Saturday, April 23, 2016

Karl and Nik of The Flying Wallendas - a Haibun

                                                                                                     Attribution: Porterlu
Image: The Flying Wallendas 7-Man Pyramid 2005 (here)

                                                                                      Attribution: kevint3141
Image: Nik Wallenda on a tight rope from Medieval
Fare to Wonder Mountain at Canada's Wonderland (here)

for Tight-rope Artists in ABC of Sports

The Prose
The Flying Wallendas led by Karl comprised a daredevil stunt team, most known for high wire pyramid acts without a safety net.

In 1962, while performing at the Shrine Circus at Detroit's State Fair Coliseum, the front man on the wire faltered and the pyramid collapsed. Three fell to the ground, killing Richard Faughnan, Karl's son-in-law; and nephew Dieter Schepp. Karl injured his pelvis, and his adopted son, Mario, was paralyzed from the waist down.
Other tragedies included that of Karl's sister-in-law, Rietta, who fell to her death in 1963, and his son-in-law Richard Guzman who was killed in 1972 after touching a live electric wire while holding part of the metal rigging. Nonetheless, Karl decided to go on. He repeated the pyramid act in 1963 and 1977.

On March 22, 1978, during a promotional walk in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Karl Wallenda fell from the wire and died. He was 73 (Wiki) 

The Tanka
A family act
Dare-devils on high wire
Without safety nets
Had its share of tragedies
Never had been an act since

A to Z Challenge


  1. That is one act where you really have to think if it was worth it

  2. I cannot imagine a family being so devoted to the high wire that they continue despite the deaths. I remember watching one of them walk across Niagara Falls a few years ago. Everyone was totally on edge. Talk about death defying. Apparently the spray/wet air from the falls makes it more difficult anyway. His wife was there watching. She must have a terrible time of it.


  3. It's something I can't watch, but to do it in such a way as to lose lives. That pyramid was an accident waiting to happen, of course that didn't stop anyone. It's ridiculous, amazing but ridiculous. Although, I guess you'll always know what your end will be.

  4. My entertainment is not worth a human life, nor do I did think anyone's amusement should cost a precious life. Sad. :-(

  5. It's sad there were so many tragedies in the Wallenda family and all for the sake of entertainment? Definitely not worth it!