Eight Foot Two, Eyes of Blue

 

A Fairy tale character is visiting the Carroll county fair Aug. 3-8 at Milledgeville.

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 400 pounds.

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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