Several stories have been written about how Pat Buttram, the “Winston Flash”, was injured several weeks ago while making a movie with Gene Aurty.
In a letter to Luther Patrick, Mr. Buttram explained just how he was hurt. His letter, and other comments about him, were printed in The Birmingham News’ “The Coal Bin”, written by Henry Vance.
Mr. Vance reports the Pat is still having to spend much of his time in the Thomas H Ince Memorial Hospital at Twentynine Palms, Calif. But he has appeared on the Gene Autry program for the past two Saturday nights.
Buttram wrote the following letter to Luther Patrick, under a Nov. 29 dateline.
“I guess you heard about the accident, but there are so many garbled reports going around that I wanted to give you the straight dope so you can tell it to all of my relatives who come into town on Saturday afternoon.
“We were making a gene Aurty movie up at Pioneertown about 25 miles from Twentynine Palms. I was standing beside a brass cannon which I was supposed to shoot into the air for the purpose of rainmaking. The cannon which was supposedly loaded with non-explosive flash powder exploded filling me with pieces of shrapnel and cutting a gash across my chest a foot long and about four inches wide. My lung was punctured, my chin cut open, and an artery in my left leg severed. I was rushed to the hospital here more dead than alive, but the doctor did s marvelous surgical job of mending me . The result is that I expect to be completely discharged from here about the first of the year. I am able to get around pretty well now and the wounds are practically all healed and of course the insurance company is taking care of the hospital bills.
“Gene has been really swell about everything. He has kept me on full salary during my illness.”