Old Timers Gazette
HOOVER PLANNING TO 'BULLDOG' STEER,
LEAPING FROM AIRPLANE
Daredevil To Perform At 101 Ranch After He ends Drive’ Near Endurance Record
May 3, 1929 — Confident of completing his attempted drive of 102 hours and 15 minutes without food or sleep, Buck Hoover, nationally known daredevil and stunt performer, is planning a further series of stunts which will include bulldogging a steer from an airplane at the 101 Ranch, he said Friday.
Hoover Friday afternoon completed his ninety-sixth consecutive hours of driving in a Plymouth sedan from the Savage Motor Company. His left leg is numb and he complains of pains in his arms and shoulders. His head is swathed in a cold towel to alleviate a headache and a four-day growth of beard gives him a "Trader Horn" appearance, his eyes are sunken and bloodshot.
Could Eat A Buffalo
Hunger pangs have worn off, Hoover said Friday, "However, I believe I could eat a whole buffalo when this is over," he remarked as he watched a herd of the animals at the 101 Ranch. Several ranch officials rode with Hoover Friday as he drove over the ranch. He will spend several days at the 101 Ranch recuperating from his trying ordeal, Hoover said. During that time he will complete plans for a series of stunts at the ranch, he said after talking with George Miller, Jr. and E. L. Wallace of the 101 Ranch.
Hoover is continuing the drive against the advice of his physician, Dr. M. Z. Hohstadt, who Friday advised him to give up the attempt because of his weakened condition. Hoover’s last nourishment consisted of two bottles of Nehi which he drank Monday afternoon. He trained on the beverage the week before the drive.
Pulse Is Low
His pulse is low and his temperature is sub-normal, Dr. Hohstadt told Hoover Friday. Hoover was advised by his physician to relax several days when he finished the drive. He has exhausted his surplus strength and is running only on grit and determination after more than 90 eatless and sleepless hours, Dr. Hohstadt said. He warned Hoover that the terrific strain might easily prove fatal. Dr. L. M. Morgan, examining physician of the Ponca City school of aviation, corroborated Dr. Hohstadt’s statement.
The public is invited to the Moonlight dance hall to see Hoover finish his driving marathon and a large crowd is expected. He will end the drive at 9 ‘clock Friday night at the dance hall and has promised to do several stunts to climax the drive. He will attempt to pull his automobile across the dance floor with his teeth, in spite of his weakened condition, he said Friday.
He is the center of attraction when his automobile stops and crowds gather about to see him when he stops. He will make his final stop at the Randall Jewelry store, and will appear at the Randall store Saturday evening at 7:30 o’clock where he will speak in endorsement of the Gothic jar-proof watch that he wears.
HOOVER SIGNS AT RANCH FOR NEW THRILLER
Bulldogging From Airplane Latest Stunt Of Daredevil
May Join With Circus
First Trial Of Leap Is Nearly Successful
Mary 12, 1929—Buck Hoover, stunt performer and daredevil, signed a contract with George W. Miller, jr, of the 101 Ranch to bulldog a steer from an airplane as the feature of a rodeo to be held at the ranch, Sunday, May 26.
Hoover last week completed an endurance automobile drive of 102 hours and 15 minutes without food or sleep to claim the world’s record for the feat. He completed the drive in Ponca City.
He will attempt to bulldog a steer as the climax of the afternoon entertainment, Hoover announced. He will descend from the rope ladder attached to the undercarriage of a plane piloted by R. P. Shannon, manager of the local airport, and will attempt to transfer to the back of a running steer. The feat will be especially hazardous because of the speed of the plane.
The stunt never before has been attempted from a cabin type of plane, such as will be used in this attempt, Shannon said.
If the stunt is successful Hoover will be featured with the 101 Ranch Wild West show next year, Miller said. The ranch show each year features a particularly spectacular thriller.
