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
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.
- 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.
Community Briefs: April 23
A compilation of community news as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
Community Briefs: April 22
A compilation of community news as published in the Tuesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
Man credited with saving life says he was doing his job
When Richard Goff walked into Louis Moyer's home, he smelled gas.
Acting without words
Nineteen area students will take a walk down the red carpet Tuesday evening as their film projects premiere at the Paramount Theatre during the WRC Silent Film Festival.
Community Briefs: April 21
A compilation of community news as published in the Monday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
Crossing over to Christianity
Tim Hanshew lives by 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” For the past six years, he has shared that power by carrying a large wooden cross throughout Anderson.
2014 Debutante Cotillion participants
The 11 participants in this year’s Debutante Cotillion Beautillion Militaire were asked a variety of questions, including their influences, words that describe themselves and favorite “words to live by.” The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive. Call Antoinette Davis at 620-2229 for tickets, which are $270 per table or $30 each.
- Location, location, location When imagining the house of a farmer, people don’t tend to envision the home built by George and Nancy Likens. By pouring time and attention into their haven since they originally constructed the house in 1975, they have created an updated and lovely environment in the perfect setting.
- More Community Headlines
- Food Truckin' Thursday returns