12 minutes | Jun 9th 2020

Waco's brief world record: tree sitting

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No doubt kids back in the 1930s were as bored as kids during COVID-19! Their answer: tree sitting. That's right, kids in the 1930s tried to see how long they could stay up in a tree. One Wacoan, Jack Kellner Jr., briefly held the world record by staying in a tree off Homan Ave for more than 156 hours! Listen as Stephen and Randy take a trip into Waco's past:

The Waco History Project has more on this moment in time:

At 1 p.m. July 16, 1930, Frank Kellner Jr., 12, climbed the cottonwood tree in the backyard of his home, 2324 Homan Ave. — launching the craze in Waco.

The News-Tribune reported that the youngster, a 94-pound Boy Scout who looked like he was "out to try anything for glory," had a support team made up of pals Sidney Carlisle, Keith Burns and Maynard G. Darden. The trio sent up three meals a day, made by Frank's enthusiastic mother, in a basket on a rope. Some even climbed up to his quilt-lined and book-laden platform to play a board game to help him while away the hours.

Frank's father told reporters that he'd offered his son a $1 per day incentive for each day past the record Frank could make it.

A day later, two female rivals took to the branches. Frances Coates, 11, and Mildred Fraser, 13, with a black and white kitten for company, climbed a tree at 502 Dallas St. and nestled among blankets and pillows stuffed in the crotches of a box elder. Their support team was composed of friends Mildred Yarbrough and Marie Stewart.

Learn more at wacohistory.com/tree-sitting

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