On This Date in History: People do nutty things. Look at this guy. He’s not only walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls, he’s pushing a wheelbarrow too. Let’s say he made it. So what? On This Date In 1908, a guy named John Albert Krohn had an idea of how to make money. He would push a wheelbarrow. He had been a newspaperman who said the money was the root of all evil, but that “most of us need the root.” So, he decided to push a wheelbarrow around the perimeter of the nation and then write a book about it. Along the way, he sold tokens commemorating his effort to help keep in financially solvent along the way. So, on June 1, 1908, “Colonial Jack” started off from Portland, Maine. He went to Washington state, then down the Pacific coast to the Atlantic and back up the east coast. During his 9024 mile trek, he wore out 11 pairs of shoes, 121 pairs of sock and 3 rubber tires. One of the tires fell victim to an angry snapping turtle. It took him 357 days and sold momentos and souvenirs to suckers along the way. On several occasions, Krohn was arrested by local authorities who sentenced him to a meal and a bed in the best hotel in town.
He ended up with a 98 page diary of his journey that he had published into a book. It must have sold pretty well because when he got home, he became a gardner. I don’t know if he knew Edwin J. Bush…but he too was from Portland, Maine and in 1912, he too left home with a wheelbarrow and walked to Portland, Oregon. But that’s as far as he got. If he wrote a book, I bet no one bought it.
To be fair, here as an essay that claims to have the “true” story and say that there were two wheelbarrow walker, Colonial Jack and Sailor Jean. The author says that he has determined that the two men were one in the same and that Krohn simply changed his moniker along the way. The only thing really different from my tale, that I got from a published work, is that Krohn started on April 1, 1903 and that he left on a bet from someone that he couldn’t go to all 50 states pushing the wheelbarrow. He even has photographs. The author is William D. Hyder. However, this little writing generated at least one critique, that took issue with an item that was not included. I have my own critique…you can see clearly at the photo on the left, a token that was sold by Krohn to finance his journey along the way clearly says that he started from Portland Maine on June 1, 1908, not April 1, 1903.
Whatever the real story is, I suggest that perhaps Krohn was Forrest Gump before there was a Forrest Gump.
Weather Bottom Line: I just did a quick look and not much more. Nothing grabs me at this time. We have a ridge over the Southeast for a couple of days. Tempertures will push into the upper 80′s for the first couple of days of the week with increasing humidity. A weak boundary slides down as the ridge seems to break down enough to allow for it on Wednesday and that should bring a chance for rain and t’storms. After that, the front slides southeast of the area and the edge would be taken off of the temperatures. I don’t feel like looking at it but it would seem there would be a question mark as to whether waves running along the stalled front well to our southeast would be close enough or strong enough to initiate some showers around here. Personally, with out really looking carefully, I’d say I doubt it at this time. We get a strong front on Saturday. But maybe I’ll have more enthusiasm tomorrow. Don’t get all worked up. I just had a Bobby Sherman fan take a shot at me for a couple of posts ago…I mean, I just don’t think he was too good of an actor and somehow she translates that into thinking that I wish ill will on the now 66 year old Sherman. Hrmph.