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Evel Knievel ill, readies gravestone
Associated Press via The Billings Gazette ^ | July 21, 2005 | Associated Press

Posted on 07/21/2005 11:06:03 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper

TWIN FALLS, Idaho - Evel Knievel may have finally met his match. And he's not going to clear this hurdle.

Renowned for his death-defying stunts, Knievel has now landed in major medical trouble. He says his doctors give him three to five years to live.

Knievel suffers from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that scars the lungs, replacing the air sacs with scar tissue. As the scars form, the tissue becomes thicker, reducing the lung's ability to absorb oxygen. There is no cure.

"I feel pretty good, but there just isn't enough air on this Earth for me compared to you normal people," Knievel said.

The daredevil joins about 200,000 other Americans with the disease. There is no known cause, but researchers believe it may be caused by a genetic predisposition, previous injury to the lungs, viruses and pollutants. Knievel says he has never smoked, though he did work in a copper mine in Montana before making it big as a stunt entertainer.

While rumors about the daredevil's failing health have been buzzing for a few years, his friend Alma Barry in Twin Falls didn't believe them until Knievel called and asked for a gravestone he left in her care to be shipped to him in Butte.

The white marble marker was created to generate publicity about his Snake River Canyon jump more than 30 years ago. Alma Barry and her family got to know Knievel in the seven years he took to build the ramp and plan the jump. The Barrys owned Volco Builders' Supply and helped him build the ramp and press box. The family became such close friends with Knievel that he asked them to store the giant stone marker.

The Barry family sold its business to Franklin Building Supply a few decades ago and asked that the new managers watch over the marker.

It sat in a stockroom for more than 30 years.

"He said he wasn't doing too well and wanted to be buried in Butte and asked if we could send him the gravestone," Barry said. "It is a very beautiful piece. It had the date he was born and the date of the jump and his image on it and a space for in case he didn't make it over the canyon."

Knievel, 66, sent a truck to pick up the stone, and it is now in Butte.

His biggest payday came when he jumped the Snake River Canyon in September 1974 for $6 million. He says his son, Robbie, may also be planning to do a similar jump in Twin Falls. But he doubts it.

"I worked for seven years on that jump, going to Twin Falls for a month each year and working with engineers," he said. "I don't think Robbie has been there once, so he may say he is going to do it, but he isn't putting in the work."

He wants to be buried next to the grandparents who raised him. Knievel was influenced to become a motorcycle daredevil when they took him to Joey Chitwood's Auto Daredevil show when Knievel was 8. But his grandparents were very much against his career choice.

"They encouraged me not to," he said. But Knievel has no regrets, and he encourages young people to follow their passions, too.

"Follow your dreams, no matter what they are or you'll never amount to anything," he said. "It's better to take a chance in life than to never take a chance. I'm not saying to go and jump a canyon, but you have to take chances. Next time, I'll take more."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Idaho; US: Montana
KEYWORDS: evelknievel; knievel

AP Photo/Montana Standard, Walter Hinick
Evel Knievel is pictured Tuesday, July 19, 2005, in Butte, Mont., with a stone marker that he will use as his headstone on his grave. While rumors about the daredevil's failing health have been buzzing for a few years, his friend Alma Barry in Twin Falls, Idaho, didn't believe them until Knievel called and asked for a gravestone he left in her care to be shipped to him in Butte. Doctors have diagnosed Knievel with a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. There is no cure. The gravestone hasbeen stored in Twin Falls since his attempted Snake River Canyon jump in 1974.

1 posted on 07/21/2005 11:06:06 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper
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To: BigSkyFreeper

Prayers for one of America's originals.


2 posted on 07/21/2005 11:12:04 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (*"Justice" is French for Getting Screwed By Liberals*)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
"He says his doctors give him three to five years to live."

At his age, that is a safe bet with or without a terminal illness.

