It’s Evel Knievel Days here in Butte- this is a rerun of something I wrote when he died:
December 10, 2007
Today was the funeral of (arguably) Butte Montana’s most famous son. I drove by the Civic Center on my way back from Safeway today- the funeral was going on inside- and there were about six funeral limousines outside- all silver and immaculate (Todd must’ve been working overtime- he’s my friend the undertaker). Matthew McConaughey spoke, apparently, and Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral in LA presided. Dignitaries and lots of rules for parking, viewing, attending the funeral and who was allowed to the cemetery. Weird. I just remember George Hamilton in the movie- I think it was 1973 or something when I saw it (released 1971). The movie was filmed here and I remember seeing it- thinking that Montana wasn’t so out of the way after all- in fact in one scene Evel Knievel wrecked right in front of my aunt’s house on Clear Grit Terrace- falling down the Yellow Hill (no longer there thanks to Superfund). We were all jumping our bikes off of stuff and over stuff and through stuff (I was eight) and I remember my brother (three years younger and probably as close to a daredevil in the making as one could be at that age- my childhood memories of him always involved contusions or bandages) being frustrated by not having a bigger bike- he was four….
Anyway, I just remembered things I had forgotten, and never having met the man or known what kind of a person he was based on personal experience, I can still thank him for giving me a few good moments in my adulthood to remember when life was simpler and simply getting off the (1 foot) ramp meant that it was gonna be a great day.