The Daily Tar Hl
Rafters emulate 'Deliverance'
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jiturdy, September 23, 1373
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by Ounky Flagler
The raging Chattooga River is making quite a name for itself. Made notorious
by James Dickey's Deliverance, the foaming waters are fast becoming one of the
Southeast's top tourist attractions.' And one of the most treacherous.
Inexperienced newcomers to the river, charged with a surging drive to test their
machismo, their strength, against the infamous river, holler to porch-rocking South
Carolina locals: "Is this the Chattooga River in Deliverance! Well, we're gonna run
Most of the thrill-seekers, an estimated 15,000 this year, run the river safely. But
some naive adventurists Haven't been so lucky.
Deaths end Utter mar river
At least 1 0 persons died there in the past 1 6 months, forest service officials said in
August. More are expected before the cold weather comes.
And not only people are suffering. The Chattooga, once well-hidden and well
feared waters splashing through virginal forests of North And South Carolina and
Georgia, is taking a beating too.
"Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints," instructs Jim
Greiner, head of Wildwater, Ltd., an outfitting company in Long Creek, S.C.
But the beer cans bob on. Old shoes, socks, battered paddles and picnic trash mar
"There are two sad things," Greiner said. "People are dying and we could prevent
it. And, to a large extent, the river is beginning to deteriorate because of a
concentration of people at certain spots."
He says the deaths have taken a definite pattern: they've all been males aged 1 8 to
30, alone or in small parties, without life jackets or river experience. Usually with
poor equipment. Many times intoxicated.
Even author Dickey is caught in the tragic paradox of beauty and death of the
Although both the book and the movie had commanded spectacular audience
reaction, he has serious regrets.
"They just wouldn't have gone up there if I hadn't written the book," the poet
lamented about the deaths. "The river doesn't care about you it'll knock your
brains out," he was quoted as saying.
Ask anyone near Long Creek, S.C.', or Clayton, Ga., the sleepy mountain
towns close to the U.S. 76 access point, and they'll grunt that too many fools come
to go down that river.
Even though area residents enjoyed the hoopla and excitement of the movie and
its colorful cast, the locals are smart they don't mess with the river.
They remember that Warner Bros., the company that made the film, lost
approximately 530,000 in camera equipment and untold boat equipment to the
beautiful, but bloodthirsty, river. And it was rumored, but not substantiated, that
they almost lost star Burt Reynolds.
Ruined canoes chained to station wagons. Anxious rescue patrols waiting to haul
the injured away. Broken bodies collapsed on stretchers. This is everyday stuff to
the local folks.
"You take your natives. You don't see them a-floatin' it." one crusty river rescue
squad member said as he waited for the usual Saturday morning cries for aid.
ab season set
The UNC Laboratory Theatre, under the
overall direction of Ruby Lerner and Rick
Epting, has announced its season for the fall
Eig h V plays ale 'b'v& jcKfjiTia, 1 -'.
"Cop-OuC by John"Guare."The play
that answers the musical question If you
beat me with your gun, would I blame you?
Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. and Oct. 5 at 4 and 8 p.m. 06
"Fish Eyes and Butterflies, an original
work by Rebecca Ranson. Directed by
Warren Johnston, performed by inmates of.
the Orange ; County unit of the State
Department of Corrections. Oct. 6, 7 and 14
at 8 p.m. 06 Graham Memorial.
"The Apollo of Bellac by Jean
Giraudoux. Directed by Joesph Coleman,
Oct. 17 at 4 p.m., Oct. 18 at 4 and 8 p.m. 06
"Aeneas, written and directed by
Christopher Adler. N ov. 1 at 4 and 8 p.m.,
and Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. 06 Graham Memorial.
"Acts with Women, an original work by
Trebor Lloyd. Directed by Duane Sidden.
103 Graham Memorial. Times to be
, '?6ys.h.'DrT.a Festival; Siawomir
Mrozek's "Out at Sea" and Stanislaw
Witkiewitz's "The Madman and the Nun,"
directed by Warren Johnston and Rick
Epting, will be presented supplementary to
the Carolina Playmakers presentation of
Mrozek's "Tango." Nov. 15 and 16,- 06
Graham Memorial. Times to be announced.
"Eleven Idiosyncratic Cows," and original
work by Rebecca Ranson. Dates and times
to be announced.
All tickets for Lab productions are free
and can be obtained from the Lab Theatre
office in Graham Memorial the week of the
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"They fish it and they walk it, but you don't see none of the local folks floatin it
just to be a-floatin' it.
"But rafters. You can't scare 'cm off. No way. It's just another challenge. I think
it's crazy, myself."
Bcsutlfu! but dangerous
Crazy or no, the movie's portrayal of the river's danger, excitement and beauty
was not exaggeration. It's been justly called a "mother of myriad moods."
The river is sometimes quiet, pools reflecting the towering hemlock and white
pines. You glide peacefully, slowly, by scattered, projecting rock formations.
Then, crashing, smashing, the water suddenly changes."Paddle!"Paddle!" You
must work to stay away from the treacherous undercut rock's grasp. "Paddle!
Forget about gazing at the scenery. You must make it through the next rapid.
"Painted Rock." It's a thrilling, but scary, rapid, nicknamed that because, unless
you maneuver it well, you'll get painted on the rock right ahead, too, like many
The danger the Deliverance mystique attracts hordes to the river. Don't
underestimate it. Jim Greiner's trained river guides instruct their clinets to portage,
or carry around, some of the deadliest rapids wicked, tricky pools of death.
"Bull Sluice Run" is one of those. It's a bitch, a bloodthirsty bitch, waiting for
those she can suck unawares into her swirling waters. Carry around her. Stand by
and watch how the experts do it.
Faces grimacing, paddles flying, kayak racing. The cautious guides know that
"The Bull" is a killer because it has a hidden hydraulic, the upward and circular
motion of the powerful waters that can suck a man and his raft and hold him there
for minutes or for hours, depending on his luck.
The Chattooga is no plaything. It's something to conquer or the conqucrer itself.
Just this spring one party of three made the trip in true Deliverance style. One
man, tied to his raft because he didn't want to lose it, got caught in Bull Sluice and
lost his life instead.
The other two broke almost every bone in their bodies, natives said. And only one
of them survived the two-month hospital stay.
Even though both South Carolina and Georgia position state patrol men at
several access points on the weekends, Greiner said that if stricter controls don't go
into effect by next summer, the number of deaths could double.
Tips on running the river
Presently, because of loopholes and law ambiguity, the office stands powerless to
enforce river safety precautions.
Nevertheless, authorities such as Jim Greiner and his guides and the state forest
and river patrolmen suggest the following:
Wear life jackets firmly tied and strapped at all times.
Travel the river with experienced boatsmen, preferably in a four- or six-man
U.S. Armyptype raft. Never use inner tubes.
Always travel in groups of at least two vessels, preferably three.
Send an experienced scout ahead to check the next rapid. Portage the deadly
ones, such as Bull Sluice.
Never drink alcoholic beverages. You need all your facilities while you're going
down, Greiner says. And that cold beer tastes terrific at the end of the six to eight
And one further tip that Greiner and fellow river lovers would suggest and re
emphasize: "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints."
LATE SHOW FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NITE
I "It's still the same old story,
; " j a fight for love and glory."
lP!Ay ITT open$
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COME BY AND REGISTER FOR THESE PRIZES:
Duke-Carolina Weekend 210-lb. Weight Set
Complete Basketball Set $125 Team Merchandise
Bring This Coupon To Store
Red. White & Blue
1 1 .00 list price
3160 Hillsborough Road
M-F 9-9 Durham
Sat. 9-6 383-3517
"Distributors of Quality Sporting
Goods to Teams & Families"
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Then take advantage of our special 2 for tho Price of
1 menu plan and receive 2 meals for the price of 1
(applicable to any item on the After-9 Menu 9 P.M.
"Slate of Ck-ce." Carotin Theatre. 2:40,
4:45. 6:50 & 8:S5. Through Oct. 4. Tonlshfa
lata nJjht show: The Last Picture Show."
"Ten From Your Show of Show." Varsity
Theatre. 1, 3, 5. 7 & 9. Ends today. Starts
Sunday:-Lady Kung Fu." 1:20,3:15, 5:10,7:05
& 9. Thrcujh Oct 2.
Tonlght'a late shewn "Play It Again, Sam."
"Days and Nlghta In the Forest" Alternative
Qntma. Today at 2, 4:30, 7 & 9:30 p.m.
