Well, that was at least 3 cool dudes at Texas A&M...
Over 50,000 came to see them at Aggie First Yell, BAMA came to town today.
I was friends with Roger Woodward in third grade. Roger was 7 years old when wearing just a life preserver, went over Niagara Falls and survived. I never knew of his wild ride over the falls.
It happened on July 9, 1960. Roger and his sister, Deanne, 17, were taking a boat ride on the Upper Niagara River with a 40-year-old family friend named Jim Honeycutt. About an hour into the trip, the boat's engine hit a rock and lost power; the craft was battered by waves and soon capsized. Somehow Deanne swam near shore and was rescued, but Roger and Jim torpedoed over the falls. Jim drowned; his body was found a few days later. Roger was rescued immediately-with a concussion, hypothermia, and a few scratches. The media response was frenzied. The New York Times published a front-page article with a diagram of Roger's route. Life magazine ran a six-page story titled "Miracle at Niagara." And reporters besieged the Woodwards' Niagara Falls home, a small pink-and-white trailer in a residential park called Sunny Acres Mobile Estates.
Roger's parents refused interview requests politely, then firmly, until they couldn't take it anymore. Late one night in the summer of 1961, they piled into the car and fled 300 miles to Coxsackie, New York, giving the kids stern instructions on the way: To ensure a "normal life" for themselves, the children shouldn't tell anyone where they came from or what happened. Roger and Deanne obeyed-they didn't discuss the accident, even between themselves, for the next 34 years.
Drastic though it was, the Woodwards' plan worked. Roger enjoyed an anonymous, normal boyhood and married his high school sweetheart. He often wondered why he had been the one to survive, while Honeycutt perished, and his questions led him to briefly pursue a career in the Baptist ministry, in the early eighties. He's returned to the falls several times, once with Deanne, but he remains stubborn about keeping a low profile.
"I don't really like all this attention, because I didn't do anything," Woodward told me. "My sister and I were part of a tragic accident, and luckily we survived. But we conquered nothing; we sought to achieve nothing. We just happened to be there."
A fascinating story. And then there is always - the "why" (?) of it all.
Miraculous outcome for Deanne and Roger.
Both probably could have used a fair bit of counseling after something so traumatic but, as I remember, that wasn't much of an option in the late 50s/early 60s.
Wow, Funes, the parents' instructions really stuck, didn't they? You must have met Roger just a year past his "wild ride."
this place might become a home for some of us again.
and I am going to taos on Thursday :-)
YaY! Taos! Lovely! Perfect weather I think. I always wanted to do the Balloon fest. there. Up in a balloon. On the "bucket" list!
Thanks to Eddie Dingo, we don't have to worry about the electric bill and can leave the light on for you.
Welcome home to all the wanderers.
Thank you Baia ~ and yes, heartfelt thanks goes out to Eddie Dingo !
On both counts, Thally.
I think this falls under the good news banner.