THE EVIL KNIEVALS
BY NOLAN BAILEY
Classmates and Friends:
Here is a story that includes "Rats" Roden of Minden High basketball "fame..." His family moved to Minden from Bienville, way back when....
The Evil Knievals
Anyhow, even before there was an Evil Knieval, we had some daredevil "Knievals" that attended BHS. After school each day, several of us were always looking for "something to do." And, as you may remember, it was really difficult to find something to do in small towns like Bienville, after school or at any other time. On this particular afternoon, Bud "Wilbur Ray" Roden and I had our bicycles at school. Wilbur became "Rats" when he moved to Minden in the 1950's.
We were "milling around" up near the south end of the cafeteria when Bud said that he would "jump" his bike off of the tall embankment on the southeast corner of campus, toward "down town" Bienville. This was the tall terrace that students had to go up and down during noon if they had permission from parents to go to "town" for some goodies. And, Bud, or "Rats" said that he dared anyone else to make the jump.
Posthaste, Bud peddled his self up to top speed, went off the top of the terrace, and disappeared from sight. As seconds passed, we wondered if Bud was still alive, he was. Then, he started daring the rest of the BHS kids to make the jump. Always prepared to take a dare, I was the only other person (idiot) to accomplish the Evil Knieval "act." I peddled my way to the top of the "cliff," full of apprehension, and yanked the bike into the air as I went over the edge. Thankfully, I came down about 3/4ths of the way down the tall bank, and glided to the bottom, and beyond, with little problem.
Over the years I've always wondered what would have happened if Bud and I had landed on the "flat ground" past the end of the embankment. I don't even want to know.... <big grin> I might be talking with a much higher voice than I do...