Letter to the Editor: Butch Cassidy real
I refer to an article in your paper submitted by Tom McCourt, titled "A letter from Butch Cassidy."
Through the years of the past there has been many, many stories told of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Many stories have Butch and the Kid killed in South America where they fled after the Castle Gate payroll robbery. Many stories claim he and the Kid escaped and returned to the United States.
Let me tell you a story which is true, no fabrications, just facts and your gentle reader can form your own opinion. But for me I did see Butch Cassidy in person after the South America incident.
I was born in Huntington in 1919. Grew up there until I went into World War II in 1942.
In Huntington, on the west side of Main Street between Center Street and First North, was Charlie Green's Pool Hall. As you entered the pool hall, just inside was a panel making a walkway or hallway from the city street directly to the rear where the pool room and the card tables were set up.
Entering the building you could also turn left and entered the barroom, where there was a long bar that extended nearly the full length of the room, with the exception of a small half door that connected the west end of the bar to the east wall of the card and pool room.
Behind the bar was a wall to wall back mirror that extended from back bar counter to the ceiling. As I recall the mirror was about 4 ft. tall and 24 ft. long.
There was a group of teenagers that Charlie Green would let go down the hall to the pool and card room to watch the players play pool or cards, but he would not allow us to go beyond the doorway into the pool room and we never pushed his ruling.
In the gang we traveled with were myself, my brother June (Al), Dee, Norman and Burke Gardner. We were standing in the doorway entering the pool room with Norman and Burke closest in the pool room as they wanted to watch their father, George Gardner, play cards. I was in the rear standing in the opening from the barroom into the card room looking over their shoulders. At this moment there were four men standing at the bar having a beer, all wearing suits, one was wearing a round hard top derby hat, the others western hats.
The front door coming off Main Street opened and Saad Moran (Murning) came through the door. She entered the opening leading into the barroom as she was walking towards me to go into the pool room where her son Pete was playing pool with three other young men all above the legal age. She turned and looked into the big back bar mirror and stopped, turned, opened up her arms and cried out, "LeRoy." The man in the derby hat turned around, outspread his arms and cried out, "Aunt Saad." He took one step towards her, she immediately turned, called out, "I'm sorry sir I thought you were someone I knew". She came charging through the doorway and called to Pete her son, "Peter you must come home immediately, the cows has busted out of the pasture and are in the alfalfa and will bloat and die." She turned and ran down the hallway that divided the walkway from the barroom, out through the front door into her buggy, cracked her whip, made a u-turn on Main Street and headed north towards her farm. Pete immediately laid down his pool stick and rushed out the back door. A few minutes later the men at the bar left at the same time we walked down the hallway to the outside. We watched this big black car back away from the curb make a u-turn on Main Street and head north going in the same direction Saad Moran took. Did she see and recognize LeRoy Parker? Alias Butch Cassidy. Yes.
To the old timers of Huntington, including both my grandfathers, commented that the Wild Bunch did at different times spend some days and nights at the Jack and Saad Moran place, located north of the Huntington Creek and northwest outside the city limits of Huntington.