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
- PHHS marching band, Directors Jazz Orchestra to perform The Pendleton Heights High School Marching Arabians Band and Directors Jazz Orchestra are putting on a show for the community at 6 p.m. Sunday at Falls Park.
- United Way wants community to pull together United Way of Madison County decided to encourage the community to pull together – literally.
Community Briefs: Aug. 22
A compilation of community news items as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
- Historical Society opens camera, photography exhibit Photos freeze moments in time to look back on, and now the public can catch a glimpse at how photographic technology has evolved.
- Jim Bailey: School days, school days, good old August dog days Those of us who didn’t start school until after Labor Day are still trying to digest all the changes in the school calendar as educators tell us kids are more likely to retain what they learn if they aren’t off too long in the summer.
- Community Briefs: Aug. 20 A compilation of community news items as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
Mommy and me time
Babette Bargo of Anderson said she brought her daughter to Community Hospital’s first Mommy Monday to meet other mothers and children after her sister-in-law told her about the event.
- Community Briefs: Aug. 19 A compilation of community news items as published in the Tuesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
- Drawing parallels A collection of Stephanie Cochran's work is on display at Park Place Arts’ newest exhibit, “From the Smallest Among Us…” The show opened Aug. 1 and runs until Sept. 13.
- Community Briefs: Aug. 18 A compilation of community news items as published in the Monday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
- More Community Headlines