Sunday, October 26, 2008

Burnett Peter Van Deusen (1913-1993) saves Silas Simmons from drowning in Atlanta, Georgia circa 1963

video

Burnett Peter Van Deusen (1913-1993) saves Silas Simmons from drowning in Atlanta, Georgia circa 1963

While on vacation in Georgia, Pete saved a boy who was drowning in the motel pool. The story was written up in the local paper, but no date was recorded on the clipping:

"A 3-year-old Macon boy who fell into a motel swimming pool in Atlanta Monday afternoon was saved from drowning by two bystanders, police said. The child, identified as Si Simmons, was seen floating face down in the pool at Holiday Inn, 1810 Howell Mill Road, by Pete Van Deusen of Fairfield, New Jersey, who jumped in and hauled the boy out. A physician who examined the boy, said he would recover."

A 30 second interview with Pete was broadcast on local television in Georgia and a VHS copy of the interview was made. I used that copy and transferred it to the "vob" format and then the "mpg" format in 2008.

Peter Van Deusen: "... You just act. The thing happens and you jump, or do whatever you have to do. I believe you have to think later, you don't have time to think. Its like when your playing ball, I guess, and if your pitching and the batter hits one straight back at the box. Its an instinctive thing to put the glove up to protect yourself, you don't have time to think, you just act first.

Interviewer: "How does it feel to be a hero now?"

Peter Van Deusen: "I don't feel like I'm a hero. I mean there were a lot of people mixed up in this. There was the woman that hollered, the man that gave him mouth to mouth, the rescue squad. It took a lot of us to really do the job. I just happened to be the one that was in the pool."

No comments: