#039;Real people#039; are not real

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2001

There once was a television show called "Real People." There was another one, entitled "That's Incredible."

They came on every week, regular as clockwork.

The only thing about it was that they (the programs) weren't named right. Properly, both should have been called "Unreal People," because the folks the producers paraded before the public were just about as unlikely a lot as you could find, anywhere.

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Take, for instance, the ex-G.I., who after several years of a marriage that resulted in a number of children, underwent a sex change. He became a she.

That ain't all there is to that story, though, so hold the phone. His wife likewise underwent a sex change; at least she became a he in dress and in action as breadwinner, etc.

You call such folks as that real? You don't seriously ascribe to that label, now do you? No.

Another fellow stands in the middle of a racetrack as a car comes bearing down on him at about 100 mph. With perfect timing, this guy leaps high into the air, the car passes beneath him and he makes a perfect two-point landing at the spot (from which) he had leapt seconds before - completely unscathed.

Still another character, a grizzly 450 pounder, fastens a heavy rope to a pair of linked-up railroad diesel engines, weighing a combined no-telling-how-many-tons. He puts the other end of the rope in his mouth and savagely chomps down on it.

On a level track, he starts the engines inching along as he sweats and groans, gasping for air with a thunderous growl. He actually pulls those engines about five or more feet along that track.

Butler County likewise can claim a couple (or more) unreal people. Like the powerfully built six-foot 200 pound black man, Frank Murray, who in 1967 was driving along the outskirts of Greenville when he noted a car which had fallen off its jack and atop its driver. Murray stopped, jumped out of his vehicle, grasped the car's bumper and lifted one end of the car clear off the ground while others pulled the trapped man to safety. About 10 years previous to the 1967 heroics, Murray had performed a similar feat, lifting a fallen forklift truck from a man's legs.

Don't know where Murray is now, but you must agree he's unreal.

In his heyday, the late Junior Kuykendall of the Liberty Community, likewise performed many outstanding feats of strength. One such event comes to mind: numerous "big, strong men" had spent about an hour with some posthole diggers, trying to set up a fenceline for one of the Kiwanis Club's first Butler County Fairs. They couldn't even make a mark on the impacted, hard-as-steel red clay.

Then up strolled Junior, grasped the diggers, and sliced through the earth like it was melted butter.

Junior was not only incredible, but like Murray, he was powerful as well.

Our feats at The Advocate are not of the physical variety, like the above-listed examples, but performances of our staff must be categorized simply as "outstanding."