Book Cover

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Patrolman Bruce White's Heroic Role Remembered

Dear Mr. Goodwin,
My father, B. B. White was an Atlanta policeman on duty the night of the Winecoff Hotel fire. Since the Winecoff was within his beat, he was one of the first respondents. He worked his way up the stairs to alert guests to get out of the hotel before it became impossible for him to stay inside.

At 71 years of age my memory will be sketchy at best. He went with the firemen into Davison's (across the street) and up on the roof to aim water over to the fire. In 1946 they did not have ladders to reach the upper floors.

On the ground he assisted the firemen with the fire nets to catch the jumpers. It was while holding the net to catch someone, a woman (unseen by firemen) jumped from about the 10th floor and landed on my dad's shoulders and it was believed she survived. Unknown to my dad at the time he had suffered a back injury crushing five vertebra, but continued working through the early morning.

The fact that Bruce White was a policeman and a professional wrestler (aka: B.B., Hugh Winn and The Phantom) was what saved his life. However, his careers as a patrolman and a wrestler were ended.

We listened to him tell about going into the hotel rooms after the fire and when a Bible was laying open, it was untouched by the fire. I will never forget this.

The Atlanta Constitution and The Atlanta Journal had many articles on "Bruce White, Hero of Winecoff Hotel Fire" through the years. Coronet Magazine recognized him as a "Hero of the Year" and featured his story. I remember him being interviewed by a radio commentator each year on the anniversary of the Winecoff fire until his death in August, 1977.
Thank you for preserving the story of this historic hotel fire in Atlanta, GA.

Patricia White Attaway
Townsend, GA

Dear Patricia,
Thanks for remembering B.B. White for our readers.
Sadly, ladders still won't reach the upper floors of high rise buildings.
All best, Allen

Friday, April 13, 2007

Head Swelling Mail!

Dear Mr. Goodwin,
Received the book today... already re-read half of it.
I am actually replacing a copy I purchased at a now closed bookstore in Atlanta (right next door to the former Winecoff), and then foolishly lent to an as yet unknown friend. Your book on the Winecoff Fire was a mesmerizing read.
My old copy was autographed by Mr. Heys, so should it ever find its way back to me, I will have copies with both your signatures.
I hold your book in high esteem as one of the most in-depth, touching, and complete tales of any tragedy. You should be very proud of your work.

Daniel Musher
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Hey Dan,
Thanks for the kind words. It really helps to hook up with the right co-author!
Best wishes and be safe, Allen