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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 24, 1912)
he Omaha Sunday Bee
PAGES ONE TO SIXTEEN
PAGES ONE TO SIXTEEN
VOL. XLII-NO. 23.
Omaha Folks Have Their Thrilling Auto Experiences
kOU cannot always got them to admit It,
but tho fact is every man who drives
an auto'moblle lius hud at least one or
moro experiences In the course of that
samo driving that If tho experience
has not sont cold chills up his spina
and caused his hair to ralso It has at
least made him say things that he would not want
his wlfo to hear.
Usually these experiences occur while tho driver
is now, say the first or second time ho takes tho
machine out. Now" and then, however, they occur
after the fellow seems to havo mastcrod his ma
chine thoroughly. Sometimes these troubles aro
tho 'fault of tho driver and often the fault of some
ouo else, but it all results in an oxpenso account for
tho auto, man, no matter whether a human being
or the uncontrollable olements aro to blame.
- When you catch these auto drivers in a rem
iniscent mood they will talk machine by tho hour,
and it Is then' that they will drop a good story about
omo littlo or big . mishap that occurred -in the
course of their driving. Sometimes it is an ac
count; of an accident in which their machine tried -to
Jump over a Imyrack. party; at other times an
accotito'f 'how a motorcycle, going llko a hornet
shootlngvfor (his ihomotreo, Btrucknmnmidshlpf,
again, It 1b an account of skidding on a muddy day
right to tho edge of a precipico leading overboard
Into tho Platto river; then again it is an account of
an automobile somersault, that scatterod tho tour
ists liko -winter's leaves. There is no tolling what
tho story will bo, but Just draw out a fow of tho
automobllists on a winter's evening and you will
get tho whole variety.
Ncls B. Updike had an automobile with wonder
ful climbing propensities. He had often boasted
of the hlll-cllmbing po,wcrs .of his machino, but ho
did not know that there were still somo latent tal
ents In the machine that ho had never seen
Climbs it Hayrack
When the car climbed a hayrack with a party
of school children, plowed around on the rack for
a while and then toppled off, he got a now idea of
its ability and agility. Llkewlso ho got a new re
spect for its prowess, and after that ho hired a
driver,, for he did not care to trust himself with a
machine that was subject to such rank caprices.
Sir. Updike was taking a bunch of visiting ten
nis men for a ride. Ho had "Cub" Potter, a local
tennis player, with him as an entertainment com
mittee. He had shown the visitors the town of
Florence and was returning, when ho overtook a
hayrack party of school children. Ho was driving
at a good clip and attempted to swing around tho
hayrack. He didn't swing quite far enough. Tho
machine caught the side of the hayrack.
There was a ripping, cracking sound, a chorus
of screams from the children, a rodoubled snorting
of tho gasoline engine and tho machine began to
climb aboard the hayrack. With a simultaneous
, - - - - - -
scream (he children tumbled off tho opposite sldu
and scampered In nil directions.
Tho tennlB men, Updike and all, woro thrown
violently into a flourishing bed of weedB at tho side
of the road. Updike and Potter wore straw hats.
They landed on their heads with a shock that drove
their heads through the crowns of the hats, so that
tho rim hung around tholr necks llko tho stylish
collar'of nn Elizabethan dress suit.
No, thero was no one seriously hurt except Up
dike, who was quite seriously Injured.
Hits Telephone Polo
Tho wildest automobile experience of Ralph
Kitchen was wild enough to keep' him awake for
tho greator.part of three nights afterward and to
break into what littlo naps he had with frightful
nightmares. Thero was no ghost connectod with
tho incident, either. Thero was, however, a leap
over an embankment, a crasning into a'tolophone
pole, that took off tho two wheels on tho right side
of tho machine and sent the car hobbling entirely
around tho polo liko an Insane duck with a. wing
and a leg gone, until it rammed its-bill Into the em
bankment ovor "which it originally leaped.-
"Now-a-days," says Mr. Kitchen, "when anyone
wants- to'ilass mp in a"oncmn&r let'lilm Tass me
I take no more chances.' Mr. Kitchen had this
accident when "lie raced and passed'a1 fellow-liu an
other machino. Incidentally, this same fellow came
along, liko tho turtle of tho fable, n minute later
and helped Kitchen and his family pick up tho re
mains of tho machino. Ho was not only tho turtle
of tho fable, but he proved tho good Samaritan of
scripture, for he heaped coals of fire upon tho head
of the man who had passed him In tho race by haul
ing tho crestfallen victor and family to Omaha.
Mr. and Mrs. Kitchen, with their son IMchard
and his wife, were returning from Calhoun. I They
were mounting the long grado somewhere north of
Florence when a low powor automobilo passed
them. Mr. Kitchen threw on his own high speed,
overtook nnd repassed the follow. Ho had Just
safely loft tho follow behind, when thoro appeared
a sharp turn in tho road. Mr. Kitchen was un
familiar with tho drive; ho" Jerked all tho lovers ho
could see and kicked a few besides, but as tho big
machine shot over tho embankment ho grabbed- at
his wlfo with one hand to hold her in the seat,
while with the air of a man resigned to his fate ho
held limply to tho steering wheel with one hand.
