Alvin Straight

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Alvin Ray Straight (October 17, 1920 – November 9, 1996) was a resident of Laurens, Iowa, who gained fame for traveling 240 miles (390 km) on a 1966 John Deere riding lawn mower to visit his 80-year-old brother Henry in Blue River, Wisconsin who had recently had a stroke. At a top speed of 5 miles per hour (8.0 km/h), the journey took six weeks. The trip took place in the summer of 1994 when Alvin was 73 years old.[1]

Mr. Straight could not see well enough to get a driver's license so he decided his only option was the mower. Setting off in early July, he towed a trailer loaded with gasoline, camping gear, clothes and food, and arrived at his brother's house in mid-August. Henry Straight recovered and moved back to Iowa to be closer to his family.[2]

Alvin Straight was born in Scobey, Montana. He moved with his wife Frances and their family to Lake View, Iowa in 1973 where he worked as a general laborer. He was a veteran of World War II (serving as Private First Class (PFC) in the United States Army) and the Korean War. He was the father of five sons and two daughters.[1]

On November 9, 1996, Straight died of a heart ailment. A mower similar to the one he had used on his trip accompanied his funeral procession to the Ida Grove Cemetery.[1]

Straight's story was adapted into the film The Straight Story, directed by David Lynch, which starred Richard Farnsworth (in an Oscar nominated role) as Alvin Straight.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Alvin Straight". Desmoinesregister.com. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  2. ^ "MAN WHO MADE SOLO LAWN MOWER JOURNEY DIES AT 76. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 1996-11-14. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 

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