I wish Evel Knievel all the best, but 3 to 5 years to live is probably better odds than Vegas would give with Knievel in perfect health

3 posted on 07/21/2005 11:12:46 PM PDT by MJY1288 (Whenever a Liberal is Speaking on the Senate Floor, Al-Jazeera Breaks in and Covers it LIVE)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

Is his casket going to fly over a line of semi trucks into the hole?

Sorry, that was uncalled for. But I couldn't resist.


4 posted on 07/21/2005 11:14:11 PM PDT by pcottraux
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To: BigSkyFreeper

Is he going to jump it?


5 posted on 07/21/2005 11:14:27 PM PDT by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
He said he wasn't doing too well and wanted to be buried in Butte

Butte? Is that pronounced "bootie", or "but"?

6 posted on 07/21/2005 11:16:01 PM PDT by Echo Talon (http://echotalon.blogspot.com)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

I would have to call him one the last examples of "rugged individualism".


7 posted on 07/21/2005 11:20:24 PM PDT by Biblebelter
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To: Biblebelter

Really? I'd have to call him a showman.


8 posted on 07/21/2005 11:21:15 PM PDT by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

His personal life was a wreck, in itself. But a true idol to many a young lad in his day.


9 posted on 07/21/2005 11:21:58 PM PDT by digger48
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To: Echo Talon
Butte? Is that pronounced "bootie", or "but"?

Neither. Butte, is pronounced "b-yoot".

10 posted on 07/21/2005 11:22:19 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (Whop-bobaloobop a WHOP BAM BOOM!!)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evel_Knievel

Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel (born October 17, 1938 in Butte, Montana)

~much more . . .


11 posted on 07/21/2005 11:23:08 PM PDT by leadpenny
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To: BigSkyFreeper

Before he goes, he wants one more shot at Sheldon Saltman.


12 posted on 07/21/2005 11:24:10 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: BigSkyFreeper
Neither. Butte, is pronounced "b-yoot".

As in "My Cousin Vinny" "uhhh whats a yoot?" ?

13 posted on 07/21/2005 11:30:22 PM PDT by Echo Talon (http://echotalon.blogspot.com)
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To: Echo Talon

Right.


14 posted on 07/21/2005 11:32:32 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (Whop-bobaloobop a WHOP BAM BOOM!!)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, my mother died from this. It is a horrible way to die. You slowy suffocate to death over the years. My prayers go out for him.
15 posted on 07/21/2005 11:34:32 PM PDT by ocr1
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To: BigSkyFreeper

Thats one of my favorite movies BTW. :D


16 posted on 07/21/2005 11:34:41 PM PDT by Echo Talon (http://echotalon.blogspot.com)
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To: Echo Talon

Mine too, of course Marisa Tomei was in it. :)


17 posted on 07/21/2005 11:35:55 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (Whop-bobaloobop a WHOP BAM BOOM!!)
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To: pcottraux

The only guy who was ever happy to miss the bus.


18 posted on 07/21/2005 11:39:39 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt

I wish him the best, having pretending to be him more than once while jumping ramps on my bicycle as a kid.

19 posted on 07/21/2005 11:49:30 PM PDT by No Blue States
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: Wolfgang_Blitzkrieg

thanks! :D


21 posted on 07/21/2005 11:57:50 PM PDT by Echo Talon (http://echotalon.blogspot.com)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

Seems to me that at his age 3-5 years is probably about right for a healthy person. Now, if the doc said 3-5 months, it would be different.


22 posted on 07/21/2005 11:59:23 PM PDT by conshack ((Our porous southern border WILL result in another terrorist attack))
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To: BigSkyFreeper
If anyone of us can remember his hay days, and look at all the stunts that went wrong, it's amazing he is still alive or walking.
I don't have all of the information, but, he nearly broke all of his major bones in his body from those jumping stunts that went wrong.
Just seeing the famous footage from his famous jumping stunt that went wrong from Las Vegas in slow motion give me the chills seeing his body being banged around like a rag doll, and that accident was one of his major accidents.
23 posted on 07/22/2005 12:05:15 AM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The ( FOOL ) hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

We (me, brother, sister) bought tickets and watched him attempt to jump Snake River Canyon via satellite.

