A Daredevil & Two Boards: Ralph Samuelson, The Lake Pepin Pioneer Who Invented Water Skiing
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Press:Biblio Distribution Hunter Halverson Press (February 15, 2006)
Author Name:Ziemer, Gregor
A Daredevil & Two Boards tells the inspiring true story of the Minnesota small town man with big ideas who invented water skiing.
On a hot July day in 1922, Lake Pepin fisherman Ralph Samuelson convinced his brother Ben to pull him up out of the deep blue waters of the mysterious Mississippi and into sports history.
With two pine board strapped to his feet, Samuelson rose up to conquer the water as well as the skepticism of the local detractors who had been gathering at the river's edge for weeks to "watch him drown." War history author Gregor Ziemer tells the life story of the ordinary man whose unshakable faith enabled him to achieve the impossible - to walk on water.
Sports & Outdoors,Water Sports,Biographies & Memoirs,Sports & Outdoors
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- On a hot July day in 1922, Ralph Samuelson convinced his brother Ben to pull him up out of the wasters of the Mississippi River and into sports history. With two pine boards strapped to his feet, 18-year-old Lake Pepin fisherman and sports enthusiast Samuelson invented water skiing and launched both a sport and an industry. Biographer and historian Gregor Ziemer tells the true and hitherto unknown story of this small town Minnesota boy and his contribution to the rise of water skiing as one of the most popular and widespread forms of water recreation. A Daredevil & Two Boards: Ralph Samuelson, The Lake Pepin Pioneer Who Invented Water Skiing is as entertaining as it is informative, and a "must read" for anyone who has ever strapped on a pair of waterskis and held on for dear life to the tow rope of a motorboat while swiftly skimming over the surface of a lake or river!
- Ralph Samuelson, the young Lake City, Minnesota man who invented water skiing, was a daredevil who loved challenges.After months of trial and error, on July 2, 1922 "Sammy did it," as previously doubting people cheered from the shoreline.After his first successful attempt on 8-foot homemade skis, held on by leather straps, Ralph developed his own water show, doing tricks for townspeople. Then he took the show on the road to Florida and Michigan and throughout Minnesota in the 1920s and early 1930s.Although the book indicates that it is all about water skiing--that was only the early and small part of his life.After he injured his back, he had to quit skiing and start the next phase of his life. He married and became an innovative and successful turkey farmer--successful that is, until disease killed off most of his flock and left him in debt.After many failures caused by diseases in animals and poultry, Ralph always trusted in his God. Later in life, the man who lived openly with his personal God often took the opportunity to witness, even after he had to file bankruptcy in 1952. He described bankruptcy to be "as close to disgrace as disgrace goes."In the 1960s, he was finally recognized as the Father of Waterskiing, thanks to the curiosity of a St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter and hard work and support of some Lake City business people.Ralph Samuelson was a man who had often in his 77 years come to the end of his rope, but always he tied a knot and hung on. On his tombstone, per his request, it simply says, "Ralph Samuelson, Father of Waterskiing, Witness for Christ."This young daredevil had many mountains to climb but always got up when life knocked him down.Armchair Interviews says: This book would be most enjoyed by people from Minnesota because of the many names and places, but also by those who like waterskiing--or those who like to read about people who accept and exceed challenges while witnessing for their God.
- Husband and I bought the book as a gift for his mom for Christmas, and she loved it. She said it was a great reading.
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