I stumbled upon a National Treasure yesterday.
I was walking down 3rd Avenue when I noticed an old man in a wheelchair. He was being pushed by a caretaker. Despite his physical condition, he had dressed with extreme care. He wore an outlandish yellow outfit. Everything about him was yellow, from his shades to his socks. Intrigued by his appearance, I bent down and asked for a photograph. He silently nodded approval.
After I’d taken his photograph, his caretaker offered a formal introduction: “This is Banana George,” she said, “the world’s oldest barefoot waterskier. He’s 97 now. When he was 92, he set the world record for the oldest person to waterski barefoot.”
Banana George didn’t even begin waterskiing until he was 40. But it soon became his passion. So much so that he began doing shows at Cypress Gardens— hopping jumps and riding with women on his shoulders. In the course of his career, he’s broken his back 4 times. He’s also broken his ankle, knee, and eleven ribs. Banana George waterskied until the last possible moment. I’ve seen footage of a very old George being pulled through the water in a wheelchair-on-skis, smiling like a madman.
Here you can see a short video I found of Banana George skiing on his 90th birthday: http://bit.ly/ri0bD3
Banana George is a testament to loving life, and he deserves to be celebrated. I discovered that his family set up a fan page for him. It only has 835 people so far. Let’s show George how much we love his spirit, and join his fan group: http://on.fb.me/P0f087