Lot's of folks have followed in his footsteps and found out what it's like. I saw one of those types bust his ass twice in one night at the old Rittiman Road strip in San Antonio. Not pleasant when it doesn't go well.

Robert Knevel had plenty of guts. He'd crash, and then get right back and try another big jump.

One crazy sumbitch, that's for sure.


24 posted on 07/22/2005 12:25:40 AM PDT by planekT (The Supreme Can of Worms.)
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To: BigSkyFreeper; martin_fierro
I watched this man jump 13 cars at Kaukauna Raceway over thirty years ago.

Man, could this guy do wheelies . . .
25 posted on 07/22/2005 12:28:03 AM PDT by BraveMan
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To: BraveMan

Bobby Knievel, has led a thrill, fun, filled life. He has done it his way, and if he dies tomorrow,he will be remembered as one great show man. Best regards, Bobbie, and go get a few hub caps, before you leave.


26 posted on 07/22/2005 1:25:43 AM PDT by BooBoo1000 (Some times I wake up grumpy, other times I let her sleep/)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

Well, we all get old and and we all die. Not nessacerily in that order.

I saw Chitwood also as a kid.


27 posted on 07/22/2005 2:16:34 AM PDT by Khurkris (Today the sun was shining. I did laundry. It rained.)
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To: MJY1288
"He says his doctors give him three to five years to live." At his age, that is a safe bet with or without a terminal illness. I wish Evel Knievel all the best, but 3 to 5 years to live is probably better odds than Vegas would give with Knievel in perfect health

To quote Indiana Jones "it's not the years, it's the mileage "

CC

28 posted on 07/22/2005 3:14:31 AM PDT by Celtic Conservative (this tagline meets or exceeds all standards as established by the underwriters labratories)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

can i have his custom harley?


29 posted on 07/22/2005 3:43:12 AM PDT by camle (keep your mind open and somebody will fill it full of something for you.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

He needs a lung transplant,,someone get that info to him.


30 posted on 07/22/2005 4:46:49 AM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: BraveMan

I met him when he came to Cleveland 30 years or so ago. He brought along his rocket he had used to attempt the Canyon jump. The nose of it was crinkled from the crash. A friend of mine took a picture of me sitting in it. One of my favorite pictures. I wish him well.


31 posted on 07/22/2005 6:03:40 AM PDT by gooleyman ( What about the baby's "RIGHT TO CHOOSE"?????? I bet the baby would chose LIFE.)
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To: BraveMan
I had the "Gyro-Powered" stunt bike with the flint sparklers when I was a kid.

The worst thing about doing a "jump" over a cat was that 5-10% of the time the silly animal would move into the "landing-zone" and get its fur stuck in the bike's wheels. Kitty never liked that.

Otherwise, I played with that bike until it was in pieces.

32 posted on 07/22/2005 6:11:48 AM PDT by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: avg_freeper
I had the "Gyro-Powered" stunt bike with the flint sparklers when I was a kid.

The worst thing about doing a "jump" over a cat was that 5-10% of the time the silly animal would move into the "landing-zone" and get its fur stuck in the bike's wheels. Kitty never liked that.

Yeah, pets were bad about that weren't they? ;o)

I remember the year I got that toy for Christmas. I heard this strange noise early that morning (or maybe it was very late at night). After I opened the gift and started playing with it, I realized that the sound I heard was dad giving the little Evel a few test runs.

33 posted on 07/22/2005 6:21:19 AM PDT by al_c
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To: cajungirl

I'm sure he has consulted many doctors. It might not be an option for him (and his age may also be a factor, no doubt).


34 posted on 07/22/2005 11:40:56 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (*"Justice" is French for Getting Screwed By Liberals*)
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