[Dawn]: You said “alligator hunting”? Lots of it? Successfully, obviously?
[Bruce]: Yeah. We would get the smallest. No wrestling. I actually did taste them . . . [can’t hear] . . . oral cavity was smaller.
[Dawn]: Oh, that’s right. You had a stuffed one that you brought home, right, Dad?
[Steve]: He was a pet [joking, I think].
[Marcia]: Yeah. He did.
[Marcia]: But you would go out at night?
[?]: Yeah, we did.
[Marcia]: And shine the flashlight out and see the eyes.
[Dawn]: And then what would you do?
[Eric]: Shoot between the eyes!
[can’t hear; joking through the following]
[Dawn]: Put your hand in?
[?]: Jump in?
[Bruce]: You have to save yourself.
[Marcia]: Oh you reached in with your hand to get it?
[Steve]: I only did it once.
[Eric]: I’ll tell another story or two. Anything else about Peru, right off the top of your head?
Well, I’m second [child]. One of the things I remember the most about Peru, one of the favorite trips, was a trip around the southern part of Peru on motorcycle. Bruce had a Triumph 500 at the time and he and my dad went on that motorcycle. A friend of ours went with his dad on another large motorcycle. I went with a Peruvian on a BMW 500 or 650. It had . . . so we got to see all the Inca sites along the way. We have a whole carousel of slides, but that’s too boring to show all of you. It was really quite a trip. I think I was 16 at the time, or 15, and you were 16 or something like that.
[Bruce]: While we’re talking about motorcycles, I want Uncle Steve to talk about his Heinkel, his Heinkel experience.
[Steve]: My what? Oh. Ha-ha.
[Eric]: I refrained from bringing that one up last night.
[Bruce]: A Heinkel is like a scooter. It’s like a Lambretta scooter. That’s what a lot of people had down there. Uncle Steve liked those scooters. He got around quite a bit on that one.
We used to carry our dog on the floorboard of that. He stuck his head out one time and went tumbling.
[Bruce]: From that point on, that dog would not leave the side of that scooter. He was guarding that scooter because—at first we couldn’t get him on there at all. Then once he went for a ride and was able to survive the tumble down the road, then he wouldn’t leave the side of that. He would guard that scooter.
[Kathy?]: Good old Snippy.
[Eric]: Yup. Snippy.
story told by Bruce and Eric (Lee’s sons) to the family reunion gathering on January 11, 2014; transcribed by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter)
Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)
- What kind of dog was Snippy? How’d Snippy get that name?
- How’d you come to get the dog? Was he a guard dog or just a pet? Was it common for people in Yarinacocha to have pets?
- Approximately what length were the alligators in this story?
- What was the bit I couldn’t hear with reaching down or into the alligator mouth?
- Did the alligators come up onto the compound regularly or were you going out to find them?
- Bruce said he tasted alligator. Did you eat them when you killed them?
- What did you shoot them with?