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History Richard Heathfield: The Same Old Story

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Feb 14, 2022.

  1. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,669

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I listen to Radio Classics on XM, the radio programs from the 1930's until the early 1960's, before people watched TV all the time. On most of the "Cops and Robber" and "PI" shows, a common theme was "Shoot first, ask questions later". I don't know if this was just theater, or if it was taken from real life situations, I tend to believe it was the latter. I do know things have changed over the years, Miranda rights, shooting policies, etc. These changes probably came from instances like this when innocent people lost their lives due to Police over reaction.

    So maybe the "Good old days" weren't so good if the Cops could kill you just for running from them....
    Selective memory always selects the good times, not so much the bad.

    I don't know what caused these lines through everything?
     
  2. Peter Fonda had a line in one of the old biker movies he was in. We want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man, and we want to get loaded.
     
  3. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,329

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I love the History and the Big Picture regarding Hotrod/Custom but one has to think about what being bad would entail these days as they did back in the day...

    There are plenty here and out there in the modern OT world that prove not alot has changed really...

    I recall a Thread on a badass and a 55 Chev and I can't recall if anyone was killed but it wasn't pretty...

    Just the other day I was reading about a drag race at a carshow by some individuals we revere in a parking lot in very close vicinity of spectators...nobody was hurt but clearly our Culture involves power that can get out of hand...


    Well what has changed?...nowadays that is just another reason to consider your Hoodlumisms carefully...
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2022
  4. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,506

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    There's a fine line here that you are are flirting with and it makes me uncomfortable... I don't want to go there as I don't feel like it would be good for the forum.

    I'm anti-authority by nature. Start with that.

    That being said, however, I feel like this is a subject matter that causes people to put one opinion against another... and argue with no possibility of changing a mind or bringing about a positive conclusion. It's as messy as this story about Richard... but without the commonality of hot rodding and with the injection of politics.

    Too much of that shit in the world right now.

    Given all the research I've been doing on the subject as it pertains to hot rodding lately... My conclusion is that people are people. Nothing much has changed on that front.

    My tippy toes are now sore!
     
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  5. It is a compelling story Ryan, about circumstances and the choices people make and the action or re-action brought on by those choices. I will leave it at that.
     
  6. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 4,320

    Rand Man
    Member

    I had a series of tickets over a few weeks, a few months after I got out of high school. Speeding (by city police). Speeding (by the highway patrol). Running a stop sign, drag racing and some other stuff. The practice of the time was to have traffic court once per month. All on one day, my record shows I was in some sort of high speed pursuit, dukes of Hazard style. I had to answer questions about that for years.
     
  7. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,329

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hollywood certainly plays a part in the big picture unquestionably...carefully consider 'The Weight' of our actions both bad and good...
     
  8. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,669

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    My point, maybe not stated well enough, was things have changed a lot since back then, hopefully for the better. For everyone. Nothing more. Hope no one takes that any other way, sure wasn't meant to be interpreted any other way.
     
  9. I see this story and remember my youth . We had a local cop we called “beans” he was 6’6” and all of 90lbs.
    He used to terrorize me and my friends, pulling us over any and every chance he got . He would lurk around the areas high school kids hung out, he would pull me over and ask about certain people and where to find them as “ I just feeeeeeel like giving so&so a ticket tonight”
    Anyways one of my good buddies father was a heavy hitting lawyer and heard us griping one day in his garage and lost his mind . Did everything he could to get the cop transferred to another precinct way up North in our district . He won and it happened and “beans” became a memory. So yeah that shit that happened back in the 50’s still happened in the 80’s and 90’s.

    hot rodders got a bad wrap back then cause they where “hoodlums”
    I remember when guys with tattoos and motorcycles where bad ass mofo’s
    Now there big city bankers on fat boys and ultra glides or tattooed hipsters drinking bathtub IPA’s.

    things are always changing and evolving, but there will always be “cough” cough” good guys and bad guys.
    And not to get political, but what ever or who ever the law and the media want to alienate and pick on will be the villain of the day.

    Its horrible to think what Richard went through knowing he was responsible for killing a friend , then spending unknown time in a looney bin bac in the 50’s getting god knows what done to him . ( fucking movie One flew over the cuckoos nest kills me only ever been able to watch it once , FUCK YOU nurse ratched)

    things have always been good and bad , I think the reason we feel now is worse is because we are all connected via the internet and I know what’s going on all over the world instead of just 20 or so years ago only knowing what on my local news and paper .

    the world has always been messed up , we just hear about it more know.

    anyways enough ranting for one night .

