If you were watching the news this week you saw Nik Wallenda walk blindfolded on a highwire between two Chicago skyscrapers.
Seventy three years ago, in 1941, his great grandfather Karl Wallenda, walked a highwire over Longboat Pass near Cortez, Florida. It was part of the celebration to announce a new concrete bridge was being built between Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key.
Karl Wallenda was born in 1905 and died when he fell off a wire between two towers of a 10 story hotel in Puerto Rico in 1978.
The original Longboat Key bridge was built in 1926 and made of wood. It was washed away during a storm in April 1932. Although they had the party in 1941 the new bridge wasn't completed for another 17 years. They were delayed initially by WWII and then I guess it was effected by the normal efficiencies of local and State government.
This second photo of Nik Wallenda walking across the wire is interesting because it shows he enlisted fishermen from Cortez to help keep it from blowing in the wind. You can see boats anchored on both sides of the wire with cables going up to keep the wire tight. The boats on the right are fishermen from Cortez. The one in the front is my grandfather Tink Fulford's boat. The third one from the front is his cousin, John Luther McDonald's boat. I can't identify the others.