Granddad Was Telling The Truth


WHEN ROGER GRABLE, who lives at 139 Gideon Lane was a small boy, his grandfather, George Atkins, gave him a large ring, almost two inches in diameter.


"This is a giant's ring." the grandfather told the boy.


Slightly skeptical, Roger accepted the ring and put it aside,  However he hung on to the ring, made of lead or pewter.  Embossed on the top of the ring was the wording. "Jack Earle - Giant - 8ft 101/2."


THEN RECENTLY, Roger discovered his grandfather had been telling the truth.  The ring had belonged at one time to a giant - a giant who was really named Jack - Jack Earle.


The discovery that his grandfather had been telling the truth came when Roger saw a picture in the Gazette, which showed his giant - Earle - standing with the late Dr Charles Humberd Barnard, and Ben Mangoon former delicatessen owner, in St. Joseph.  The accompanying story told of the time that the late Robert Wadlow, the boy giant from Alton, ILL., spent here during a federal court trial.


That trial was of the suit that Wadlow, who was 8 feet, 11 inches tall, had filed against Humberd and the American Medical Journal over an article the physician as expert on giants, had written about the extra tall youth.  During that trial, Jacke Earle a circus giant then living in El Paso, was a witness on behalf of Doctor Humberd Earle, whose real name was Jake Enrich was listed as being 8 feet, five inches tall.  The Barnard doctor and the AMA Journal emerged victorious from the trial.


Whether Earle actually grew additional inches by the time the ring was made or whether this was a little hokum by the circus with which Earle traveled is unknown.  The ring actually was not Earle's personal ring but was one of possibly hundreds Earle sold to supplement his income as a sideshow freak.


BUT ROGER KNOWS now that his grandfather George Atkins was a truthful man - just as truthful as George Washington, whose first name he bore.


Timely Observation Frederick W Slater Oct 11, 1984 News Press


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