John Deviddio Hopes to Become Champion Tree Sitter of the World at 112th Street Playground.
The endurance contest craze which has swept the country hit Troy today when a Lansingburgh youth set out to win fame by attempting to break the world’s mark for tree sitters. He is John Deviddio, 11 years old, better known to his playmates as “Goo,” and lives at 518 Fourth Avenue, Lansingburgh.
With all the elaborate preparations of a transoceanic flyer “Goo” took to the air today at exactly noon in a large elm tree in the 112th Street playground. Donald Doyle, Playground Instructor, who is assisting the boy in his adventure, constructed a platform of several planks in the tree. Deviddio went to the platform accompanied by his pet kitten and fortified by his air rifle, which he says will protect him against any danger during the night. A magazine of adventure stories to help while away the long hours ahead of him was tucked under his arm. He ate a hearty dinner and took along enough lunch to sustain him until his companions are organized into “refueling squads.” After today he will receive his nourishment by means of a dinner pail and a rope and which will be operated by his comrades. Several blankets to protect him during the chilly hours of the night were also on the platform.
When asked this morning how long he intended to stay up young Deviddio replied:
“I’m going to stay up until I break the longest record yet. I’ll stay up 70 hours, anyway, and come down Sunday morning at about 10 o’clock so I can go to the late mass over at St. Augustine’s.”
More than 200 people had gathered at the playground to watch the youthful fameseeker ascend the tree. Playground activities were at a standstill and hundreds of the children watched their playmate attempt to bring fame to their playground. The project was first planned yesterday, when Ellis A. Rosenthal, General Superintendent of Playgrounds, suggested to the children that some sort of an endurance contest be planned in the Troy playgrounds.
Troy Times. July 17, 1930: 5 col 3.
Eleven-Year-Old Boy Completes 27 Hours Aloft at 112th Street Playground.
Troy Times. July 18, 1930: 5 col 6.
Burgh Youngster Determined to Make Mark—Wants to Stay Up Until Next Saturday.
Troy Times. July 19, 1930: 5 col 4.
MAYOR BURNS PUTS STOP TO TREE SITTERS IN TROY; SAYS STUNT IS FOOLISH, INHUMAN.
Executive Also Discussed Sanitary Side of Question—Can See No Justification for the Venture—Many Complaints Received.
Troy Times. July 21, 1930: 5 cols 4-5.