Sunday, April 17, 2011

Two halves

Two men, generations apart, born with sacral agenesis:

Doug Forbis

(1st image, seated; 3rd image, playing frisbee; 5th image, picnicking with his girlfriend at the local park; video here) Furbis, 24, is a graduate student in Spartanburg, South Carolina, planning to become a physical education teacher for kids with special needs.

"It's so rare for kids with special needs to have a teacher with special needs -- that almost never happens. I think it would help a lot for these special need kids to say, 'Look, Mr. Forbis is a teacher, I can do that, too. He lives by himself, gets around town, goes shopping, I can do that, too.' A lot of kids don't know that's an option," explains Forbis.

"The only challenges I run into are other people's mindsets, nothing physical or anything related to me. People who think a person in a wheelchair shouldn't be at the mall or shouldn't be hanging out with their friends. It's crazy," says Forbis.

Johnny Eck
(1911-1991) (2nd image, seated; 4th image, doing a handstand; 6th image, visiting with a young neighbor in Baltimore; video here and watch him walking here) A sideshow performer billed as the amazing "Half-Boy," "King of Freaks," and "The Most Remarkable Man in the World," Eck (his family name was Eckhardt) was also an artist, photographer, and illusionist. He may be best recognized for appearing in the cult classic film "Freaks" (1932).

"Why would I want those? Then I'd have pants to press," quipped Eck about legs.

"What can you do that I can't do, except tread water?" he challenged.

"If I want to see freaks, all I have to do is look out the window," said Eck, after he went into seclusion at age 76.

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