By Emily Lawson
For The Herald Bulletin
It was 2008 when Rita Rose’s book based on Sandy Allen was published, but the story began some 31 years earlier.
Rose, a former reporter and editor for the Indianapolis Star’s entertainment department, wrote a story on Allen, a Shelbyville resident who was the world’s tallest woman, in 1977 for the newspaper.
Allen was recovering from surgery that removed a tumor on her pituitary gland, the culprit of her excessive growth.
Rose spent three days with Allen. Allen, at 7 feet, 7-and-a-quarter inches towered over Rose, at 5 feet, 4 inches. The two became lifelong friends.
“We just clicked,” said Rose, who writes a thinly fictionalized account of Allen in “World’s Tallest Woman: The Giantess of Shelbyville High.”
“From then on we started hanging out. She was funny. She used to say things like, ‘Well, I could never meet anybody that could put a big enough ring on my finger’ because she wasn’t just tall, she had big hands and feet too. She had a size 22EEE foot.”
“We just really enjoyed each other’s company. I would drive down to Shelbyville, where she was living, and she would come up to my place. We spent Christmas together one year.”
The book, based on Allen’s real-life experiences in high school, stemmed from this very friendship.
Rose will discuss the book at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Pendleton Community Library.
“She had told me privately some instances that had happened to her in high school. I was very interested in the fact that she was able to, quote, ‘rise above that,’” Rose said.
“She had already had a million stories done on her about being tall and holding the title, but I wanted to write a little bit more about her as a person,” Rose said.
Rita Rose 'just clicked' with world's tallest woman
By Emily Lawson
Center for the Arts opens vibrant exhibit
A layover in Japan more than three decades ago changed the course of New York-based artist Gloria Garfinkel’s work for the rest of her life. The Anderson Center for the Arts opened its latest exhibit featuring Garfinkel’s work Wednesday, and it will run until June 13.
- Community Briefs: April 25 A compilation of community news items as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
- Weekend Calendar: April 25 Entertainment scheduled at area venues for April 25-27.
- Live music: April 25 The following listings for live music and other entertainment at area venues are published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
Annual Bids for Kids auction starts Friday
Breaking the cycle of child abuse is one of the most difficult things to do, but the people of Madison County aren’t ready to give up trying.
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- Community Briefs: April 24 A compilation of community news as published in the Thursday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
- Spotlight on the kids When pianist Nathan Cook started volunteering for the special education program at Anderson High School, he started mulling over ideas how he could do more to help.
Food Truckin' Thursday returns
A new favorite that combines food and cars is rolling back into town next week. Food Truckin' Thursday starts back up May 1. For about six months, local vendors will pull up their food trucks to Citizens Park Plaza at Ninth and Main streets from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Community Briefs: April 23
A compilation of community news as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
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- Center for the Arts opens vibrant exhibit