A couple of weeks ago, I added a few historical links in an online appendix to Boofin the Green, which I update every year or ten.


While reviewing the Slim Ray accident report, I was reminded of a picture that Slim showed me from that day, which was in a proof of a book he was working on. I took a guess, and tracked down a nearby copy of Swiftwater Rescue, then requested it by interlibrary loan.


Mail at work is all junk, so I rarely check it, but today, a large brown envelope was poking out of the slot. My book not only arrived, it was delivered to my desk. Thanks IU Library! So, I read through the book this evening, and found the picture that I remembered, and added it to Boofin the Green.

I also ran across a painting in the book, 

The Great Conemaugh Valley Disaster
Flood and Fire at Johnstown, Pa.
(subtitled) Hundreds Roasted Alive at the Railroad Bridge
Published by Kurz and Allison Art Publishers, 1890

which is well-reproduced online at Soapy Smith's Soap Box 


...along with other useful information and a good video from accuweather.

I don't remember seeing this painting before, but any mention of the Johnstown flood immediately takes my inner soundtrack to Highway Patrolman, by Bruce Springsteen. The Nebraska album carried me through my first two years of dishwashing and guide training at NOC in the mid-80s. I later re-visited the tunes during my early morning shows on WFHB, with the Dar Williams cover being most memorable. Among the Johnny Cash cover, or the live Springsteen versions available on YouTube, Dar's version seems to be the most interesting for embedding into this post, although I probably prefer the original Nebraska version.

I was hoping to find an old version of Night of the Johnstown Flood, but I only found a couple of new tunes, so I had to hit Wikipedia. It turns out: The chorus of the song refers to "dancin' with Maria as the band played 'Night of the Johnstown Flood'. There was no song with such a title or nickname until 2010 when the Rock Creek Jug Band included a bluegrass song entitled "Night of the Johnstown Flood" on their CD "Simpler Times". 


Nice one, Bruce!
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