed in the gully bottom unconscious. Stu Donovitz, the owner of the Old Style Bar, offered the use of his Jeep Wagon for the rescue efforts, as reported.

I don't remember much except all the voices and people helping me. They carried me out of the gully and drove me to the hospital where I lay immobilized in a sling all those months which was not fun.

I am unaware that there is a Pink Rocks South of White Rocks that Dick told me about. I understand it is a large outcropping of Pink Quartz on the ridge road and quite amazing.

Anyway, the Jeep was later reclaimed from the White Rocks gully. It took some major repairs but ran for many more years. Woody got some dry pants and went on being Woody. Jack Keene (Ed’s nephew) left town quickly after the wreck and was never seen again. My head wound did not make me any smarter except I have not gone up to White Rocks again or Pink Rocks either. I went on to high school and spent many months on crutches.

Comment 2 of 2:

A year or so after this incident I bought a 1941 Packard from my Uncle Joe and me being the only one of our “group” that had a car I was pretty popular. We went to many dances in Lead and Spearfish. One evening Walt Williamson Sr. came to our house and told my Dad that I was a bad influence on Woody and I was to stay away from him. As I recall it didn’t have much effect on our relationship. - Bill


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