“By fifth grade she was 6’3”

sandy allen

BuzzFeed’s Sandra Allen wrote an amazing history of another Sandra Allen, the Fellini-immortalized former tallest woman in the world. It’s compelling from the beginning:

By fifth grade she was 6’3”. By her freshman year she was 7’1”. Her grandmother struggled to keep her clothed and shod. Her 8-foot bed was set up in the dining room. Sandy was very protective of her brother, something of a surrogate parent. She used to call home from school at lunchtime to make sure he was alright.

…through the end:

Sandy had wanted to be buried in a blue nightgown, because her grandmother had also been buried in a blue nightgown, but they couldn’t get the one they’d bought to fit her. Instead she was buried in a Pacers jersey, and Pacers earrings too. Her funeral was packed, and the streets, as people bearing signs and flowers tried to get a glimpse of her coffin as it was wheeled by on a wagon.