Machine Jxoped tho J-ioop
Straight for the- telephone polo dove tho ma
chine llko a hawk. All turned their faces away;
thoy did not want to soo death in all its hideous
nakedness. Then Mr. Kitchen made one laBt de
spairing effort. With his one hand still on tho
seemingly useless steering wheel, ho gave it a whirl
to the left in the faint hope that tho car might at
least dodge the pole. Every little bit helped. In
stead of suffering a heaa-on collision, only tho
right front wheel was struck. This was shaved
clear of tho machine. The car, now hobbling on
SUNDAY MOKXIXU. XOVKMUKH 'J4,
a broken axle on tho right Hide, naturally swung to
tho right, and tho right hind wheel was alwo swept
off tho car. Llko a lucky bug performing gyrntloiiH
on tho surfaco of a pond, the crippled machine
loopod the loop around the polo and came to a halt,
with its nose in tho opposite embankment.
"Not one of us was oven thrown out of tho ma
chine, nlthough we all expected to bo killed ns wo
wont over tho bank," said Mr. Kitchen.
' "And tho next day a farmer cumo In and made,
mo pay for a fonco I smashed as l.went over the
embankment," concluded Mr. Kitchen.
John C. Wharton says if ho had had any hnlr on
his head every splko of them would have pierced '
the top of his derby ono evening, when ho thought
for a fow seconds his machino would surefy run
down and kill nn 8-yonr-old boy who for puro dovll
mont Jumped in front of tho automobile when
Wharton was driving down from Florence "I
swerved to tho loft," says Mr. Wharton, mill did
my best to send tho machine around him, as 1 could
nol stop it In time, but tho kid was benred and ho
ran all the harder at nn angle across the street, null ''
for a distance of twenty-five .feet that my machine
skidded after him there was not six inches bctwoon
tho Indjind tho fronto.,tho car."
- v Slr."arid Mrs. Wharton nild rt'oV. an'd'Mrs. ISdwfh"
II. JcnKs had been Ht Florence. TJioy had mudo
tho drive on a beautiful evening In Mr. Wharton's
machine and woro returning just nt dusk, with
Wharton and his yoar's experience at tho whcol.
They had ust ojntorod the north part of Omuhn,
when they espied three children playing marblcB
in tho street near tho curbing on tho right. They
woro driving at a good speed, and Wharton tooted
tho horn. Tho children leaped to tho curbing and
out of tho way.
lumped in Front of CnV-
Dut there waa an S-year-old boy among them and
ho wanted to show tho littlo g.ns what ho could do.
When tho car was within ton foot of them this reck
less little rascal leapod out and attomplcd to scam
per across In front of tho on-coming cur.
"I throw on tho brakes and swerved to tho left
all at tho same time," says Mr. Wharton. "I hoped
to swing around him, for thero was not time enough
to bring tho machine to a stop. Instead of ducking
back, tho lad becamo frightenod when ho hoard tho
machine snorting so close behind him. His bare
toes dug the gravel all the harder, but ho stayed
in lino with tho machine. Some of the time tho
fenders actually touched his clothes. When I
brought the machino to a stop tho mother rushed
out and snatched tho boy into tho houso. She tqld
me it was not my fault, but I knew very well that
it I had killed tho lad thoro-would have been a suit
and I would llkoly have been held responsible.
"I am baldheadod, you see, but I thought I felt
the roots of my hair endeavoring to start during
that moment and I ran my hand over my pato after
ward to see If there were not a littlo stubble thero.
"Well, tho next day I hired a driver and I havo
-not boon without ono since."
Thero are no precipices in eastern Nebraska
where u machino may topple over and go to smash
on tho rocks athousand foul below. (1. W. Wattles
Is glad of that. Ho would bo "gladder" If thoro
wore no utnop embankments loading to tho swirling
I'lutto river on rainy days when the river Ih up.
Mr. Wattles found his machino skidding merrily
toward tho odge of such nn embankment Just below
Valley ono rainy day, when ho.iwlth Mrs. Wattles
nnd another woman, woro making u muddy drlvo
to Lincoln. "We had boon skidding nnd skidding,"
says Mr, Wattles when ho gots reminiscent on tho
subject. "Then wo woro rounding a curve with
a wlro fonco on ono Bldo and ttio Platto a good
many foot below on tho other. For tho 'stoenth
time the whcclB began to skid, and dangerously fast
toward tho edgo of tho embankment that lod ovor
into tho river. I got dospenvto. A cold plunge
Roomed cortaln. I swung tho steering whcol
Hhnrply nnd directed tho machino straight Into tho
barbed wlro fonco as tho only posslblo means of
getting awny from tho tumblo Into tho river.
