Foot Two, Eyes of Blue
A Fairy tale character is visiting
the Carroll county fair Aug. 3-8 at
He doesn't live in a castle, but
he's right off the pages of a
storybook. He's a friendly giant-
the world's tallest man who travels
with the Monarch Exposition Shows.
The sign outside Johann K.
Peturssons midway showplace calls
him the "Viking Giant" because he
was born in Iceland, an area invaded
by the famous pirates. He still
speaks with a characteristic
Scandinavian accent, but if Vikings
were the ferocious men history says
they were, then "Viking" is the
wrong affective for this Giant.
He's a gentle, kind man, more like a
favorite uncle than a warrior.
When Petursson was born in 1913, he
didn't set any records. He was 21"
long and weighted nine pounds. His
mother was a mere 5 feet 6 inches.
He grew slowly until the age of 12,
and by the time he was 15, he
measured 6 feet 6 inches tall. He
stopped growing when he was 24 years
old. He's now 57 and the World's
Tallest Man, stretching 8 feet 2
inches above the ground. A heavy
set, thought not fat man, he weights
Everything the enormous man uses
must be specially made. His shoes
are size 24. Around his finger he
wears an initialed ring large enough
to slip a silver dollar thought.
Petursson went to work at the age of
13 as a fisherman in his native
land, but he had to leave the sea a
few years after he turned 20, even
the boats got too small for him.
So at 22 he went into the business
that could make his height pay off.
He started in Copenhagen, Denmark,
in a one man show, and subsequently
traveled across Europe He came to
the United States 20 years age. "I
tell you true" he said, I did not
like it the first year, the people
staring- and it was boring I wished
I was normal size, but i had to do
it, I had to make my way, but now I
like it. It's an opportunity to
make a living. I have been very
lucky to have good health, and most
people I meet are awfully nice.
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