Hoover made his first "forced landing" from the rope ladder last week when he made a landing in a pasture on the 101 Ranch before officials of the 101 Ranch to show them that the stunt can be done. Due to the speed of the plane he lost his footing as he reached the ground and rolled several yards but was unhurt. At the end of the demonstration he was offered a contract to perform the act at the rodeo.
Shannon and Hoover have been practicing landings to perfect the stunt and insure its success.
The rodeo will be in charge of Guy Shultz, former world champion bronc rider. Moving picture men will be on hand to take "shots" of the stunt, Miller said.
BILL PICKETT, ORIGINATOR OF BULLDOGGING, AND HOOVER, AIRPLANE BULLDOGGER, ON SAME EVENT
May 19, 1929—The man who invented the art of bulldogging a steer, and another man who proposes to exhibit the very latest phase of the bulldogging art, will meet next Sunday on the same program at the 101 Ranch.
The first is Bill Pickett, long time cowboy in this country, to whom goes the credit for inventing bulldogging. The second is Buck Hoover, endurance driver, daredevil and stunt performer, who ties his horse outside when he goes in for bulldogging—and performs the stunt from an airplane. Pickett is nearly 70 years old but he’s still good enough that he took second in the rodeo last fall.
Of all the long galaxy of stars that have performed under the banner of the 101, none is more colorful than Hoover, latest candidate for a contract with the 101 Ranch Wild West show. Hoover, who gets a figure running well above any heretofore paid by the ranch for a single stunt, is understood to be figuring with the 101 on a contract for the show if his latest stunt goes over well.
There isn’t much to be done in the way of training for bulldogging a steer from an airplane, the stunt Hoover will do next Sunday, except just doing it. However, the daredevil and his pilot, R. P. Shannon of the Ponca City airport have been making flights every day the weather permits, and Hoover swings up and down the rope ladder from which he will make the leap to the back of the steer. Once down on the end of the ladder, Hoover must land with the plane, as his weight is too much to be picked; up again. These "dirt landings," in daredevil parlance, mean merely dropping of the end of the ladder with the plane doing 45 miles an hour, which is its slowest landing speed, and then rolling in the correct manner to keep from suffering a broken neck or broken collarbone.
The airplane-bulldogging stunt is to be the feature event of a program lasting two hours or more, with regulation rodeo events forming the balance of the program. Guy Shultz, who manages the fall roundup, is in charge of the program. Bronco riding, steer riding, bulldogging, steer and calf roping and several races including the thrilling three-horse relay, are on the program.
HOOVER TO DROP FREE TICKETS TO AIRPLANE BULLDOGGING EVENT HERE
May 20, 1929—Free tickets to the rodeo at the 101 Ranch next Sunday, on the program of which Buck Hoover, famous daredevil, will bulldog a steer from an airplane, will be dropped in many towns over the Ponca City district two days this week.
Hoover, in a plane flown by R. P. (Red) Shannon of the Ponca City airport will fly over at least 19 communities Wednesday and Thursday, advertising the rodeo and the "thriller," he proposes to do as the feature of the program. Shannon is the pilot who will handle the plane when Hoover does his stunt.
Plans for the rodeo are progressing satisfactorily, George W. Miller of the ranch said Monday. A varied program of rodeo thrilling events will be staged under the direction of Guy Shultz, who directs the annual fall roundup each year. Roping, riding and bulldogging contests are scheduled, together with many races. Many rodeo champion and stars will be on the program.
Hoover and Shannon, on their tour, will follow approximately this schedule: Wednesday—Newkirk, Chilocco, Arkansas City, Blackwell, Braman, Tonkawa, Three Sands, Billings, Garber, Marshal and Enid. Thursday—Kaw City, Pawhuska, Bartlesville, Hominy, Fairfax, Cleveland, Shidler and Webb City. It is understood a similar flight will be made over Ponca City later in the week.
At each town the fliers will drop advertising and a number of free tickets to the rodeo. In case of rain the flying trip probably would be postponed for a day, Shannon said today.
