Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Ballad of John Singer (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg gives an account of the heroic non-conformist John Singer, a man who was murdered 30 years ago by the state for living out his faith, as well as having the audacity to homeschool his kids (note especially the extraordinary irony that the father of a boy Mr. Singer saved from drowning had a part in the murder):

In the village of Marion, east of Utah's celebrity-overrun Park City, can be found a 2.5-acre tract owned by the family of John Singer.

A reservoir located just south of the farm is fed by the runoff from nearby Hoyt's Peak.

Even in late summer, when the pitiless sun drives most residents of northern Utah to seek refuge in air-conditioned rooms, the pristine waters of that reservoir are bracingly cool. So it's hardly surprising that Jeff Edrington and Spencer Smith were found playing in that reservoir on a blistering day in late July 1973.

Unfortunately, neither of the young boys had told an adult where they were going. So nobody was there to help them when the raft on which they were lounging overturned, leaving them stranded in the middle of the lake. The water was easily deep enough to drown in, and the boys were too far from the shore to make it on their own.

After hearing desperate cries for help, Heidi Singer frantically sprinted home to tell her father. A few minutes later the wiry 42-year-old farmer crested a nearby hill just in time to see one of the boys lose his battle to retain buoyancy. Without breaking stride, John dove into the lake. Muscles hardened by farm work quickly carried him to the drowning child; hands strengthened by milking dairy cows grasped the boy firmly and carried him to the surface.

Read the rest

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