Dr. McCleery Lobo Wolves Digital Archive

Interview with Susan Williams

Description

An interview with Susan Williams, whose father Laurence (Pete) Williams was the Deputy Game Protector in the area and brought roadkill deer for Jack Lynch's wolves from 1965 to 1970. She remembers being fascinated with the mountain lion, seeing Marjorie Lynch shortly after she was attacked by the Lynches' malamute Kim, and the wolves being controversial in Kane.

Interviewee

Susan Williams

Interviewer

Kirsten Canfield

Date

July 29, 2014

Format

Interview

My Dad was the Game Protector in the area and part of his job was to pick up (and normally just move) road killed deer. We would get calls at all times of the night, and he would get out of bed and go pick up the deer, toss it in the trunk, and head to Jack's to drop it off to him. I can remember Jack telling him that it was saving a lot of money, because he could use the venison to augment their regular meat diet, and thus didn't have to buy that much raw meat that week.

What was your father's name?

His proper name was Laurence Williams, but everyone called him Pete Williams. He was the Deputy Game Protector in the area, working under Leo Milford in the Ridgeway headquarters

Was it your father's idea to bring the roadkill to Jack?

I'm not sure whether it was Pete's or Jack's, but I remember when he first talked to Jack about it. We went to the park one day and they discussed the logistics, so to speak.

Had anyone else brought roadkill to Jack before your father started to do so?

Honestly, I think I remember Jack himself picking up a couple that he'd found, but I don't believe anyone else actually did it regularly with the intent to feed the wolves.

What years did your father do this, and what years did you visit the park?

My father died in October of 1971. This would have been between 1965 and 1970. I was with him most of the times he would make a trip to the park with a dead deer.

How old were you at the time?

I would have been between 10 and 15 in those years.

Do you remember any people (aside from the Lynches) who worked at the park?

No, I don't believe I ever met anyone who worked there, or if I did, I don't recall.

What was your impression of Jack and Marjorie Lynch? What were they like?

I liked Jack. He would take the time to explain the wolves' habits to me when I would ask one of a myriad of questions I always had. I only actually met his wife one time, shortly after she'd been attacked by their pet dog.

Do you remember any other animals besides wolves at the park?

I remember the Malamute who ended up attacking Mrs. Lynch. He'd always seemed such a nice dog. The way Jack told it, his wife had set some grapes on the ground for the dog and the dog had rejected them. When she reached down to pick them back up, the dog attacked her. I remember she'd had to have a mess of stitches to her face.

I also remember a mountain lion he had there.

Do you remember seeing Marjorie with stitches? Do you remember where on her face the wound was, and do you remember around what year the attack happened?

Yes, I saw Marjorie with stitches.  To the best of my recollection, she had a line of stitches crosswise on her forehead from mid center to just over her right eyebrow and another on her cheek on the opposite side. Again a long run of stitches. It really looked like the dog had opened his mouth with his top teeth into her forehead and bottom teeth into her opposite cheek.  Only saw her briefly that day, she wasn't all that social at that time, if I remember right. I can't absolutely guarantee that I have the stitches and wounds correct.  Its been a long time.  My estimate of the date would be around 1965-68.  If you can come up with the year that Jack had the mountain lion in the park, that would narrow the time frame down.  I was less attracted to the wolves, but the mountain lion fascinated me. It's funny, I can recall what I was wearing that day, which sounds truly odd to me.  I also remember petting that Malamute numerous times and never feeling that he was vicious at all. He was absolutely the most gorgeous dog I'd ever seen though.

Did Marjorie tell you about how she got injured, or did Jack tell you? How did they seem to feel about the malamute's death?

Jack told us about the attack, she didn't say much about it (but at the time I doubted that she could talk all that well with the stitches in her cheek).  Jack killed the Malamute from what I remember him saying, and he was very sad that the dog had to be destroyed. But he could no longer trust it around them in their home. I never heard of it biting anyone else, and I was very leery of dogs at that time, so if I'd ever heard that the dog bit anyone, I would not have gone near it.

Do you remember any of the wolves' names?

No, I'm sorry, I don't.

How did you feel when the wolves left Kane?

I was sad when they left. In my child's mind, they were a part of Kane just like what was then called the Penn Kane Hotel and the Hillcrest. They were there all my life so when they left, it was as if part of the town went with them. I'm also quite positive that view wasn't shared by a lot of people. They were controversial at best, and a lot of people in town wanted them gone, which was part of the reason my father gave Jack a hand and brought road kill deer to him. I always chuckle to myself now because some of the people lamenting their move NOW are the ones whose parents cheered when Lynch moved the wolves. People were afraid of them, most of all.

Do you remember any specific conversations or incidents pertaining to the wolves' lack of popularity?

I can remember conversations I overheard when I was with my Dad in town. There were always rumors that one of the wolves had escaped, which most of the time were bogus rumors started by those who wanted the wolves gone. I remember my dad would shake his head and tell people how far off base they were in wanting them gone, that they were doing no harm, and Jack was caring for them well.  As far as who it was complaining, in this case, I can remember faces and not names. I only know that my dad was well known in town and people spoke to him both as a friend and as the game protector in the area.

Did you keep in touch with the Lynches after they left?

My father had died and we lost touch. I knew where they'd gone and we had their address, but I don't believe my mother or I contacted them after they'd gone.

Do you have any photos or memorabilia from the park?

I was remembering that my dad had his camera out there a couple of times, but I don't remember ever seeing any pictures he took.

Regarding the mountain lion, do you remember if it was male or female? Where did the mountain lion live? Was it in a pen apart from the wolves, or did it ever stay in the Lynches' trailer?

It was female and was kept in a large cage, complete with a tree, slightly away (and up toward the road and front of the park) from the wolves.  It was not friendly, and I doubt that Jack would have kept it in the trailer. However, with that said, there could have been more than one Mountain Lion over the years.

Did it have a name? (I read about one named Amiga - do you remember that?)

I remember the name Amiga, but I don't remember if the mountain lion I remember had that name.

Did Jack obtain it himself (if so, any idea how he obtained it and what year?), or did you get the impression that it used to belong to Dr. McCleery?

I remember someone saying that Jack had been "given" the mountain lion after it was trapped, but I'm NOT sure it was THIS cat or another that they were talking about.

I'm just surprised at how much I remember from that time. In 1966, I was 11 and extremely curious, so I'm thinking that's why I can remember all of this.