Plows Through -Wlro Fcnco
"Then tho wheels, that had been skidding, sud
denly took bold, and smash we went Into a fonco
jiofit,,. broke It off and bogau tp plow through tho
hntibodVlro. JTho wlrossiuy.od like buzr. saws at
the fronVof'lho maeh'lno, noarly c7rth'o1Ften4ora "hf
plcos, rlppod tho tiros considerably and, say, thoro
was old Harry to pay.,
"Wo got straightened around and got (is far ns
Wavcrly, and there we put up for tho night. It
was not so necessary that wo reach Lincoln that
night that wo cared to talto any moro chances that
evening.. Wo waited for fairer wouthor, and slnco
then wo have boon direful about attempting long
drives In rainy weather."
Herman 11. Fetors, proprietor of tho Morchant3
hotel, has tho distinction of having tho largest-nu
tomobllo in Omaha, and also of having an Icebox on
the ronr which Is most useful when making long
trlpB In th6 country. Potors Is not vory strong for
driving around tho city, but each day dous a cen
tury or more Into tho country, making trlpB to vari
ous countlos, where ho has numerous farms. Peters
haB had many thrilling oxporjoncos with his taia
ghlno, although ho always has a most careful chauf
feur. Last week Peters had a thrilling rldo from To
knmah, where he shot a deer, nnd wns told that
the ganio wardens wore after htm for having tho
prized vonlson infills possession.
Peters still remembers a hunting trip ho took
to the western part of Douglas county after quail,
where he had a narrow escape In gottlng away
from a farmer who was after him with a shotgun.
With somo friends Horman had been drilling
' through some oat stubble, when Mr. Farmor or
dered them off the fiold and then went to the farm
houso and with shotgun nnd on horseback started
While making his getaway on tho slippery road,
another farmer appeared with a toam and would
not give any of tho road. Peters' machine was go
COPY FIVK CENTS.
ing at a Vapid clip and lu turning out for tho wagon
hit a bump and started through tho nlr straight
for a tolophono. polo. Tho polo, howover, wbh
missed by bIx inches and tl)o machino was soon back
lu tho road, making another fast getaway from Uio
farmor with tho gun. !
It was duo to tho ImporrectlonB of tho older
stylo of steering gear that J. J. Dorlght sufforod
his groatost thriller a number of yoarB ago, when
his machine tried to climb a stoop bank in n cut
near Springfield, turned a Bldowlso flip-flop, and
spilled Dorlght, Dr. Allison and a trained nurse in
tho cut about twenty foot ahead of tho car. Dorlght
was taking Dr. Allison and a nurso to Springfield
on a professional cnll. Ho agreed to take thorn tho
thirty miles In nn hour. Tho steering gear UHed
to bo connected at tho axlo of tho wheel by means
of a bolt and n nut, If tho nut huppenod to conui
off the bolt might slip out und thero would bo all
klnda of trouble. Nowadays tho holt scrows in and
Is firmly fixed thoro. ' In "Uioho days, howover, It'
Wna always npsalble for tho holt to "actoup," und
on this particular day It "acted up."
Within a Sow miles of Springfield the-i machine
wns rolling off thirty miles tin hour nicely through
n deep' cut In tho'roall'Sudjlofll? ono front wheel,
rofused to respond to tho mofamnntsoftjifetoal'
Ing whcol. T,ho connecting bolt' hnd-'dropped odt.
Tho front w)j.ggl flopped limply to ono side.
Tho machino scramblodui? tlio side' of" the- steep
cut. In au instant It flow nearly to tho top of tho
cut. Then it turned tho flip-flop and fell bnck into
tho cut up Bldo down.
"Dang!"- wont a tiro. When Dorlght and Dr.
Allison sat up aiid looked around, tho nurse was
sitting on -tho grpund laughing at tho wholo Inci
dent. Forty' BchoblltShlldron from tho schoolhouso
Just beyond tho cut canio rushing to tho scone. Thoy
hnd heard tho heavy explosion of tho tire, had Been
tho thrco persons porformlng miracles of cotltor
tlon in tho air, und felt suro the wholo gang had
boon blown up by a gasoline explosion,
Team Helps Out
A team Just coming into Bight beyond (ho cut
HiiorXod. and' roared. Dorlght asked the farmer to
take tho doctor and tho nurso to Sprlngflold, nnd
thus the two got thoro in time for tholr professional
call. Nobody received an Injury worth mentioning;
all wero, In tho languago of tho "Hooslor School
master." "considerably shook up llko," and their
hair was on onds for a fow moments.
Motorcycles aro a hoodoo to William HynoB.
Every time ho drives Jils automobilo and moots a
motorcyclo ho knows, thoro is trouble in the wind
for him. His experiences with them aro many, Ho
hesitates to tell all of them, for he fears he will not
bo hellovod. Still, ho tells of the time aftnotorcyclo
rider collecting for a motorcycle company crashed
into his machino, turned a number of oomersauUs
in tho air, scattored his money all ovor Harney
(Continued on Pago Klovon.)
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