    01E440CD-FBDF-420B-84E3-F9CE76D7E87B.jpeg
     
  10. MojoRacing
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 73

    MojoRacing
    Member

    WOW! I guess Detroit was jumping compared to my home town! I stand corrected.
     
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  11. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 937

    cfmvw
    Member

    Furious George? That's a good one! When I was taking some English classes in college, I came up with a list of Curious George stories that I wanted to see:

    Curious George And The Big Brownout. "Come along, George," said The Man in the Yellow Hat. "Today we're going to visit the power station!"

    Curious George Pushes The Big Red Button. "Come along, George," said The Man in the Yellow Hat. Today we're going to visit a nuclear missile silo!"

    Curious George Glows In The Dark. "Come along, George," said the Man in the Yellow Hat. "Today we're going to visit a toxic waste dump!"

    Truth be told, I still love the original Curious George stories :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022
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  12. Thanks Ryan for the great story of those times when an abundant youth were totally immersed in cars and the independence that gave them in those glorious post war years. That is why I like visit them often because I love the history of the era and spend a lot of my TV time watching 40's and 50's Noir movies on Turner Classic Movies and reading old Life magazines and newspapers. I often Google the characters starring in them and read of their lives and how it all turned out for them. There are lot's of sad stories there, especially for the young starlets, as you can imagine.

    It's a lot more fun to fantasize about the past that live in today's reality. You have a sense of familiarity and know what happened in those days and the years of time give them a nice rosy glow, but today you don't have a clue what's going to happen tomorrow, so it's a lot more reassuring to look in the rear view mirror. When you are young, you have boundless optimism and fear nothing and do stupid stuff, but age and experience has taught you of the outcomes of that behavior and cynicism of our world creeps in too.

    Your story shows that injustice was as plentiful back then and still is today. Humans can't change so we just keep repeating our history, one day at a time. These quotes "The more things change the more they stay the same" from French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in 1849 or "Reality is made up in circles but we see straight lines" from present day MIT scholar Peter Senge document that. My thoughts are "Our world is in shades of grey but our simple minds just want to see black and white".
     
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  13. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,506

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    You seem like a reader. I’m a reader.

    Anyway, if you haven’t yet - read this:

    https://www.amazon.com/Fourth-Turning-History-Americas-Rendezvous-ebook/dp/B001RKFU4I/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2PRW04I4O2OD3&keywords=The+Fourth+Turning:+An+American+Prophecy&qid=1644886253&sprefix=the+fourth+turning+an+american+prophecy,aps,231&sr=8-2

    That shit will change the way you see the world.
     
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  14. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 696

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Great read, man! Poor cat probably got electro-shock therapy or a hefty does of Thorazine along the way to ease his 'psychopathy' :eek: I remember when guys were looked down on by the GP for not running hubcaps on their cars. They were poor hoodlums in many eyes. Cops shooting up speeders, justified @ the time. Things have always been nuts, make no bones about it.

    Joe
     
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  15. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,843

    Anderson
    Member

  16. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 6,208

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    Nothing will change the way I see the world. :D
     
    Stogy likes this.
  17. Yes, I am and thanks for the link Ryan. For me video is for entertainment and reading is for knowledge. That's the main reason I'm here, so it will all soak in. I found a used copy online but I might just get the audio book so I can listen to it while I'm working in the shop, it's 6 about hours long. Sounds like a good read!

    This is my entertainment on Saturday nights........ https://noiralley.tcm.com/

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."--George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905

    but I like this one better .........
    “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Winston Churchill

     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2022
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  18. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,506

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    Read that book and you will understand why that is… :)
     
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  19. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,028

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    Quite an intriguing story of this guy, perhaps more so for myself because this all took place in my area of the globe. I, too, would like to know more about this guy after DeHoCo.
     
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  20. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 2,377

    41 GMC K-18
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That line that Ryan said about " having SPITE in ones DNA " I can totally relate to that. I learned all about that, during my 3 years in the Army.
    I find that a bit of "spite ", when well focused, can be a great foundation for interesting results, as long as nobody gets physically or emotionally hurt !

    Peter Lorrie.jpg sunrise clown (2).jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022
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  21. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,789

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One thing that im curious about is the judge who sent him to the psych ward. On the surface it seems messed up especially since alot of us have heard the storied of abuse and quackery at these facilities. But Iwonder if it was this judge trying to help the kid out.
    I'm not familiar with what the options were back then but I doubt the kind of mental health services we have now existed. The judge may have been trying to pump the brakes, get this kid to slow down for a minute and maybe get some help. Also get him away from the enviroment he was in without sending him to prison to be corrupted further.
     
