On this weekend in 1959, Fargo merchants were hosting an Indian Summer festival in Island Park. A Rapid City visitor, Fred Ironeyes, had been drinking a bit when he spotted a truck with the keys inside. He jumped inside and headed west, made a hard right turn into a fire hydrant and then sideswiped a light pole. Undeterred, Ironeyes headed southwest. At Cossette’s filling station, he turned in, hit a guard rail in front of the ladies’ restroom, banged into the corner of the building, toppled a wooden clothesline and came up short in a pond of mud.
Meanwhile, the owner of the stolen truck was frantic. In back of the truck were the animals and birds he had brought for the festival’s wildlife display, including a raccoon, badger, coyote, red fox, woodchuck, prairie dog, golden eagle, four geese and a sandhill crane. Thankfully, they all survived the ordeal.
Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm