A shocking story from 1940!

In this season of thunderstorms, we pass along this story of two boys – and a couple of men – who survived a lightning strike in Arkville in 1940. Ed Stewart sent this clipping from the Catskill Mountain News of July 12 that year – his father was one of the boys struck:

“Robert Middaugh of Arkville and James Stewart of New York City who is visiting his grandmother, Mrs. O. A. Todd at Arkville, had a narrow escape from death by lightning last Friday afternoon. The lads sought shelter under a tree on the Arkville golf course during a thunder storm. Lightning struck the tree and both boys were rendered unconscious. One had his shirt torn to shreds and the other had his shoes torn off and both feet burned. They suffered other burns.

“Two men standing under the opposite side of the tree were shocked but suffered no serious results. They sought help at once for the boys, who were hurried to Margaretville hospital where they were treated for burns and shock. The side of the tree toward the boys was torn to shreds.”

James Stewart lived to tell this tale and many others. Relates Ed, “At 18 my father was a radio gunner in a dive bomber with the Marine Air Corps in the South Pacific during WWII. In December of 1977 he was shot in the line of duty as a NYC Detective. (He also) broke lots of bones as an adult . . .”

A search of the Catskill Mountain News indicates that Robert Middaugh went to paratrooper training camp in North Carolina in 1944. Does anyone know what became of him?

One response to “A shocking story from 1940!”

  1. Robert Middaugh would be the son of my late Uncle Roland Middaugh, formerly of Arkville. I believe Robert is still living in Kingston NY and would be about 87 years old.

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