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Williamstown Theatre Festival

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A strike of inspiration

KNICKERBOCKER playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman drew inspiration for his script from this Story of a Man Who Was Struck By Lightning 7 Times

US Park Ranger Roy C. Sullivan from Virginia holds the record for the person most times struck by lightning—and living to tell the tale. Between 1942 and 1983, Roy has the dubious distinction of being struck by lightning seven times. He was known as the Human Lightning Rod.

The first lightning strike in 1942 happened as he was working up in a lookout tower and the lighting bolt shot through his leg and knocked his big toenail off.

In 1969 while he was driving along a mountain road a second strike burned off his eyebrows and knocked him unconscious. Another strike just a year later, while he was walking across his yard to get the mail, left his shoulder seared.

He was standing in the office at the ranger station in 1972 when lightning set his hair on fire and Roy had to throw a bucket of water over his head to cool off. A year later, after his hair had grown back, a lightning bolt ripped through his hat and hit him on the head, setting his hair on fire again. It threw him out of his truck, knocked his left shoe off and seared his legs. A sixth strike hit him in 1976 while he was checking on a campsite, injuring his ankle.

The last lightning bolt to hit Roy in 1977 happened while he was fishing. It sent him to hospital with chest and stomach burns.

Roy Sullivan was never killed by lighting - he committed suicide while in his 70’s in 1983 reportedly distraught over the loss of a woman.

From the Daily Cognition: Blog of Unusual and Funny News Worldwide

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