PLANE CRACK-UP WON’T SPOIL 101 RANCH SHOW
May 22, 1929—An airplane crash Tuesday at Enid in which R. P. Shannon of the Ponca City airport was the leading figure will not have any affect on his plan to fly the plane from which "Buck" Hoover, daredevil, will bulldog a steer at the 101 Ranch Sunday, Shannon said today.
Shannon "Cracker up" while taking a government test during the celebration of the opening of the Enid airport Tuesday and his Monocoupe was demolished, but the pilot crawled from the wreckage unhurt.
Hoover and Shannon conferred this morning with George W. Miller of the 101 Ranch, and Shannon already is making arrangements for another plane from which Hoover may do his Sunday stunt. It is probable the plane will be a Monocoupe similar to the one destroyed, Shannon said.
At Enid Tuesday, Shannon put the plane into a spin at a height of 1,800 feet, as a part of the test, he said. Dust and dirt, which had accumulated on the floor of the closed plane, was blown into his eyes. He was unable to see until the plane had reached a height of only 50 feet, he said. As he leveled off to land the plane nosed into the earth.
He was given first-aid treatment at a Red Cross tent on the field and was taken to a hotel. He took a Cessna monoplane off the field for Ponca City Wednesday morning apparently none the worse for his experience. He left by automobile soon after his arrival here for Stillwater, where he will remain until Thursday.
RANCH RODEO PLANS READY
Hoover Gets Plane To Make Daring Leap Sunday;
Shultz Announces Many Contestants To Participate In Event.
May 24, 1929—All arrangements are completed for the 101 Ranch rodeo to be given Sunday afternoon at the 101 Ranch, according to Guy Shultz who is in charge. The program will be featured by Buck Hoover, daredevil and stunt performer, who will attempt to bulldog a wild steer from a flying cabin type airplane piloted by R. P. "Red" Shannon, manager of the Ponca City airport.
Several contestants from other parts of the state will attend the rodeo and will compete for the cash prizes to be offered for the various events, but the feature of the day will be Hoover’s thrilling act which never before has been attempted from a cabin type of plane.
Hoover will use a rope ladder, which he will descend at great risk to both himself and his pilot, and will drop from the ladder to the back of a Brahma steer. Hoover and Shannon have perfected their landings and both are confident that the stunt can be accomplished.
Shannon, who was slightly injured Tuesday when his plane fell from a height of 1,800 feet, is suffering from no ill effects of his experience, he said Friday. Although his plane was demolished, he has obtained another for the bulldogging event.
An added event at the rodeo will be steer roping in which several champion ropers will complete. Many other thrilling contests and exhibitions have been planned for the afternoon program, Shultz said. Fred Beeson and a group of contestants from Wewoka where a rodeo is in progress will be here for the events, Beeson notified Shultz Friday.
Bill Pickett, originator of bulldogging, has recovered from a recent injury and will give an exhibition of old-time bulldogging. He is interest in Hoovers’ attempt, but says, "None of that for me." Many inquiries indicate that a record crowd will attend the rodeo to see Hoover’s stunt.
HOOVER, SHANNON AND 101 RANCH RODEO STARS READY FOR AIRPLANE BULLDOGGING STUNT TODAY
May 26, 1929—Buck Hoover, daredevil who hopes to startle rodeo-land by performing one of the most widely known rodeo stunts in the newest way possible-bulldogging a steer from an airplane—and others on the 101 Ranch rodeo card for this afternoon, awaited early today only the verdict of the weather man for the performance to go on.
Hoover, in a plane piloted by R. P. (Red) Shannon of the Ponca City airport, plans to come down a rope ladder, mount to the back of a wild steer as he does so, and give that animals’ horns the familiar yank which on the cowboys knows. Old Bill Pickett, the man who originated the famous art of topping steers will see his pet stunt done in new and strangely ways if Hoover succeeds, and if he doesn’t the spectators are in for a thrill anyway.
