Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Closest Thing to Perfect That They'd Ever Seen

The Times has a sweet obituary HERE for Bill McCabe, who made headlines as a 19-year-old back in 1940 when he scored a perfect 100 on what later became known as the “Superman test” to become a New York City sanitation worker.

The Times reports:

The headline in The New York Times on June 13, 1940, said, “Civil Service Finds the ‘Perfect Man.’” And The World-Telegram, in a play on Mr. McCabe’s boyhood in Harlem, said, “Great Outdoors of East 147th Street Produces the Perfect Specimen.”

He was one of 68,000 men hoping, in those tough economic times, to become what was then called a street cleaner, at $35 a week. Calling his score “a near-Olympic record,” The Times said that “cautious examiners, who are seeking to weed out as many men as possible in selecting men for the 2,000 jobs available, seemed astounded at McCabe’s perfect performance.”

To nail that 100, Mr. McCabe lifted an 80-pound dumbbell in each hand and hoisted a 120-pound trash can to a 4-foot-6-inch ledge. He lay on his back and lifted a 60-pound barbell placed behind his head. He broad-jumped 8 feet 6 inches after a 7-yard run, dashed an added 10 yards and jumped a 3-foot hurdle.

Continuing a 10-yard run over and around obstacles, he ran another 10 yards on a straightaway and climbed an 8-foot fence. Beyond the fence, he vaulted 4 feet 6 inches and then ran 5 yards to the finish line. The time for the entire run was 10.8 seconds. After a 15-minute rest, he ran 120 yards with a 50-pound dumbbell in each hand in 25 seconds.

“I’m not sure Charles Atlas would pass that test,” Vito A. Turso, a Sanitation Department spokesman, said on Monday.

Mr. McCabe, who got the sanitation job but soon moved on to become a police officer and later a firefighter, died Saturday at his home in Bethpage, N.Y., his son Kevin said. He was 90.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Wow, thighs of steel.