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Joe S. Beres

AIR # 92
May 19, 1966

In 1904, the family moved back to Dickinson again, and that's how it happened that Mr. Beres was rooting for the opposing side when Dickinson and Glendive played that notorious grudge baseball game a few years later, about 1908. The Dickinson team and fans made up a caravan of cars and traveled to Glendive, no mean accomplishment in the first decade of the 20th century. There was no road through the badlands so they helped each other up the hills and across or around the canyons, probably the first cars ever to negotiate that terrain, and arrived in Glendive the second day in plenty of time for the game, a couple hours to spare.

Some of the old timers who were living in Glendive when that controversial game was played perhaps remember the story a little differently so we may get some calls on this, but according to the Dickinson version Glendive had hired a suspended major league pitcher for the game. Dickinson got wind of the bit of trickery so they got in 'cahoots' with the pitcher and bought him off. He agreed to 'throw the game' for $1,000, and the guarantee that Dickinson men would get him out of town as soon as Glendive pulled him from the game.

Glendive, with their professional pitcher, had the game 'in the bag' so betting was heavy and the odds long. If that pitcher hadn't made arrangements to get out of town promptly, he never would have made it alive. When the game was lost, Glendive's gamblers were out for blood. He escaped, though, and the Dickinson cohort made enough on their bets so they could well afford to ship their cars and likewise themselves back to Dickinson by train. Certainly, economy could hardly have been the motive prompting them to travel that tortuous route by car to come to Glendive. One Dickinson fan who had come to Glendive by train for the game didn't even get to see it. He was a railroad man, and when he hit the Gate City, some of his railroad buddies got hold of him and started making the rounds. After a time he passed out so his faithful pals put him on a flatcar on an eastbound train. When he woke up, he found himself on a siding at Curry, four or five miles from town - a long way when you have to walk it.

Joe Beres's father was among those who made the automobile trip to Glendive for the game, but Joe himself didn't get back to Glendive again until 1915 when he came through on a motorcycle. He and a friend decided to take a trip to Yellowstone National Park, and the two started out in high spirits. Two miles from Belfield they overtook a bunch of young fellows leisurely bouncing along in a touring car. They ate dust for awhile but then decided to pass so Joe's pal, a Swede, started around. He made it all right, but when the driver of the car saw what was happening, he speeded up so Joe didn't get around so easily. Forced to the edge of the road (which was only a trail), Joe hit a hole that sent him and his motorcycle somersaulting through the air. Luckily he escaped without serious injury, but his cycle didn't fare so well; the frame broke.

He pushed the broken vehicle back to Belfield where he found a blacksmith who could put a clamp on it and told him he could probably get it welded at Beach. The clamp must have been a strong one because it held through all the stress and strain of the badlands. At Beach he succeeded in getting the frame welded, but he just got across the railroad track at the edge of town, and it broke again. He had had the forethought to carry the clamp with him, so he put the clamp back on and went back to the blacksmith. Now the blacksmith told him he couldn't weld it satisfactorily, but maybe he could get it fixed in Glendive. At Glendive his luck was no better, but at Miles City he found a place where they sold Indian Motorcycles. They agreed to sell him a frame if he'd strip it, so strip it he did, then mounted his motor and accessories on it. Fortunately 'the Swede' was a good mechanic so that operation wasn't the problem it might have been. Mr. Beres pointed out that you just about had to have a mechanic along in those days!

After Miles City, they sailed along smoothly until they reached the Huntley irrigation project. Wherever the road crossed an irrigation ditch, there was a hump in the road, and it was fun going over those humps about forty miles an hour. It was fun, that is, until they crossed one with a sharp turn just on the other side. 'The Swede' made the turn all right, but Joe, right behind him, landed in the irrigation ditch, motorcycle and all. That Swede was surely disgusted with him, but Joe was glad he had a traveling companion who knew how to clean carburetors.

When they reached Gardiner, they found that motor vehicles were not allowed inside the park because they might scare the horses. They weren't about to go in without their cycles so they went to Hunter's Hot Springs instead, and spent a week there.

On the westward trip it seemed that everything happened to Joe, but on the return trip trouble at last caught up to the Swede, too. They were about thirty or thirty-five miles from Dickinson when the Swede's motorcycle had a flat tire. It was getting toward evening and Joe's headlight had broken in that Belfield mishap so Swede told him to go on into town before dark, and he'd follow when he had the tire fixed. That sounded reasonable so Joe headed on into Dickinson and reached home about eight o'clock. About eleven o'clock a thoroughly disgruntled Swede pulled into Dickinson, too. They didn't carry spare tires with them, but instead had repair kits for patching tires. Swede patched his tire, then realized that the tire pump had gone along into Dickinson with Joe. He'd had to push his motorcycle about five miles to Fryburg before he could get air for the tire.


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