The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update


December 11, 2009

Author of Sandy Allen book to visit Pendleton library

Rita Rose 'just clicked' with world's tallest woman

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.

Text Only
  • FEA - HB0728 - Fresh Orientation - SH Elwood freshmen learn the ways of high school through mentoring program About half the 112 incoming freshmen at Elwood Jr./Sr. High School got a jump on their friends recently by attending a freshman orientation session. Joan Mercer, an English teacher who helped organize the the orientation, said the mentor program, which has been in place for several years, has been effective in new students make the high school transition.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA-HB0727-MCWinery-JC6.JPG Having a wine time

    Cathy Hensley’s never been much of a drinker. It wasn’t something that interested her very much, so it seemed unfathomable that she would ever run a winery. But after her son Eric offered her and her husband, Duke, some wine he made, it changed things.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lanane among LifeStream honorees Dr. Jon Hendrix and Katie Lucas, both of Muncie; Janet Privett, Montezuma, Ohio, and Sen. Tim Lanane (D), Anderson, will be honored during a reception Aug. 7 in Muncie for their work in making a difference in the lives of aging adults and people with disabilities.

    July 26, 2014

  • Community Briefs: July 27 A compilation of community news items as published in the Sunday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 26, 2014

  • FEA HB0727 Homes 0113 Storage solution The key to creating a beautiful home on a budget is to look beyond the intended purpose of an item, and beyond its appearance. Instead, check for sturdiness of the frame, and the functionality of the components.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • What's Where: July 27-Aug. 2 Local meetings and activities are scheduled this week.

    July 26, 2014

  • Help available locally to navigate health care options If you feel like you’re drowning in the shifting sea of health care options, don’t panic: SHIP, a local Navigator and Life Stream are ready to help.

    July 26, 2014

  • FEA HB0727 Camp Chesterfield Spiritualists' home Camp Chesterfield is one of 10 spiritualist camps in the United States, and the only one of its kind in Indiana. Founded in the late 1800s, It's home to the Indiana Association of Spiritualists and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Back in the News: July 27 The Herald Bulletin looks back at stories from the Anderson Daily Bulletin and The Anderson Herald newspapers.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jim Bailey: Traveling by passenger train was a page from the past My wife doesn’t remember riding on a full-fledged passenger train as a baby. Our children have never ridden. It’s an experience rapidly going the way of the horse and buggy and the stagecoach throughout a nation now obsessed with jumbo jets and sport-utility vehicles.

    July 26, 2014

Reader Pet Photos

We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin