Off The Beaten Path

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Georgia, United States
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.

Friday, November 30

Evel Knievel Dies at 69

What does it feel like to crash? "What the hell do you think it feels like? Christ almighty. It hurts." Evel Knievel was the original Jackass. he was living out his days like most elderly retirees in Florida: tired, cranky and on oxygen.

Born in the wide-open copper mining town of Butte, Montana, on October 17, 1938, Robert Craig Knievel was raised by his grandparents from the age of 6. At age 8, he saw Joey Chitwood's Auto Daredevil Show, which he later credited for his career choice. As a kid, he loved showing off to the other neighborhood kids. One of his favorite stunts was jumping his bicycle.

Knievel’s big break (literally and figuratively) came on New Years Day, 1968, when he jumped 151 feet across the fountains in front of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Knievel had talked the owner of Caesar’s Palace into letting him do the stunt as publicity for the casino. He’s also talked to ABC about filming the jump. While the networked turned it down, they at least told him if he had it taped they would consider showing it. Then, up-and-coming filmmaker John Derek taped the jump. After successfully clearing the fountains, his landing was a disaster and his injuries put him in the hospital, but the footage of the jump and crash landing did make ABC’s Wide World of Sports and thrust Knievel into the national spotlight.


OC or Q said...

IF you've read any of THE GROWNUPS WANTED US DEAD you know Evel Knievel was my hero!

Nea said...

Hi Quilly........he was my Mother's also, and it always seemed so strange to me, knowing my Mom, but I think it might have had something to do with my Dad, he was a Motorcycle bum, rode in and out of our lives. I remember when I was much younger, hearing my Mom talk about Evel. She always held him in high regard. He had a hard life for the most part. And he was pretty young still, really.

Akelamalu said...

I just heard this on the news this morning (Saturday here). He was totally mad in my book but very entertaining. I suppose someone else will come along to take the crown now.

Dr.John said...

What you might not know if you didn't blog. I missed the fact that he died. I used to love his exploits. Never did know what happened to him. Thanks for the information.

Queenie said...

Sad, but really don't you think he did well to last this long?
I remember watching him as a child and thiking crazy!
I had a motor-bike but wouldn't let my son, something he still as a yearning for, I hope he don't ever buy one.

Libby said...

queenie-my cousins & i used to play evel kneivel when we were at grandma's house...he was our idol...