HISTORY IS COOL: Headlines from the News archives

80 years ago

March 8, 1940

New bobsled king

Tuffield “Tuffy” Latour, a Saranac Lake undertaker who swept everything before him in the two-man bobsledding field during the past winter, accomplished what he had set out to do a year ago — win every major bobbing title.

The unassuming, sandy-haired mortician, who possesses nerves of iron, served notice on the bobsledding world that he would bear watching when he placed third in the 1939 North American championships. In this race, the stocky little pilot set a single heat record at Mount Van Hoevenberg that still stands.

Opening events in the 1940 season found Tuffy still trailing such leaders as Ivan Brown, the 1936 Olympic champ, and Curtis Stevens, who was driving bobs before Tuffy was hardly out of short pants. He placed third in the Adirondack AAU junior race and second in the Wortman trophy race before he began his sensational win streak.

Suddenly finding that it was more fun leading the field than always a little bit back, Tuffy and his hefty brakeman, Paul Dupree, flashed home ahead in the Adirondack AAU Senior event, and from there in the headlines each week read, “Latour-Dupree Win” as the pair took in succession the National AAU junior, National AAU senior, Lowell Thomas International and North American championships. It was during the running of the Thomas race that the methodical driving of Latour set a new four-heat record for sleds using the 10mm runners.

Asked whether his brakeman was responsible for any of the winning, Tuffy grinned and said, “You bet. Without ‘Fat Stuff’ to help in getting me started, we’d never have gotten anywhere. I think he is the best in the game, which covers a lot of territory.”

Latour, having won everything of importance will not retire, but is already planning on the 1941 season in which he and Dupree will again team together.

“It’s too much fun even to give a thought to quitting, and besides as long as my wife thinks it’s OK, there is no reason for quitting.”

It was his yearning for speed and a little bit of daredevil in him that started Tuffy on his bobsledding career back in 1936. It was only a pastime for the first three years and it was not until 1939 that he began competitive bobbing after being urged by friends who saw his driving the skill of a future champion.

In the springtime, Tuffy turns to softball and plays with one of Saranac Lake’s crack teams.

Chimp in Tupper

Sally, a misnamed male chimpanzee, is weathering its third Adirondack winter in Tupper Lake.

According to the “Free Press,” Sally is literally wintering in an oven, for Leo LaBarge, its owner, has found that he must maintain a temperature of 70 or above to keep the animal comfortable.

Sally is a refugee from Tom Mix’s circus. Sally and another chimp walked out on the traveling show three years ago in Schenectady. Mr. LaBarge’s cousin captured the fugitive and sent it to Tupper Lake.

Sally has become a real pal to Mr. LaBarge, who is 22 and Scoutmaster of Troop 11 at Faust.