Movie men from several of the leading companies having representatives in the state have told George W. Miller of the ranch from the outset that they would be on hand, and several are expected to film the stunt today. Bulldogging from an open plane has been attempted before. The stunt has never been tried, however, from a cabin plane, or one as small as the Monocoupe in which Hoover and Shannon will make the attempt.
Once outside the cabin and down the rope ladder, Hoover must land whether he lands on the steer or not, and landing as the plane lands, at about 45 miles an hour, is in itself a stunt which many air daredevils have tried but few have accomplished.
Miller forecast Saturday that the entire rodeo program would be one of thrills and entertainment. Jack Brown of near Dexter, Kansas, telephoned the ranch yesterday that several ropers and riders from up in his neighborhood would participate; other ropers who have been attending a rodeo at Wewoka the past week will closes their contests in time to be on hand for today’s program. All the regular rodeo contestants from this part of the state, many of whom have either won championships or starred before on 101 Ranch rodeo programs, will participate in the program of bronco riding; steer riding, various roping contests; bulldogging, and racing events.
Miller yesterday was advised by the Golden State Airways corporation from Bartlesville that a Ford tri-motor plane filled with passengers would be here today for the rodeo.
Hoover and Shannon announced themselves ready in every way for the big test. Shannon is none the worse for wear, after falling approximately 1,800 feet in his own Monocoupe at Enid last Tuesday and barely pulling the plane out of its tailspin in time to save his life. As it was, the plane was completely wrecked and the pilot escaped with a few scratches and bruises.
Another plane was procured from Oklahoma City for today’s stunt.
Buck Hoover is undertaking the most difficult act of his already adventurous life. He has been back and forth across the country making his living at stunts of various kinds. His long suit, however, has been long distance or endurance driving, and this he has done all over the United States. It has been no secret that he is striving for a contract from the Miller brothers’ circus if he succeeds in the airplane stunt, as the show each year carries some special thriller. This year the show has Ted "suicide" Elder, who riding astride two horses jumps his team over an automobile filled with people. The stunt is causing wide comment. Just what Hoover’s thriller would be is not known. It would be difficult to use an airplane with the circus, as even at the ranch the arena had to be enlarged to permit the landing. But if he lands with the show, it apparently won’t take the daredevil long to think up another breath-taker.
PLANE IS WRECKED; BULLDOGGING FAILS
Daredevil and Pilot Hang By Safety Belts Until Rescued By Crowd
May 27, 1929—The initial attempt to bulldog a steer from a flying airplane, made by Buck Hoover, daredevil and stunt performer, ended in failure Sunday afternoon, when the plan piloted by R. P. Shannon, manager of the local airport crashed before a crowd estimated at 10,000 people at the 101 Ranch. Neither Hoover nor Shannon was seriously hurt.
The plane fell from a height of 50 feet as Shannon turned into the field where the stunt was to be performed. A control wire leading to a wing, aileron snapped and rendered the wing useless, according to Shannon.
The plane fell in a sweet potato patch about 200 yards west of the 101 Ranch pasture where the crowd had gathered. It struck on the tail and one wing, absorbing most of the shock. It turned completely over, leaving the occupants hanging head downward. Spectators rushed to the wrecked plane, loosened the safety belts and released the men.
Shannon gave rough atmospheric conditions as the cause of the crash. The plane narrowly averted a crack up shortly after the takeoff but Shannon gained control before it reached the ground and had no more difficulty until the turned into a cross wind when the aileron control broke.
Hoover had climbed out of the cockpit when the crash occurred. He was to swing to the back of a running steer from a rope ladder tied to the undercarriage of the plane.
Hoover was taken to the Ponca City hospital in a Belford ambulance. Other than minor cuts and bruises he was uninjured and was released Monday.
The mishap culminated an afternoon of roping, riding and bulldogging held in the 101 Ranch arena, under the direction of Guy Shultz, former world’s champion rider. Among the interested spectators were 150 Rotarians from New England who were guests of the local Rotary club.