|Birth: ||Sep. 26, 1903|
|Death: ||May 5, 1974|
Richard Blandy was born in 1902 and raised in Vieux Carre, Louisiana. He was a Creole, five feet, four inches tall, and generally maintained a weight of 150 pounds. Various accounts recall his experience as a circus worker, boxer, house painter, MerchantMarine, riveter, steeplejack, flagpole painter and salesman.
1929 - First flagpole sitting in answer to classified ad by Goodrich Rubber
Company and Texaco, earning $600 for climbing a spire atop a new service
station in Tampa, Florida.
1933 - Claimed title as champion flagpole sitter during 77 days and nights at the
Chicago World's Fair.
1954 - Set flagpole standing record after 10 days at the Michigan State Fair.
1960 - Established bicycle record for 13 days and nights atop a 50-foot pole in
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
1964 - Broke 1933 sitting record on the Steelpier in Atlantic City, New Jersey
after 78 days.
1965 - Proclaimed world title at Grona Luid Amusement Park in Stockholm,
Sweden aster sitting 125 days in a chair 200 feet height. During his stay he drank 92 bottles of whiskey and smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day
1974 - May 6, died at 72 years when flagpole collapsed in Harvey, Illinois at the Dixie Square Mall.
Blandy had six wives, having been divorced three times and widowed three times. He was known to meet his younger wives through telephone conversations with fans on the ground during his many flagpole sitting exhibitions. Johnny Carson interviewed him while he was sitting on a 155 foot pole for television's Tonight Show in the mid-1960s.
As others broke his records, he dismissed their attempts since they had built elaborate sitting platforms, while he continued to use a small seat as his primary vehicle. Blandy made his winter home in Dayton, Ohio, for over 60 years, bartending to make ends meet. Known as "Dixie-on-the-Ball" and "Buckeye Dixie", he wanted his epitaph, to read: "The World Super Champion Flagpole Sitter and a good American." He was survived by his son, Richard, a high school principal living Tampa, Florida.
------------------------------------------------------------From the Watertown, NY Daily Paper, May 1974
Richard "Dixie" Blandy, who claimed to be the world champion flagpole sitter is dead at the age of 71. Participating in a 4 day shopping center promotion in suburban Chicago (Harvey, Illinois at Dixie Square Mall), Blandy directed a guard on the ground to move a trailer to permit his descent into the parking lot. But the trailer hit a wire, snapping the 50 foot pole atop which Blandy was seated and he tumbled to the pavement, dying 3 hours later at the hospital.
There have been thousands of flagpole sitters over the last 40 years. But for most it was a one shot deal, designed to attract attention and get their names and pictures in the newspaper.In fact, the Guinness World Book of Records credits Maurie Rose Kirby of Indianapolis, Indiana with setting the world pole sitting record of 211 days, 9 hours in 1939.
But to Richard Blandy, flagpole sitting was his life. He started in the late 1920's and continued ever since. Once he was paid $900 a day for a 44 day promotion in New Jersey. Sometimes he would peddle his bicycle atop his perch. He was struck by lightening several times. Once a Texas tornado blew down his pole and he had to be hospitalized.
For Richard Blandy, flagpole sitting was his occupation.
Mr. Blandy did not have a headstone until it was purchased by admirers in 2006. Read on-
Dear Buckeye Dixie Blandy, Well, my friend, the job is done.
I don't know if you have been able to sense the spirit of change at your burial site, Section 201, Lot 271 at Woodland Cemetery, the famous Dayton cemetery, but you now have a marble stone marking your resting place.
For 32 years the grave was grown over with grass, and there was no way for those who care to easily find the little spot shaded by an Eastern Spruce tree just up the rolling hillside not far from the main entrance.
Yours was a colorful life, and your claim to fame during your 71 years on Earth centered on your fascination with spending time sitting on the top of flagpoles.
Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum
Plot: Sec: 201 Lot: 271
Maintained by: amy abramson
Originally Created by: Loretta Castaldi
Record added: May 25, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 90729987
I must say, It was a pleasure to take the photo and come home to find he was such an incredible person. Made it all worth it.|
Added: Aug. 2, 2013
Added: Mar. 31, 2013