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  22. Devoz
    Joined: Aug 25, 2007
    Posts: 86

    Devoz
    Member

    Ryan thank you for posting this. I almost passed on reading it but found that it painted a vivid story in my mind. I can't help but think in the right hands this story would make a great film.
     
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  23. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,329

    Lone Star Mopar
    Member

    @adam401 I had imagined the judge used the "psycho" label to get him locked up & keep him there indefinitley as opposed to a short jail stay for traffic offenses. Maybe a little spiteful "payback" even. I didnt for a moment consider the judge had Richards interest in mind at all, thats my mistake.
     
  24. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 696

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    I believe I've seen them all over the course of a few years, my favorite genre.
    Beware the Femme Fatale.

    Joe
     
  25. "You drive a car without fenders? You are a scumbag."
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022
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  26. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,673

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    This is not wrong or right. There's 3 of us that still do a lot of what we did except the street racing gigs. Not for the reasons you note, the crowd changed. The groups got hardcore and entwined with other evils we never wanted anything to do with. I would hope getting smarter with this shit doesn't equate to pretending. I'm not much for the lawn chair crowd, and there's nothing better than using up gas to drive around aimlessly on a warm evening. "Where ya goin?" shouldn't have an answer, even if it's only for a few hours.
     
  27. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,506

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    I'm not saying I street race... but I'm not denying it either. :)
     
  28. This is an interesting and tragic story, with so many questions left unanswered.
    Given the timeframe in which this occurred, there are a few things that pop into my mind:

    A single mother was not generally considered to be able to effectively raise a child (children) on their own. The general attitude was that children (boys especially) needed a 'man's influence' to provide guidance and discipline. She may, in fact, been having her own troubles coping with the loss of her husband, and may have indicated to police and the judge that she 'couldn't handle him', thereby giving them the impression that she welcomed their intervention in his discipline and upbringing. She may have been desperate for help. Or... given the male dominance of the time, may have been ignored.

    During that time frame, it was not common or acceptable to question authority such as police or the court. That attitude and practice did not change until the protests of the sixties became common and accepted (eventually).
    As a result, 'shoot first, ask questions later' was standard fare in some police departments. To an extent, both of these mentalities exist today in some states and cities (I'm trying to avoid politics here, guys).

    Mental issues were commonly grouped (usually by laymen or 'old school' doctors) without regard to underlying issues and causes. It was a time that Washington State had "homes for the deficient" instead of the schools for the blind and deaf as we have today. The world was very unsophisticated in many ways back then.

    As tragic as Richard's story is, I have a feeling there were a lot more "Richards" in the country that may have had similar circumstances and treatment with less publicity.

    One other takeaway I get from this is the long term devastation that can occur from the loss of a parent or other loved one.
     
  29. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 553

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    As sad as the circumstances which may have caused some of the behaviors of Mr. Heathfield, it seems the over-reaction by the police and courts was over the top, but not unheard of back in the day. Many people suffer with childhood or family trauma and act out.

    Our local cops went out of their way to make life difficult for hot rodders in my area in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Two of the most strident and despised officers did not end up well with one committing suicide and the other fired for unprofessional conduct.

    As far as growing up and losing the hot rod punk attitude and then just pretending to be a hot rodder, I am not sure about that. Life is change, responsibilities and commitments can alter our outlooks. After 60 years of being involved in this I am still a hot rodder. No lawn chairs, fuzzy dice or cheap awards in my future. I just learned to get smarter and not get harassed by the cops and still enjoy hot rods.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022
  30. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,673

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    Hey I will. I did. Statute of Limitations and all, no worries. Ok, 1 night trying to get a race with guy who had timed N2O on his motor. I had a 468 BBC with a 150 shot and 10X28 slicks tricked out to look DOT. He raises the front end under a parking lot light to show off. His girl was just beautiful and she was sitting there with a nail file or something. The light shined the way to the uncovered "promised land" which was as pretty as she was. He was proud showing off under the hood, but I never did see what he was talking about. Shenanigans? Nah, just the right moment in time. Yes, I beat him twice. Our car was capable of mid 11s. Outer Dr was too hot, we went up to Grand River and Telegraph. I kept him close for the 1st, then just ran away on the 2nd. Damn, she was pretty...:cool:
     

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