Tag Archives: Heinkel

Yarinacocha Snoopy Crashes Steve’s Red Baron

red-heinkelIn 1966, while I [Steve] was in Yarinacocha, Peru, and the Kindberg parents were out in the tribal area, I utilized their high-class motor-scooter (with permission) to get back and forth from the Summer Institute of Linguistics base-camp to the nearby town. I was aware that dogs did not like the motorized vehicles passing on the road and would nip at the heels or legs of foreign cyclists. Plus, at the medical clinic, we’d been warned about an increasingly rabid population among the fauna.

On a pleasant afternoon, as I passed the Albert Schweitzer Clinic on this same road, yours truly was approached by what seemed to be an insulted mongrel; he started at my left leg. Kicking him away only enraged the beast, but kicking seemed to be my best defense against the supposed bearer of rabies. He started to win the battle and so I veered right, just as a small bridge loomed to the left, traversing a creek in the jungle.

With great aplomb and no bridge under its wheels, the man/machine unit flew over this waterway. The prized Heinkel-two-wheel-wonder landed just below the brink of the distant shoreline. The bad news was that its front axle and fork bent, squashing the wheels into the rest of the body. The pinky of the driver’s right hand got “broke.” The good news: the canine stood smiling on the proximal side, wagging his tail as he put another victory scratch in the mud beside the takeoff point.

No more rolling or even limping for the German red metal mass until an airplane mechanic at the JAARS hanger worked to give it a new, though dented, life. As Lee and Will got off the float plane coming in from their tribal stay, each Kindberg kid was sworn not to mention the flight of the Red Baron and the resulting modification of its function and appearance.

But . . . wouldn’t you guess, even before Will stepped from the Piper Cub’s pontoon onto the dock, little Dougie proudly broadcast that “Uncle Steve wrecked Daddy’s Heinkel.” Surprised, but gracious, Will received the news flash and waited a week or two until the vehicle resumed its function.

As for the victorious dog, he still walks with his head high, but no foaming at the mouth. Check one for the animal world.

story told by Steve via email on October 11, 2016; 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 other Uncle Steve stories can you generate: Virginia? Kathy? Eric? Bruce?
  • Or how about stories from France: Sandy? Debby?
  • DD? Jimmy? Gordy?

Shoot Between the Eyes

[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.

[Dawn]: Awwww.

[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.

[Gail?]: 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?