Persistent frog Samuel Parks (4 photos)

Category: Nostalgia, PEGI 0+
2 April 2024

Is it easy to live in the world if you are not just different from those around you, but very different?

The answer to this question is the story of Samuel David Parks, whom his contemporaries called the frog boy. And he was not at all a prince who was supposed to be disenchanted by the kiss of true love.

Sam was born on October 20, 1874 in Boston and made his first public appearance at the age of 19 at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Sam Parks was most likely born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition that leads to brittle bones and, as a result, regular, painful fractures.

According to a brochure Parks distributed during his touring activities, he could personally recall breaking 58 bones in his life. Parks likely broke many more bones in his youth and even more as a child. These numerous fractures caused his body to become deformed. The legs were twisted and twisted, and it was because of the twisted limbs that he received the nickname “frog boy.”

Parks came from a poor family. His father worked hard to support his family, and it was difficult for him to do so. At this time, Sam learned to be independent, so as not to be a burden to his family, and sought to expand the capabilities of his fragile body. Sam still needed help and care, but he was a proud man who tried and failed before asking for it.

Soon after his first public appearance, Sam Parks began a full-time career. Parks embellished his true origins and played up his frog-like appearance, performing throughout the United States.

Notably, in 1906, Parks found love and married Maryland native Ida Granville in Baltimore. However, his euphoria was cut short when, less than a year later, his manager absconded with all his savings and left the poor guy penniless during a tour in Georgia.

A year later, Parks normalized the situation and rejoiced at the birth of his first child - an absolutely healthy little boy. Unfortunately, this happiness was also short-lived. And a year later, Parks mourned his wife Ida, who died during her second birth.

Parks was devastated, and his broken heart reflected his broken appearance. By 1909, Sam Parks was a widower with a small child to feed. His health deteriorated and it became increasingly difficult to move. The man was preparing for lifelong loneliness, realizing that physical limitations would not allow him to care for his son, and that a second chance for true love was insignificant.

In 1910, while touring Canada, Parks met a young dwarf. The little lady, born in Austria, was charming. Just like in his childhood, Sam again refused to admit his shortcomings and was determined to court the little lady. Perseverance paid off, and that same year Sam Parks married Helen Himmel, the famous “Princess Wee Wee.”

The couple continued to tour for several more years. Eventually, Sam's family welcomed a second child, another son, whom Helen gave birth to in 1911. After retiring, Sam worked at a small newsstand in El Paso until his death on October 23, 1923, at the age of 49.

Samuel Parks lived a life of pain. But with his heart I felt the joy of true love, which filled life with meaning.

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