-October 10 Days That Shook The World."
Magic Eye Fl.ms. Sergei Elsensteln's silent
film. Sunday at 4 & 7:30 p.m. In 1-A Swain
"Second Breath." Chapel Hill Film Friends.
Tonight at 11:30 p.m. Murphey Hail 111.
"Jules and Jim" end "News Parade." Janus
Films. Sunday at 8 & 10 p.m. at Town Hall.
"Cries and Whispers." Quadrangle
Pictures. Today and Sunday at 7 & 9 p.m.
Page Auditorium, Duke University.
"Mutiny on the Bounty." (1935 original)
Stars Charles Laughton, Clark Gable and
Frtnchot Tone. Sunday at 7:30 & 10 p.m. Cat's
Free Flicks. Friday: "Charly." Saturday:
"The Sea Gull." Sunday: "Rabbit Run." All
flicks at 6:30 and 9 p.m. in the Great Hall,
"Showboat" Village Dinner Theatre In
Raleigh. Buffet at 6:45 p.m., 8:30 curtain.
Tickets are $9 Sunday through Thursday, $10
Friday and $11 Saturday. Nightly except
Monday. For reservations call 787-7771.
Stewart Theatre. Tickets are now available
at the box office at the NCSU student center
for the theatre's broadway, classical. Jazz and
Tickets, $1.50, are" now on sale at the
Carolina Union Information Desk for the
Agnes de M.Ile Heritage Dance Theatre, the
first performance In the Friends of the College
series scheduled for Oct 3, 4 & 5 at 8 p.m. In
Reynolds Coliseum, N.C. State University.
General admission tickets, $2.75, are now
available at 102 Graham Memorial and
Ledbetter-Plckard's downtown for the
Playmakers' opening production, "The
Threepenny Opera." "Threepenny" will be
presented Oct 3 6 at at 8:30 p.m. in Forest
"The Hostage." Duke Players first
production of the 1973-74 season. Oct 11-14,
and Oct 18-21 at 8:15 in Branson Theatre,
Duke University East Campus.'
The UNC Reader's Theatre opens Us 12th
season with two short stories by Truman
Capote: "Jug of Silver" and "My Side ol the
Matter." Productions are scheduled for
Wednesday and Thursday, Oct 3-4 at 8 p.m.
In Dee? Jonah. Free admission.
John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu
Orchestra. Carmlchatl Auditorium.
Wednesday, Oct 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets, $2.50,
are now available at the Carolina Union
Season tickets, $8, for the Chapel Hlil
Concert Series are now available at the
Carolina Union Information Desk. The series
includts Baroque Ensemble of USSR,
Leonard Rose end Gary Graffman, Edward
Vitlella and George Shirley. All concerts at 8
p.m. in Memorial Halt $2 single admission
tickets on sale two weeks prior to concert
Michael Zenge, pianoforte. Sunday
Evening Series. 8 p.m. In HHI Hall auditorium.
Town Hall. Tonight Low Rent Dlitrict,
rock. Also. Mlchasl Williams, origin! folk.
Music ct 9 p.m.
Endangered Species, Tonight Treva.
Sunder- Mike Cross. Tonight at 9 p.m.
Cars Cradle. Ernest East, tonight Music
begins at 9 p.m.
"Six Painters of the Seventies Abstract
Imagists of New York." Ackland Art Museum.
Pent acola Third Annual Fall Arts Festival in
Seville Square. Saturday and Sunday, Oct 13
and 14. Show is open to any artist sculptor or
craftsmen who wishes to participate. Cash
and r.bbon awards will be given In the
various categories of painting, sculpture,
pottery, photography, ceramics and
handicrafts. There will also be a $250 award
for best of show. Any artist wishing to
participate may contact the Dahlstroms at
Waterfront Galleries, Adams and Main Street
Pensacola, Fla. Phone: 904-433-4837.
Taster's Choice, or the Entertainment
Calendar, is included in every issue of the
Daily Tar Heel. Its purpose is to provide a
thorough guide to entertainment and culture
in the Triangle Area. Those wishing to Include
Items In the calendar should call Kevin
McCarthy at 933-1011, between 3 and 5 p.m.
a ty o r
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Birthday and good morning
In the world. Happy
Ansr to Yesterday's Puzzle
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